Cree receives $180 million sales order from Sumitomo

Cree's Japanese distributor Sumitomo has agreed to purchase LEDs worth $180 million, representing a drop compared with last year's order.

Sumitomo Corporation, the Japanese distributor for US-based LED maker Cree, has agreed to purchase $180 million of Cree's LED and wafer products during Cree's fiscal year ending June 2007.

The sales agreement is subject to end-customer demand, and other terms and conditions.

The value of the order represents a 10% drop compared with fiscal 2006. Back in May 2005, Cree announced that in fiscal 2006 Sumitomo planned to order LEDs to the value of $200 million (see News).

However, since then Cree announced that lower-than-expected demand from Japanese customers would reduce the value of Sumitomo's order for fiscal 2006 to around $160-165 million.

If the full value of $180 million is ordered in fiscal 2007, this will represent approximately a 10-percent increase over actual fiscal 2006 sales to Sumitomo.

The purchases are likely to be made across Cree's full line of wafer and LED chip products, including MegaBright, XBright, XThin and EZBright LEDs.

"Breakthroughs in performance are opening doors to multiple new applications, especially in the consumer electronics and general lighting areas," states Koichiro Kusano, assistant general manager of Sumitomo's Electronics Division. "This new agreement helps ensure that Sumitomo can support customers with the best products and services to realize the many new opportunities being pursued."

Chuck Swoboda, Cree's chairman and CEO, said, "We believe the agreement reflects the increasing optimism our sales team sees in Japan for increased market share in white mobile applications and new design wins in emerging markets for LED lighting."

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