Eckert & Ziegler: A profitable First Quarter in 2011

Berlin, (PresseBox) - The first quarter of 2011 was extremely successful for the Eckert & Ziegler Group (ISIN DE0005659700), a specialist for isotope applications in medicine, science and industry. Sales in all segments were higher than in the first quarter of 2010, rising in total by EUR 2.5 million (10%) to EUR 28.2 million. This is the second highest figure ever reached for sales during a quarter, surpassed only by the immediately preceding fourth quarter of 2010 when a special project in Russia accounted for an exceptionally high proportion of turnover and a total of EUR 30.0 million EUR was achieved.

Profits grew even more vigorously than sales, also increasing in all operative segments and setting new absolute records. In no previous quarter had the group achieved an EBIT of EUR 6.4 million, a profit before tax of EUR 6.0 million, and a net income after minority interests of EUR 3.6 million. In comparison with the first quarter of the previous year EBIT grew by 23%, profit before tax increased by 25% and net income after minority interests was up by 44%. Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2011 stood at EUR 0.69.

Once again Isotope Products accounted for the biggest proportion of overall earnings. Admittedly, revenue was up by only 7% but roughly half of the revenue increase of EUR 0.9 million was achieved as profit because the increase in the cost items was disproportionately low.

The strongest growth was achieved by the Radiopharma segment where sales were up by at least 25% in every product group. Overall, the segment increased its quarterly revenue by 31% to EUR 6.2 million. What is particularly gratifying in this context is the gross margin of 62%, the highest throughout the group, so that it is in this segment that a major part of the revenue growth is reflected in profit, even more so than in the Isotope Products segment.

Sales were also up in the Therapy segment. The afterloaders developed particularly well. Detailed statements concerning the Therapy segment can be found in the quarterly report of IBt S.A. (www.ibt-bebig.eu) which is being released concurrently.

Sales also rose in the Environmental Services segment, although only by EUR 0.1 million because new orders had not yet materialised in revenue. Some small savings were achieved as far as the costs are concerned so that, in contrast to the previous year, there were no more losses.

The board of directors and supervisory board will suggest a dividend of 0.60 per share (previous year: EUR 0.45) at the Annual General Meeting on 19th May 2011.

Sales of between EUR 110 and 120 million and a result after tax and minority interests of at least EUR 10 million are expected for the fiscal year 2011. By the end of 2014 the board of directors is expecting a profitable increase in sales to around EUR 200 million per year.

Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG

With around 550 employees the Eckert & Ziegler Group belongs to the largest providers of isotope components for radiotherapy and nuclear medicine worldwide.

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