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Jenoptik posts a marked increase in earnings for the 1st quarter 2010

(PresseBox) (Jena, ) A substantially increased order intake, a positive economic environment and enhanced cost structures led to a turn around in the 1st quarter 2010. Major orders received will ensure that this development is sustainable for the full year.

The Jenoptik Group posted a leap in results in the 1st quarter 2010 compared with the same quarter in the previous year. The reasons for this are the markedly improved order situation, in particular in the semiconductor industry, and the positive impact of the cost reduction measures introduced in 2009. The consistent implementation of the group strategy and the focus on the core business, together with a general improvement in the economic climate over the same period in the previous year are expected to support this trend for the year as a whole.

Whilst sales at 115.2 million euros (prev. year 117.7 million euros) showed a slight fall, the Group operating result increased to 4.0 million euros (prev. year 0.4 million euros). The Group EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) grew by 36.4 percent to 10.4 million euros over the same quarter in the previous year (prev. year 7.7 million euros). With the financial result remaining at virtually the same level as in the previous year, earnings after tax rose to 0.4 million euros (prev. year minus 2.7 million euros).

"The development in the 1st quarter makes us feel positive about the full year. It shows that the measures we took in 2009 were the right ones. We did our homework in the crisis year and are now benefiting from more efficient structures, the longterm strategic realignment as well as the improvement in economic activity." The continuing recovery in the semiconductor industry over recent months was important for the Jenoptik Group. This and strong demand in the medical lasers business once again produced a positive result for the quarter in the Lasers & Optical Systems segment, said Jenoptik boss Michael Mertin in Jena on Tuesday. Jenoptik also won a number of key major orders, e.g. in the Traffic Solutions division, some of which will also be accounted for in the 2010 fiscal year.

32.5 percent increase in order intake compared with same quarter in the previous year.

In the 1st quarter 2010 the Jenoptik Group achieved order intakes totaling 145.6 million euros (prev. year 109.9 million euros). This figure includes a number of major orders, including that in the sum of more than 12 million euros for traffic safety systems outside Europe. The order intake increased in all three segments. The growth in the order intake in comparison with the volume of sales as at March 31, 2010 led to a sharp rise in the order backlog compared with the end of 2009. This came in at 368.8 million euros (31.12.2009: 339.4 million euros).

Further reduction in net debt. Shareholders' equity ratio above 42 percent. Positive cash flow from operating activities.

In the 1st quarter 2010 just past Jenoptik succeeded in further significantly reducing net debt to 145.7 million euros as at the end of March, representing a further net fall of nearly 15 million euros (31.12.2009: 159.4 million euros). Whilst liabilities were repaid from current cash flows in the 4th quarter 2009 the 10 percent capital increase had a positive impact in the 1st quarter 2010. The proceeds raised from the placement of approx 5.2 million shares totaled about 22 million euros.

These proceeds plus the profit for the quarter had a positive effect on the shareholders' equity of the Jenoptik Group which increased to 262.4 million euros as at March 31, 2010 (31.12.2009: 240.0 million euros). This in turn led to a rise in the shareholders' equity ratio to 42.4 percent (31.12.2009: 39.5 percent).

The cash flow from operating activities totaled 1.6 million euros (prev. year 2.3 million euros) and was again in positive territory in the 1st quarter 2010 although the figure includes oneoff payments made in connection with the personnel measures introduced in the 4th quarter 2009.

During the course of the 1st quarter the number of employees in the Jenoptik Group consequently fell sharply by 166 to 3,102 employees (31.12.2009: 3,268 employees). The measures introduced in the 4th quarter 2009 were primarily implemented in the 1st quarter of the current fiscal year.

Information on the segments: recovery in the operating business.

The development in the segments reflects the improvement in the economic environment as well as the cost reduction measures introduced in 2009. There was a marked improvement in the operating result in the Lasers & Optical Systems segment, the Defense & Civil Systems segment continued to report stable development.

In the Lasers & Optical Systems segment the continuing recovery in the semiconductor industry, together with good demand for medical lasers and laser processing systems, are reflected in the key indicators. Sales rose by 22.5 percent to 45.2 million euros (prev. year 36.9 million euros). Earnings grew at a markedly stronger rate compared with the increase in sales. The EBIT showed a positive result at 3.9 million euros compared with minus 1.9 million euros for the same quarter in the previous year. The segment posted a 34.1 percent increase in its order intake to 56.2 million euros (prev. year 41.9 million euros), particularly in the Optical Systems division. The segment expects to win international orders over the coming months in the Lasers & Material Processing division as a result of the new Laser Application Center in South Korea which opened at the beginning of March. Here successes have already shown with a range of orders received, earlier than had been anticipated. In addition, order intakes came from the area of medical laser technology in the USA.

In the Metrology segment sales, as expected, at 20.0 million euros came in below the level for the previous year (prev. year 24.3 million euros). This is attributable to the fact that sales in the Industrial Metrology division in the 1st quarter of the previous year were still being generated from order backlogs prior to the crisis. Thanks to the cost reduction measures introduced in 2009 the segment's loss was clearly reduced in comparison with 2009, to minus 1.0 million euros (prev. year minus 2.4 million euros). There is a time lag in the impact of the crisis in the automotive industry on those equipment providers in the sector which are not directly dependent upon vehicle sales figures. There was a slight pickup in the order intake from the automotive industry although this was from a low base. The segment's order intake, which doubled to 40.4 million euros (prev. year 19.9 million euros), also includes the major international order for the Traffic Solutions division in the sum of more than 12 million euros. With major orders and an expanded product portfolio the Traffic Solutions division reported an overall positive performance in the 1st quarter.

The Defense & Civil Systems segment reported lower sales and earning figures than in the 1st quarter 2009, as the result for this period had been influenced by the delivery of a major order. At 49.9 million euros, sales were consequently 8.3 percent down on the same quarter in the previous year (prev. year 54.4 million euros); the segment EBIT totaled 1.7 million euros (prev. year 4.5 million euros).

Outlook: Forecasts for the full year 2010 are reaffirmed.

Sales of the Jenoptik Group in the 2010 fiscal year are expected to be up slightly on the figure for 2009, with a significant rise in the Group EBIT. "We are benefiting from a continuing overall recovery in the markets as well as from our cost reduction measures, the effects of which will be felt in full in 2010," said Jenoptik boss Michael Mertin. The main driving forces for an improvement in business performance are expected to be the recovering semiconductor industry, photovoltaics, medical technology as well as the areas of traffic and security, supported by the stable Defense & Civil Systems segment.

Sales for 2010 should come in at between 475 and 500 million euros. The forecast Group EBIT of between 15 and 25 million euros is reaffirmed, the net profit for the year is expected to be positive. These forecasts remain subject to a continuation in the recovery by the semiconductor industry. "With solid financing and liquid assets for the development and expansion of our international business and in anticipation of winning significant orders over the coming weeks and months, we expect the Group to record a positive performance in the current fiscal year," said Michael Mertin.

The Interim Report will be available on the Internet for downloading as a pdf file under the heading Investors / Reports and presentations / Interim Reports from 9:00 a.m.

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