Eckert & Ziegler: Significant improvement in cost items in the first half year

Berlin, (PresseBox) - In the first half of the year, Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG (ISIN DE 0005659700), a specialist for isotope-based applications in medicine, science and industry headquartered in Berlin, posted a € 1.1 million rise in sales to € 70.1 million compared to the same period in the prior year (+ 2 %). Currency effects and acquisitions were irrelevant, the nominal growth was largely based on organic growth.

The sharpest rise in sales of € 2.1 million, or 12 %, to € 19.4 million was posted by the Radiopharma segment. While sales of equipment and cyclotron products remained more or less unchanged year on year, sales of pharmaceutical radioisotopes posted double-digit growth. The Isotope Products segment saw sales rise by € 1.4 million, or 4 %, to € 40.2 million, while, as expected, sales in the Radiation Therapy segment shrank by € 2.7 million, or 18 %, to € 12.0 million following the prior year’s disposal of two divisions.

Group earnings per share fell by € 0.53, or 37 %, year on year to € 0.89. This corresponds more or less exactly to the expected value, which provides for earnings of € 1.80 per share for the full year. If the earnings for the first half of the year are only calculated on the basis of the continuing operations and eliminating the losses for 2016 that arose from the winding-down of a Californian subsidiary, earnings per share amounted to € 0.98, that is to say € 0.10 more. The scheduled decline in profits was due to the € 5.9 million drop in extraordinary income which stood at a record figure of € 9.2 million in the prior year as a result of, among other things, the sale of an investment (OctreoPharm Sciences). This was compounded in 2015 by a € 1.2 million rise in the financial result – mainly as a result of exchange rate gains.

If extraordinary income and the financial result are excluded for both halves of the year, there has been a significant improvement in the results of operations. While sales remained more or less unchanged, the Group’s gross margin rose by € 1.3 million and administrative and selling expenses fell by € 2.2 million. The disposals of loss-bringer operations and the closure of unprofitable subsidiaries enabled the Group to reduce its cost base by € 3.5 million, or 5 % of sales, within a period of twelve months.

Compared to 2015, more or less constant sales of € 140 million are expected for 2016. Profit is likely to decline to around € 1.80 per share due to the absence of positive one-off effects.

Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG

Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG (ISIN DE0005659700), with approximately 660 employees, is one the world's largest providers of isotope technology for radiation therapy and nuclear medicine.

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