Sales at Unaxis group fell by 28 per cent to SFr317 million ($195 million) in first-quarter, amid the ongoing slump in the technology industry.
Compared with the first quarter of last year, sales by the Swiss-based group are down by almost half (46 per cent), roughly in line with market expectations.
But Unaxis, which builds manufacturing systems, semiconductors and other high-grade technology, said on Tuesday it saw the first positive signal of an upturn.
A company statement said orders had risen three per cent to SFr312 million on the previous quarter.
"Given that the apparent recovery in production systems for the IT industry will only begin to affect sales in 2003, an operating result below the previous year's figure is to be expected for 2002," the company said.