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Jenoptik to focus on chip business after 'crazy' demand in Q1 - CEO

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Jenoptik's CEO Stefan Traeger poses at the company's headquarters in Jena
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BERLIN (Reuters) - German optical electronics group Jenoptik would be open to talks about the sale of its auto industry equipment unit as it aims to focus on making chip components after a strong first quarter, the company's CEO said on Wednesday.

Jenoptik's most important unit, which makes optical equipment for the chip industry, exceeded all expectations and boosted the group's earnings in the first three months of 2022, Chief Executive Stefan Traeger told Reuters in an interview.

"It's absolutely crazy what's happening right now. The extreme demand in the semiconductor industry continues at full steam," the CEO said, adding he expects the boom to continue throughout 2022.

At the same time, there is no time pressure for the possible sale of the automotive unit, which produces equipment such as laser systems for materials processing.

"But if we get a call from potential buyers who think the unit is a good strategic fit for their company, we will definitely pick up the phone," Traeger said.

He also said Jenoptik will look into purchases in traffic technology, including speed cameras manufacturing, though it had to stay cautious in light of the war in Ukraine as the shortage of skilled workers remains an issue for the group.

(Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Zuzanna Szymanska)

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