In 2006 Mühlbauer achieved another record in sales and earnings − dividend increase to EUR 1.25 projected

(PresseBox) ( Roding, )
Mühlbauer Holding AG & Co. KGaA quoted on the Prime Standard and worldwide active independent advisor and manufacturer of innovative security solutions for the TECURITY® market consistently pushed ahead its positioning in promising growth markets in the 2006 financial year. At the same time, the technology group grew further, improved results and more than reinforced the position in its markets.

With generated earnings before taxes (EBIT) of EUR 34.4 million, Mühlbauer was able to exceed the comparable value of last year by 4.1% (EUR 33.1 million), while consolidated earnings before taxes (EBT) even rose 9.6% to EUR 38.0 million (EUR 34.7 million) over the same period of time. The profit margin of 23.7% was once again slightly up on the value of last year (23.4%) despite the group's drive towards globalization in the year under report. Mühlbauer also managed to significantly improve its net earnings: Due to extraordinary gains from the capitalization of a claim for a tax refund, net earnings amounted to EUR 27.7 million and increased by 20.4% compared to the value of last year (EUR 23.0 million), which corresponds to earnings per share of EUR 1.90 (EUR 1.59). Once again the Mühlbauer Group wants to continue its profit-oriented dividend policy and enables shareholders to participate in the result of the past financial year: A proposal will be forwarded to the Annual General Meeting suggesting the payment of a dividend of EUR 1.00 and – on the occasion of the 25-year company anniversary – an additional special dividend of EUR 0.25 per share, which amounts to a total dividend of EUR 1.25 (EUR 0.90) per share.

At EUR 2.4 million, free cashflow was clearly below the level of the previous year (EUR 22.7 million), due to higher expenditures for investments and due to funds used for financing of net working capital. At the end of the reporting period, the proportion of equity capital in total capital, however, was at 80.1% compared to 76.3% in the previous year.

Mühlbauer's sales figure hit an all-time high and climbed 8.7% to EUR 160.9 million (EUR 148.1 million) over the previous year. All business areas made their contribution to growth. In the core business area SmartID, growth to EUR 91.8 million (EUR 86.8 million) was primarily achieved through technology solutions for the manufacture and personalization of security-oriented identification documents. Semiconductor Related Products improved sales by 10.7% from EUR 35.6 million to EUR 39.4 million, followed by Precision Parts & Systems, which posted an increase in sales of 8.6% to EUR 16.0 million (EUR 14.8 million). Traceability also improved markedly and even managed to lift sales by 25.7% to EUR 13.7 million (EUR 10.9 million). The foreign share in total sales increased once again to 74.2% (69.7%) due to a strong growth in Asia.

With an order income of EUR 161.5 million in the 2006 financial year, the Mühlbauer Group is only 2.1% behind the value of last year (EUR 165.0 million). The share of the SmartID core business was EUR 92.6 million (EUR 101.6 million), which can be rated positively in view of the efforts to compensate the temporary stagnation in the Smart Label area with innovative technology solutions for Cards and TECURITY®. Semiconductor Related Products contributed EUR 38.7 million (EUR 39.2 million) to order income and was close to the value of last year. Traceability and Precision Parts & Systems rose strongly. Due to high demand for components for the tracking of products and modules, Traceability increased its order income by 21.5% from EUR 10.9 million in the previous year to EUR 13.2 million, while Precision Parts & Systems grew 27.2% from EUR 13.3 million to EUR 17.0 million over the same period of time. At the end of the year under review, the global technology group's order backlog was at EUR 79.2 million (EUR 81.7 million) and almost maintained the level of last year.

The Mühlbauer Group considers itself well positioned for the future: As a result of the increasing implementation of security-oriented identification systems in Smart Card and passport format the demand for innovative and reliable technology and software solutions is growing. Because of the high preparedness of many states to make major investments the opportunities are very positive to benefit from this trend. Additionally RFID technology, which is predicted to possess high growth potential, is also gaining importance. With its sophisticated technology solutions for the manufacture of RFID Smart Label, Mühlbauer is extremely well prepared to generate above-average profits from the expected rise in demand in these future markets. Based on its comprehensive, innovative and solution-oriented product portfolio, the global technology group expects to continue the positive trend in business.

Discover the smart world of TECURITY®

Mühlbauer is a global and independent consultant and manufacturer of technologically innovative security solutions in a market segment the company refers to as the TECURITY® market. With more than 1600 employees and a global network of sales and services, Mühlbauer is the leading supplier of production equipment for the Smart Card industry.
Mühlbauer system solutions are suitable for the manufacture of any card type. They are used in the production of ID cards, ePassports, eVisa, contact and contactless cards, dual interface cards and multimedia cards. The products are, above that, suitable for the manufacture of Smart Labels for the security, supply chain, textile and retail industries.
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