Basler: Good start to 2008 fiscal year

(PresseBox) ( Ahrensburg, )
- Group: turnover and result better than last year; positive cash flow; incoming orders at record high
- Components business: continuous profitable growth; market entry into the digital surveillance camera market
- Solutions business: Basler wins largest single order in the company's history; increasing demand from flat-screen and solar industries
- Forecast band for 2008 remains unchanged

Despite the current turmoil on the financial markets, Basler AG - one of the leading companies in the Vision Technology segment worldwide, has increased its turnover, results and cash flow in the first quarter compared to previous year's figures. Because of the largest incoming orders in the company's history in the solutions business and continuous strong incoming orders in the components business, incoming orders of the group reached a new record high.

The Basler Components business unit successfully continued its growth during the first quarter. In the reporting period, sales revenue from digital cameras increased by 16% to EUR 7.3 million compared to the previous year (Q1/2007: EUR 6.3 million). Incoming orders reached the new record high of EUR 7.9 million (Q1/2007: EUR 7.3 million). The business unit's earnings before interest and taxes reached EUR 1.0 million in the first quarter (Q1/2007: EUR 0.8 million). The crucial factor for this was the significantly higher gross margin compared to the previous year.

The market entry of Basler Components into the future market of digital video surveillance was of strategic importance. We expect this rapidly growing future market to make a significant positive contribution to turnover and earnings growth in the midterm.

The Basler Solutions (Vision Technology solutions for mass production) business unit reached the forecast turnover of EUR 4.9 million in the first quarter. Revenue was 6% lower than previous year's level (Q1/2007: EUR 5.2 million). The business unit's earnings before interest and taxes of EUR -1.0 million were still negative (Q1/2007: EUR -0.7 million).

Sales-wise, Basler Solutions was very successful in the first quarter of 2008. With EUR 14.2 million (Q1/2007: EUR 3.7 million), incoming orders reached the highest quarterly figure ever achieved in the company's solutions business. Supported by again increasing demand for new production facilities in the flat-screen industry and continuously high demand for capital goods in the solar industry, Basler's leading technology helped to win several large projects. The quarter's highlight was an order by the third largest manufacturer of flat-screen modules worldwide with a value of more than EUR 6 million, representing the largest single order in the company's 20 years' history.

Basler has had a strong start to its 2008 fiscal year. We consider the outlook for both business units generally positive. Because of good incoming orders, the business development during the next few months can be estimated more precisely than one year ago.

Because of the slowing economy in Europe and the United States and the risks arising from the worldwide financial crisis our forecast for the 2008 fiscal year remains unchanged. We still expect a low to mid single-digit growth in turnover and a mid to high single-digit growth in earnings before taxes while generating positive free cash flow.

The Quarterly Report is available as a download at Basler AG, Dr. Dietmar Ley (CEO), An der Strusbek 60 - 62, 22926 Ahrensburg, Tel. +49(0)4102- 463100,,, ISIN DE 0005102008
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