Press release BoxID: 260321 (Basler AG)
  • Basler AG
  • An der Stusbek 60 - 62
  • 22926 Ahrensburg
  • Contact person
  • Verena Fehling
  • +49 (4102) 463-100

Basler AG: First quarter of 2009 characterized by global economic and financial crisis

(PresseBox) (Ahrensburg, ) .
- Demand for Vision Technology products significantly declined due to global economic and financial crisis
- Pre-tax earnings: Euro -2.0 million (previous year: Euro 0.3 million)
- Turnover: Euro 8.0 million (previous year: Euro 12.2 million)
- Incoming orders: Euro 7.1 million (previous year: Euro 23.8 million)
- Free cash flow: Euro 0.3 million (previous year: Euro 0.9 million)
- Comprehensive cost reduction program is being realized

The global financial and economic crisis and the resulting weak demand for industrial goods have significantly impacted the business of Basler AG during the first quarter of 2009.

The group's turnover summed to Euro 8.0 million (previous year: Euro 12.2 million,
-34 %). With Euro 7.1 million, incoming orders were almost 70 % below previous year's record level of Euro 23.8 million. The gross margin, however, improved to 51 % (previous year: 47 %). The earnings before taxes (EBT) amounted to Euro -2.0 million (previous year: Euro 0.3 million). This includes one-time expenses for cost-cutting measures of approximately Euro 0.8 million. Adjusted for these one-time expenses, the pre-tax earnings amounted to Euro -1.2 million. The net results (EAT) declined to Euro
-1.6 million (previous year: Euro 0.1 million). In the first quarter, the free cash flow amounted to Euro 0.3 million and therefore decreased by approximately Euro 0.6 million compared to the previous year (Q1/2008: Euro 0.9 million, -67 %). At the end of the reporting period, cash and cash equivalents amounted to Euro 7.7 million and remained almost unchanged compared to December 31, 2008, (+0.2 %).

The BASLER COMPONENTS business unit (digital cameras for industry) realized a turnover in Q1/2009 of Euro 4.3 million (previous year: Euro 7.3 million, -41 %). With Euro 5.5 million, the incoming orders were by approximately 36 % below previous year's figures (previous year: Euro 8.6 million). This was due to customer's reductions of inventories at the beginning of the reporting period. During the further course of the first quarter, incoming orders settled at a higher level. The segment earnings before interest and taxes summed to Euro -1.1 million (previous year: Euro 1.0 million).

Particularly noteworthy is the increase in turnover for Gigabit Ethernet cameras. Here, contrary to the general market trend, new record values were achieved in turnover and quantities delivered.

The BASLER SOLUTIONS business unit (inspection solutions for industrial mass production) realized a turnover amounting to Euro 3.8 million in Q1/2009 (previous year: Euro 4.9 million, -22 %). Compared to the previous year's record value the incoming orders have decreased by Euro 13.5 million, reaching Euro 1.6 million (previous year: Euro 15.1 million, -89 %). This dramatic decrease results from a continued weak demand for capital goods in the LCD industry and from significantly reduced investments in the solar industry, compared to the previous year. The segment earnings before interest and taxes were Euro -0.8 million in Q1/2009 and therefore €0.2 million better than in the previous year (previous year: Euro -1.0 million).

Due to declining incoming orders in the second half of 2008, the Management Board implemented a cost-cutting program in the beginning of fiscal year 2009, amounting to Euro 2.6 million in 2009 operating cost reductions. Owing to the deepening recession, further measures toward cutting cost and releasing working capital were decided upon in Q1/2009.

A detailed prognosis for turnover and pre-tax earnings remains impossible due to the low visibilities in the markets of Basler AG. In view of incoming orders and sales being below plan at the reporting date, the Management Board no longer expects break-even pre-tax earnings for the current fiscal year.

As on the reporting date the balance sheet of Basler AG showed a high equity capital quota of approximately 54 %. The debt to total capital ratio remained unchanged at the low value of 0.86. At the end of the reporting period, the unused financial reserves amounted to Euro 11.0 million. The execution of the cost-cutting programs will result in significant savings from the second half of 2009 onwards.