Jenoptik Group posts 12.8 percent increase in sales in the 1st half year 2007

(PresseBox) ( Jena, )
The result came in below the figure for the previous year due to non-operational effects in both half years and following a weak 1st half year in the Sensors division. The Laser & Optics division recorded double figure increases in its key indicators and remained the driving force for growth in the Group.

Sales of the Jenoptik Group increased by 12.8 percent in the 1st half year 2007 to 253.7 million euros (prev. year 224.9 million euros), nearly 60 percent of which came from abroad. All three divisions contributed towards the growth in sales. The Group's organic growth accounted for approx. half of the increase, with the figures for the French measurement technology company Etamic, which contributed towards the rise in sales over and beyond the organic growth, not having been included in the previous year.

The Group EBIT, at 13.1 million euros was 3.0 million euros lower than in the comparison period (prev. year 16.1 million euros), primarily attributable to positive effects from real estate in the sum of nearly 2 million euros in the previous year and one-off negative effects on the result totaling 1.8 million euros in the 1st half year 2007. By contrast, the EBIT of the three operating divisions reached 17.1 million euros and was therefore at almost the same level as in the previous year (prev. year 18.3 million euros). There were however clear shifts between the divisions: for example, the Laser & Optics division increased its EBIT by 55 percent to 11.6 million euros (prev. year 7.5 million euros) and consequently at a markedly disproportionately high rate compared with the growth in sales which totaled 14.6 percent. The EBIT posted by the Sensors division, at 3.2 million euros, was clearly down on the figure for the previous year (prev. year 9.2 million euros). This result was burdened in particular by a weak 1st half year in the traffic safety technology area where virtually no major international orders were awarded in the first half 2007. The unit is simultaneously investing heavily in developing the North American market. The integration of Hommelwerke and the French company Etamic is also proceeding worldwide.

Earnings after tax totaled 0.6 million euros (prev. year 10.4 million euros). The main reason for the fall - in addition to the lower Group EBIT - was the interest result, which, as anticipated, is burdened by the high-yield bond for the last time in 2007. Interest expenses in the sum of 13.6 million euros similar to the previous year (prev. year 14.2 million euros) were offset by a markedly lower interest income of 3.6 million euros (prev. year 8.8 million euros) as Jenoptik posted one-off interest income in the previous year in connection with the sale of M+W Zander. The interest result for 2008 should clearly improve with the early repayment of the bond planned for Autumn.

Laser & Optics records 20 percent rise in its order intake

Jenoptik succeeded in increasing the order intake in the 1st half year 2007 by 3.8 percent to 252.4 million euros (prev. year 243.2 million euros). The Laser & Optics division remained the driving force with an increase of 20.4 percent to 118.7 million euros and as such accounted for nearly half of the total Group order intakes. The order intake in the Sensors division was unsatisfactory. Industrial production measurement technology reported a positive development whereas by contrast there were virtually no major international orders awarded for traffic safety technology in the period covered by the report. The major order in Service Providing from North America at the beginning of 2007 is not included in the order intake or order backlog as a result of its business model. The Group order backlog as at end June 2007 was 435.1 million euros and therefore slightly down on the figure as at end 2006 (as of Dec. 31, 2006: 438.4 million euros).

Significant increase in cash flow from current business activity. Rise in number of employees

Jenoptik achieved a marked improvement in the cash flow. The cash flow from operating activities was significantly higher at 21.9 million euros (prev. year 2.5 million euros). This is mainly the result of an improvement in the working capital which remained virtually unchanged despite the rise in sales. An active approach to working capital management and the associated increase in the operating cash flow has been firmly embedded within the corporate controls since 2007.

There have been no major changes in the Group balance sheet and financial indicators. Net debt of the Jenoptik Group reported just a slight increase to 207.2 million euros despite the acquisition of the remaining shares in Detroit Precision Hommel and SINAR AG (as of Dec. 31, 2006: 203.0 million euros). The shareholders' equity showed a small rise to 306.9 million euros (as of Dec. 31, 2006: 299.4 million euros), the shareholders' equity quota totaled 35 percent (as of Dec. 31, 2006: 34.3 percent).

3,338 personnel were employed in total at Jenoptik as at June 30, 2007, 146 more than as at the end of December 2006. The 4.6 percent rise is attributable both to changes in the consolidated companies as well as to organic growth. The number of employees abroad rose to 505 and now represents 15 percent of the workforce. The acquisition of the remaining shares in the US measurement technology company added a further 51 employees. In Germany new jobs were created primarily in the Laser & Optics division.

Outlook for the full year 2007

Sales of the Jenoptik Group in the full year 2007 are forecast to come in at between 510 and 535 million euros and in the year 2008 to exceed the 550 million euro mark. All three divisions are expected to contribute towards the growth in sales. Following the leap in sales in 2006 the Laser & Optics division plans to generate sales of between 200 and 210 million euros. If the extremely positive business situation in the 1st half year continues then sales of the division could also exceed this range. The further development of the Sensors division, which has a sales target of between 180 and 190 million euros, depends essentially upon a pick-up in the global market for traffic safety technology. Sales of the Mechatronics division in 2007 should total between 120 and 130 million euros.

In the event of a marked pick-up in the market for traffic safety technology, a continuation of the very good trend in the Laser & Optics division and stable Mechatronics business which is expected to achieve significant contributions towards sales and earnings in the 4th quarter as it has in previous years, it is possible that the shortfall in earnings from the Sensors division could be partially offset but probably not compensated for. Therefore, despite the fact that the Laser & Optics division will probably overfulfill our expectations and a stable situation in the Mechatronics divisions and the production measurement technology the Group operating result might not completely meet the original expectations and come in at 32 to 36 million euros due to the shortfall in earnings of the traffic safety technology area. In addition to the operating earnings contribution higher special effects are expected in the second half of the year, only some of which will impact on the EBIT. If the balance of these effects will be slightly positive or negative can still not be forecast at present. These effects on the Group EBIT might e.g. stem from the Group's continuing process of focusing, from the early repayment of the fixed interest-bearing bond as well as from the reform of taxation. In total, Jenoptik expects that the EBIT range of 38 to 42 million euros as stated in the Annual Report can be achieved, provided that the balance of the special effects is slightly positive.

From Monday the detailed half year report ( sheets and Reports) as well as a presentation to include the key data of the 1st half year 2007 ( will be available for downloading from the Internet as PDF files.
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