Eckert & Ziegler: Shortfall against 2012 reduced in third quarter, earnings expected to be up in 2014
The shortfall as against 2012 resulted from a weak start to the year, especially in the Radiation Therapy segment, where the partial cessation of a low-margin business with accessories in France and tumbling prices for prostate implants over the course of the nine-month period together resulted in sales decreasing by € 2.8 million. Sales have since stabilized; a large number of cancer irradiation equipment deliveries are expected in the fourth quarter. Missing profit contributions have not yet impacted the segment's profits as extraordinary income of € 1.5 million was recognized in the spring following successful litigation. However, extraordinary expenses are also pending due to the acquisition of an American competitor; this means that the segment's profit contributions will be lower than expected at the end of the year.
Sales in the largest segment, Isotope Products, amounted to € 44 million after the first nine months of the year, down approximately € 1 million year on year; its product portfolio is also shifting toward products with lower margins. This, together with missing profit contributions, resulted in EBIT decreasing minimally by € 0.4 million.
The Radiopharma and Environmental Services segments both reported total sales growth of € 1.3 million in the period to the end of September 2013 following acquisitions. However, earnings were down for both year on year. While radiopharmacists had to contend with a difficult market environment in the device section, which cost € 1.0 million in EBIT year on year, the Environmental Services segment suffered from price increases for a key disposal channel, resulting in an adjustment in provisions as well as a € 0.9 million drop in earnings. However, both segments reported increasing sales and earnings in the third quarter of 2013 as against the third quarter of 2012.
The Executive Board therefore remains optimistic and expects sales to amount to some € 125 million in fiscal year 2013 and net profit for the year to be on par with the previous year at € 1.95 per share. Sales are expected to increase significantly to € 140 million for 2014 and to € 150 million for 2015. Assuming that the dollar exchange rate remains constant, earnings after taxes and minority interests are forecast to rise to € 2.20 and € 2.50 per share respectively.
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Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG
With around 700 employees the Eckert & Ziegler Group belongs to the largest providers of isotope components for radiotherapy and nuclear medicine worldwide.