Eckert & Ziegler: Earnings Increase Again After Restructuring Expenses No Longer Apply

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
Berlinbased Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG (ISIN DE0005659700), a firm specializing in medical use of radioactivity, increased its profit after taxes and minority interests to EUR 2.5 million in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 17% over the first quarter of 2009 and an increase of 35% when compared to the operating quarterly average in 2009. In spite of a 36% increase in the number of shares in comparison to 2009, earnings per share remained constant at EUR 0.49 (operating average per quarter in 2009: EUR 0.49 / share). The Berlinbased group recorded a slight increase in sales to EUR 25.7 million (previous year's quarter: EUR 24.3 million).

The most successful segment was again the Industry segment. Revenue increased by 13%, the gross margin by 34% and the EBIT by 91% to EUR 4.3 million. The successful integration of Nuclitec continues. The synergies become obvious once restructuring expenses no longer apply. The segment was also able to report strong shipments of highmargin robust drill hole sources. Environmental Services, which relate to taking back, reprocessing, recycling and disposal of low level radioactive waste, are still included in the Industry segment for comparison purposes. No new business was expected here in the first quarter of 2010, and with EUR 1.3 million in sales and expenses for preparations for new business that led to a small loss of EUR 46,000, this area developed within the framework of expectations. The annual sales target of the existing business (taking back sources and disposal of low level radioactive hospital waste) is EUR 5 million. In the segment reporting of the I/2010 quarterly report, the numbers for the new "Environmental Services" segment are shown separately for the first time.

With sales of EUR 6.4 million and an EBIT of EUR 0.6 million, the Therapy segment experienced a quarter that was slightly below average. The relative reduction in sales in the first quarter of a year is normal and is based on strong sales in the last quarter of 2009. Sales and income from the Russian project are also absent, but will surely contribute to results in the rest of the year. Since the takeover bid and the accompanying increase in IBt shares did not become effective until the middle of March 2010, no significant reduction in minority interests could be recorded. On the contrary, the first quarter includes one time extraordinary expenses of 0.3 mm EUR for takeover bid cost.

The Radiopharmaceuticals segment is at the level of the previous year in terms of revenue and its cost positions. Half of the considerable increase in EBIT to EUR 0.7 million can be traced to income from transfers of shares and borrowings from Eckert & Ziegler EURO-PET Berlin GmbH.

The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose an increase in dividends from EUR 0.30 to EUR 0.45 per share at the Annual General Meeting on May 20, 2010.

For the current year, the company expects a result of around EUR 1.80 / share with a 36% increase in the number of shares. If the increase in the number of shares is not taken into account, this would correspond to growth of around 24%.
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