Jenoptik Group sees itself as being well equipped to face 2008

Sensors business receives a lift at the turn of the year

(PresseBox) ( Jena, )
Preliminary figures for the year 2007: consolidated sales will come in at around 520 million euros. The Group operating result is boosted by a strong 4th quarter. Financing and strategic targets achieved in full.

On balance the Jenoptik Group posted a successful 2007. Sales are anticipated to be around 520 million euros and therefore approx. 7 percent up on the figure for 2006.

According to initial calculations the Group operating result is expected to exceed 34 million euros and consequently hit the upper end of the range of 32 to 36 million euros forecast in August 2007. In 2007 Jenoptik continued to revise the Group portfolio and so the EBIT included both positive and negative one-off effects which nearly balanced each other out over the year as a whole. The operating result was impacted by a very strong contribution from the Laser and Optics business which posted better than forecast figures. As predicted in summer 2007, the results from the Sensors business and traffic safety systems in particular, remained below expectations and could not be compensated for in full.

At turn of the year the Sensors business received a lift in all areas. Order intake in the million euro range was received. A new organizational structure of the Group which is more client and market oriented came into effect on January 1, 2008 and is already showing clear improvements in the cooperation across the Group. "We prepared in detail for the new structure in 2007. Signs of a move away from individual group companies operating on an autarchic basis, towards a systematic and overlapping market development already emerged during the final months of 2007," said Jenoptik Chairman Dr. Michael Mertin.

For the last time the net interest result was impacted by the bond which was repaid in the meantime. It is expected to have a negative effect of almost 30 million euros in 2007. This figure primarily comprises the interests and the expenses of nearly 10 million euros for the early repayment for the bond. The earnings before tax are therefore anticipated to come in at zero or be slightly positive. The calculations of the deferred taxes have not yet been completed. This are affected in 2007 by the German tax reforms which necessitated an adjustment in the loss carried forward and led to a one-off non-cash deferred tax expense in the 3rd quarter 2007.

The order situation showed a positive development and the Group can look back on a strong 4th quarter in terms of order intake. The order intake for the full year is expected to come in at 510 million euros and therefore be approx. 5 percent above the previous year. At present the order backlog as at December 31, 2007 is anticipated to almost reach the previous year's level of 438 million euros.

All projects brought to a successful conclusion.

"In 2007 we successfully concluded all our strategic projects and reached all the financing and finance targets as previously announced," said Jenoptik CFO Frank Einhellinger. The cash flow from operating activities will be markedly above the figure for the previous year (2006: 29.8 million euros/continued business divisions). This was mainly achieved thanks to an improvement in the working capital in all three divisions. At the beginning of 2007 Jenoptik added the cash flow as a target figure to the internal system of controls.

Net debt is expected to show a fall compared with the end of 2006 and as at the 3rd quarter 2007 despite two acquisitions in 2007 (75 percent stake in Detroit Precision Hommel and 100 percent in Epigap Optoelektronik GmbH) to a figure just below 200 million euros. "In addition, the early repayment of the inflexible high-interest bond and the placement of a smaller borrower's note to replace short-term bank liabilities have enabled us to completely reorganize and adjust our financing structure," said CFO Frank Einhellinger: With the repayment of the high-yield bond and the further reduction in assets not required for operational purposes, Jenoptik would also show a marked decrease in the balance sheet total as at December 31, 2007 and consequently report a shareholders' equity quota of nearly 40 percent.

Well equipped to face 2008. Orders in the double figure million range underpin the positive start to the new fiscal year.

The Jenoptik Group is looking ahead to the 2008 fiscal year with optimism. Several orders in the million range awarded to the Jenoptik Group during the final days of the old and the beginning of the new fiscal year helped 2008 get off to a good start. As at end 2007 the Group posted an order intake of around 27 million euros for Eurofighter radomes which will keep production capacities fully occupied up to 2016. Jenoptik will also be supplying the Japanese technology group Mitsubishi Electric Corporation with rendezvous and docking sensors for the positioning control of space transporters and satellites, with an order in the double figure million range.

Jenoptik is standing by its medium to long-term growth targets. The Group is therefore expected to achieve annual growth of around 10 percent and return to being a billion euro group. Sales are expected to exceed 550 million euros in 2008 and the Group operating result to show again an increase compared with 2007 which can also be attributed to the measures implemented. This assumes no significant deterioration in the economic environment. As a result of the interest burden from the bond no longer applying in 2008 the earnings after tax as well as the earnings per shares for 2008 should increase more than proportional in comparison with the Group operating result. More detailed information on the outlook for the current fiscal year and the detailed figures for 2007 will be presented in Jena on March 28, 2008.
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