Order and sales volumes remain low

Volume figures as at end of third quarter 2009

(PresseBox) ( Biel-Bienne, )
The Mikron Group, a specialist in the production of machining and assembly automation systems, posted an order intake of CHF 88.3 million (-54.3% year-on-year) and net sales of CHF 114.4 million (-44.4%) in the first nine months of 2009. Order and sales volumes have remained at a very low level since the slump 12 months ago. Mikron is on track with the implementation of the various measures adopted to safeguard the company's costefficiency and liquidity. As regards future business, visibility remains poor and a reliable forecast is impossible.

The situation in Mikron's markets and business environment remained virtually unchanged in the third quarter and the description given at mid-year still applies. A large proportion of the enquiries and orders currently being received relate to customer products and applications that are driven by a technical development process, or to the launch of new customer products. Enquiries relating to the expansion of existing production capacity have been less common.

The Machining segment appeared to bottom out in the 2nd quarter of 2009. However, it is still too early to speak of a reversal of the trend. For the last 12 months now, orders and sales in this segment have been around 50% lower than their long-term average. The short-time working programme at the main production site in Agno will have to remain in place for the time being.

In the Automation segment, order volumes over the last 12 months have come in at almost 40% under their long-term average. Medical/Personal Care, the market segment with the strongest sales, remains relatively robust. Nevertheless, the order backlog has declined markedly over the last few months. In response to this, the main production site in Boudry has been preparing for the introduction of short-time working since mid-year: After the handover of various major projects at mid-year, staff are now being systematically encouraged to use up leave and overtime balances.

New accounting policy

The Mikron Group has decided to change the underlying standard for its accounting and reporting from IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) to Swiss GAAP FER with retroactive effect from 1 January 2009. Mikron regards Swiss GAAP FER as the more appropriate standard for internationally active SMEs. The consolidated financial statements will continue to be of high quality and based on the "true and fair view" principle. The changeover has only a minor impact on shareholders' equity and net earnings.

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