Analytik Jena remains on track for growth in Q3

(PresseBox) ( Jena, )
- Total sales up 7.2 % to EUR 49.2 m
- Group EBIT 15.1% higher than previous year despite weak projec! t business
- Targets for 2! 006/2007 confirmed

Analytik Jena (Frankfurt DE0005213508, Prime Standard: AJA) enjoyed a generally positive business development in the first nine months of the 2006/2007 financial year (to June 30, 2007). The Group realised sales of EUR 49.194 m (previous year: EUR 45.882 m). This equates to a 7.2 % increase compared with the previous year. The Group's operating result rose by 15.1 % to EUR 2.344 m.

In the instrument business, the Group posted a year-on-year increase of 12.5 % to EUR 31.9 m. The increases in the instrument business chiefly result from the analytical solutions and optical solutions business units. In analytical solutions, the Group made further gains with its "made in Germany" analysis systems despite the ongoing weakness of the dollar and greater price pressure on the international markets. In the optical solutions business unit, the entry into t! he US public authorities business in particular has had a positive impact.
Whilst growth above the ten-percent mark has been continuously achieved in the instrument business in recent quarters, the recovery in the project business expected for the third quarter has not yet taken place. This is because two projects, Lomonosov University in Moscow and the Iranian Hospital in Dubai, have not yet been undertaken as scheduled. Sales in this segment are down slightly on the previous year at EUR 17.3 m.

In the first nine months of the financial year, the growth in the Group was carried entirely by international business with an export rate of 75.6 % (previous year: 73.8 %). Export sales rose by 9.8 % to EUR 37.178 m (previous year: EUR 33.850 m).

Despite the increased currency pressure, the growing weighting of the instrument business in total sales is positively reflected in the development of the gro! ss margin. In the nine-month period, the overall gross margin ! of the G roup rose by 2.6 % points year-on-year to 41.6 %.

At the end of the third quarter, the Group achieved a new record in terms of the operating result with EUR 2.906 m (previous year: EUR 2.278 m) in the instrument business. The corresponding earnings margin in this segment rose from 8.0 % to 9.1 %.
In the project business, Analytik Jena posted an operating loss of EUR 0.562 (previous year: EUR -0.242 m), due to the continuing low sales level in this business unit at the end of the third quarter.

Overall, including the expenses for the still developing sales structures of the subsidiary in Japan and the losses in the project business, EBIT at the Group was up 15.1 % to EUR 2.344 m. The operating earnings margin rose from 4.4 % to 4.8 %.

All in all, in the first three quarters, the Group generated net income excluding minority interest of EUR 1.121 m (previous year: EUR 0.993 m). This equates to a 12.9 % increase in profit. ! With a weighted number of outstanding shares (basic) of 4.640 m (previous year: 4.084 m), earnings per share amount to EUR 0.24 (previous year: EUR 0.24).

At the end of the reporting period, the Group’s cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 8.389 m (as at September 30, 2006: EUR 11.735 m). The decline in funds is generally due to the advance financing of major orders in the project solutions business unit and to coverage of the working capital requirement for the rapidly growing business volume in the instrument segment. Overall, the balance sheet is generally well-balanced, with a manageable equity figure of EUR 29.1 m (as at September 30, 2006: EUR 27.6 m), which equates to an equity ratio of 45.4 % (as at September 30, 2006: 43.5 %).

Group management is monitoring the development of the project business very carefully. In this segment too, the Executive Board expects to end the quarter with str! ong sales and the financial year with a positive earnings figu! re.
In the instrument business, figures at the level of the third quarter are expected for the final quarter due to the somewhat calmer progression in the summer months. The development of the Japanese subsidiary has been somewhat slower than expected, although impetus is increasing. The Executive Board expects to achieve a significant sales level on this market in the coming financial year.
Within the bio solutions business unit, the company is very much looking forward to Biotechnika 2007 in Hanover, to be held at the beginning of October. The large number of products to be unveiled at this trade fair will give further momentum to our business in the next few months.
In the last quarter, the company will also be able to continue its strong performance in the optical solutions business unit.
Accordingly, the Executive Board confirms the communicated targets for the financial year 2006/2007.

The full 9-month report can be found under this link:
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