There is however some good news. Some of our customers, especially in Taiwan, have been reporting very high utilization rates which is an essential precursor indicator of any capacity driven equipment demand pick up. Unfortunately many of these same customers remain cautious on adding new capacity at this time, principally because of their doubts on the sustainability of the currently high LED backlighting demand. This understandable customer caution makes the magnitude and timing of any system demand pick up still difficult to forecast with any real precision. Nevertheless, we are still of the opinion that next year will be a much stronger year, based on the predicted increased penetration of LEDs and in general LED lighting market, for which AIXTRON is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.
Let me now move on to slide three to pick out some of our key financials from the last quarter. As you can see on this slide there are some positive developments to report from the second quarter results. Revenues were up by 10% sequentially to €46 million compared to the €42 million achieved in Q1 2012. The gross margin improved over the prior quarter by 7 percentage points to 32%. Although still in negative territory, the EBIT achieved in Q2 was a 10% improvement sequentially with the operating loss for the quarter amounting to €16.5 million.
Order intake remained broadly in line with the prior quarter at €30 million, leaving us with an order backlog of around €138 million. I’d also like to point out that after a few years in the wilderness in the silicon world. It’s good to be able to report the return on production orders for our silicon semiconductor equipment business. A large part of these orders, placed by a leading Korean DRAM manufacturer with AIXTRON’s next generation QXP-8300 ALD deposition tool. My colleagues and I continued to believe that AIXTRON has a significant growth opportunity with this tool, given the projected growth in sub-30 nanometer DRAM production.