Eckert & Ziegler 2006: Record Sales and Growth in Earnings

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
The Berlin-based company Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG (ISIN DE0005659700), a specialist for isotope-based medical and industrial applications, can report increased earnings per share to 0.71 EUR in 2006 from 0.51 EUR the previous year, an increase of nearly 40%, and a 20% growth in sales, the third increase in succession. Thanks to a strong fourth quarter in which the company achieved record sales of over 14 million EUR, annual sales of the Pankow-based company for the first time crossed the 50 million EUR threshold.

This year the company anticipates further growth, notably in earnings per share, to a value of 0.90 EUR. Revenues are also set to rise as a result of sales in the product divisions, albeit only by 10% to 55 million EUR.

The main drivers of growth for the 2006 sales were sales of tumor radiation devices, which benefited from a major order from Venezuela, and contrasting agents for Positron Emission Tomography (PET), used for fine diagnosis of cancer. For the latter applications the company opened two production plants in Berlin just last year from which the short-lived medicinal products are meanwhile shipped as far afield as Poland. There was also a satisfactory trend in sales of implants for the treatment of prostate cancer and components for industrial measuring technology. Once again the biggest product category was components for nuclear medical imaging.

The most profitable segment of the group's three divisions in 2006 was again the components for industrial, scientific and imaging applications, which at 0.92 EUR per share contributed to the surplus for the year. The Therapy segment specializing in medical devices for the treatment of cancer earned 0.27 EUR per share, while the new Radiopharmaceuticals segment on the other hand lost 0.51 EUR per share. This was due to start-up losses in developing the segment, high development costs for the new Modular-Lab family of synthesis modules and the removal of the SpondylAT® rheumatism drug from the development program. The latter impacted negatively on the results at 0.19 EUR per share. Otherwise, operating losses for the Radiopharmaceuticals segment were halved in comparison with the previous year.

Thanks to a rise in operating flow of funds of 1.1 million EUR to 4.6 million EUR, in 2006 the company was able to reduce long-term debt slightly and increase the equity ratio from 52% to 57%. Earnings from ordinary business operations before, interest, tax and shares of other shareholders (EBIT) rose by 92% to 5.5 million EUR or 1.77 EUR per share, and earnings from ordinary business operations before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and shares of other shareholders (EBITDA) were 10.1 million EUR.

The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will be recommending an increase in the dividend from 0.15 to 0.25 EUR per share at the general shareholders meeting on June 12, 2007.

Today, Thursday March 29, 2007, at 10 a.m. Eckert & Ziegler invite you to a balance sheet press conference in Berlin. To register attendance please contact the company (+49 30 94 10 84-185)
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