Basler reports strong financial figures for 2008: Increase in turnover & earnings, strong positive cash flow, forecasts achieved

Turnover: Euro 56.5 m, + 10% / Pre-tax earnings: Euro 2.9 m, +61% / Free cash flow: Euro 4.7 m, +Euro 6.3 m

(PresseBox) ( Ahrensburg, )
BASLER AG, one of the leading international vision technology companies, has achieved, and in some areas exceeded, the forecasts for the financial year 2008.

The group turnover rose by 10% to a record Euro 56.5 m (2007: Euro 51.5 m). Incoming orders also increased by 11% to a new all-time high of Euro 62.9 m (2007: Euro 56.6 m). The gross margin remained unchanged at 49%. The gross profit increased, in proportion to turnover, to Euro 27.9 m (2007: Euro 25.3 m). Earnings before taxes (EBT) rose by 61% to Euro 2.9 m (2007: Euro 1.8 m). Earnings after taxes (EAT) increased by 91% to Euro 2.1 m (2007: Euro 1.1 m). The earnings per share (EPS) amounted to Euro 0.59 (2007: Euro 0.31).

In the financial year 2008, the cash flow from operating activities rose by 84% to Euro 12.3 m (2007: Euro 6.7 m). The corporate management-relevant cash flow after investment activities (free cash flow) reached a new record high at Euro 4.7 m, a Euro 6.3 m increase over 2007. Cash in hand was almost twice as high as in the previous year at Euro 7.7 m as of the cut-off date (2007: Euro 3.9 m, +97%). The group's equity ratio amounted to 56% (2007: 55%). As of the end of the financial year, BASLER AG's available credit lines amounted to Euro 3.3 m.

This consistent improvement in key figures reflects the strong business performance of both reporting segments in 2008. At Euro 29.7 m, BASLER COMPONENTS (digital industrial cameras) increased its turnover by 8% over the previous year (2007: Euro 27.5 m). This increase was predominantly due to the expansion of BASLER's international leadership in the fast-growing gigabit ethernet camera segment. BASLER COMPONENTS thus consolidated its market position as number two in the global market for digital industrial cameras in 2008. The company's entry into the promising video surveillance market forms the basis for further growth outside the capital goods industry. BASLER SOLUTIONS (inspection solutions for industrial mass production) recorded an approximately 12% increase in its 2008 turnover to Euro 26.8 m (2007: Euro 24.0 m). This is predominantly due to the significant expansion of market share in the LCD industry. Following the launch of several new products and an increase in the relevant customer base, the business with the solar industry also followed a positive trend.

The BASLER Group has started the new financial year with solid finances and an order backlog of Euro 24 m (31 December 2007: Euro 16.1 m). Due to the current global economic crisis, 2009 sales revenues in almost all segments of the capital goods industry are expected to be substantially lower than in the previous year. VDMA, the German Mechanical Engineering Association, forecasts a 15% decline in turnover in the German vision technology sector in 2009. Should the weak demand that dominated the entire industry in the last few months continue, sales revenues may slump even further. The extent and duration of the global economy crisis and its effects on BASLER in the financial year 2009 are currently uncertain. Due to the restrained incoming order situation at the end of 2008 and the start of 2009, the management board does not expect BASLER's two divisions to remain unaffected by the difficult economic environment. The management board has therefore prepared the company for the expected decline in turnover and income. With its global presence, innovative products and streamlining in all corporate areas, the company is shaping up well for the imminent changes in the vision technology market.
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