Key data for first quarter of 2007

Slight increase in sales thanks to short-term orders

(PresseBox) ( Freiburg, )
There were still no signs of a sustained improvement in the performance of the Micronas Group during the first quarter of 2007. Compared with the previous quarter, the Group increased net sales by 1.6 percent thanks to short-term orders and sales exceeding expectations in the Automotive division. The order intake was 15.1 percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2006. Cash flow for the quarter amounted to CHF 27.7 million.

Consolidated net sales in the first quarter of 2007 reached CHF 181.2 million, 1.6 percent higher than the previous quarter. As expected, the gross margin was lower in the reporting period due to inventory corrections by customers as well as persistent pricing pressure. Operating profit before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to CHF 3.2 million. Before interest and taxes (EBIT), earnings for the reporting period showed an operating loss of CHF 20.0 million. The loss for the reporting period was CHF 10.0 million. This represented a loss per share of CHF 0.34.

As expected, the performance of the Consumer division in the reporting period was affected by customers continuing to make inventory corrections. Generally speaking, the key TV market is undergoing a transformation. We are among the market leaders with our innovative system solutions designed for the latest generation of TV sets, set-top boxes for digital and internet television (IPTV) and for the display of high-definition television (HDTV). We launched a series of trend-setting new products onto the market during the reporting period. These included software for an audio processor platform which generates surround sound from a single speaker box as well as the world’s smallest demodulator for digital TV signals.

In March, we increased our stake in MicronasNIT from 52 to 100 percent. NIT is one of Micronas’ own software development companies. With the growing significance of software in the overall system solution, it is important for Micronas to have all the relevant know-how available inhouse.

The Automotive business generated very pleasing growth in sales and operating profit. Sales increased by 31 percent, exceeding our guidance for the division. In the first quarter, we concluded a cooperation agreement with an important system supplier in Japan. We achieved our first successes in China: Micronas was selected for design projects that will be realized by Chinese developers for locally manufactured products.

For the second quarter we expect sales in the range of CHF 166 to 176 million and an operating loss (EBIT) between CHF 24 and 27 million. Thereof the Consumer division will contribute net sales in the range of CHF 110 to 120 million with an operating loss between CHF 37 and 40 million. The Automotive division will generate sales and an operating profit in line with the first quarter, e.g. net sales of CHF 56 million and an EBIT of CHF 16 million.

The Micronas Group is a leading independent supplier of innovative application-specific semiconductor solutions for consumer and automotive electronics. Its shares are listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange in Zurich.
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