Carclo aims to produce up to 40,000 screens a week

CARCLO expects to send out its first shipment of touchscreen sensors for a major tablet device before the end of the year.

The Ossett-based company said the tablet manufacturer is one of the big names in the industry. Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone and tablet markets.

Once the contract is up and running next year, it will use up all of Carclo’s available production capacity.

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“We expect to produce 20,000 to 40,000 touchscreen sensors a week, which means we’ll approach two million a year,” said Carclo’s chief executive Ian Williamson.

He added that the customer is in the final stages of validating the product.

Other orders are expected to come through next year and the group is ready to ramp up production next April to five or six times the current capacity.

Carclo announced a 46 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £1.9m for the six months to September 30.

It expects a stronger second half as a number of big technical plastics orders complete over the coming months. These are large scale orders for medical and diagnostic devices such as blood test components.

The group’s touchscreen technology – CIT – is expected to produce a maiden profit in the fourth quarter.

“We’re confident CIT will start to contribute significantly next year,” said Mr Williamson.

The tablet shipment will trigger a $10m (£6.5m) pre-payment from Carclo’s US partner Atmel Corporation.

Carclo believes its technology can transform the $10bn market for mobile phone and tablet computer touchscreens.

The technology allows developers to make larger, lighter, less power-hungry, sleeker designs for smartphones, tablets and other products.

Production samples have been supplied to eight major device manufacturers covering seven smartphone models and three tablets.

Growth in Carclo’s supercar lighting business, which supplies lights for top of the range cars such as Aston Martin, Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce, led to a 28 per cent increase in the division’s operating profits to £900,000.

Mr Williamson said the division has seen some signs of slowdown in China, particularly for high end limousines.

“We’ve seen reduced demand in China after three years of extremely strong growth,” he said. “The world economy is slowing right now, but we should be able to trade through it. We will benefit from new supercar models.”

Carclo said its Precision Engineering businesses had a good first half generating underlying operating profits of £700,000, up from £600,000 last year.