Mühlbauer takes stock: Strong Cards & TECURITY® business generates sales growth of 8.4% - dividend of EUR 1.00 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, qualified as system partner of further states for the entire technology and know-how transfer in the year under review. At EUR 172.9 million, the company achieved record sales that exceeded the previous year's figure (PY: EUR 159.5 million) by 8.4%, while EBIT before the special charges for the defense of patent infringement suits improved by 3.4%, at EUR 27.3 million. This corresponds with an EBIT margin of 15.8%. Furthermore, in the year under review, the technology group drove the initial stage of its internationalization process ahead and will finalize this as scheduled with the planned completion of its two new technology centers in Slovakia and the USA in spring 2009. The personally liable shareholder and the Supervisory Board intend to continue the stable dividend policy and will make a proposal to the Annual General Meeting to pay in comparison to the previous year an unchanged dividend of EUR 1.00 per no-par value share.

Against the background of the difficult economic market situation, the company is currently anticipating a stable development of sales and earnings for the 2009 financial year and further growth for the following year.

Development of earnings. Taking into account the special effect of EUR 3.1 million from setting up a provision for legal costs in connection with the defense of a pending patent infringement suit, which impacted earnings, EBIT in the year under review totaled EUR 24.2 million, compared to EUR 26.4 million year-on-year. This corresponds to a drop of the EBIT margin from 16.6% to 14.0%. Against the background of the financial market disruptions and the resultant net losses from the sale of securities of EUR +0.2 million in total, the financial result was significantly lower year-on-year (EUR +2.0 million). Consequential EBT amounts to EUR 24.4 million, which is EUR 4.0 million or 14.1% less year-on-year (EUR 28.4 million) and corresponds to a profit margin of 14.1%, against 17.9% in the previous year. Taking into account the Corporate Tax Reform adopted in 2007, the tax rate dropped to 25.1% during the reporting period, after 37.1% in the previous year before income from the reduction of deferred assets, which arose in the course of this reform. At EUR 18.3 million, net income for the year was 4.4% lower than that for the 2007 financial year (PY: EUR 19.1 million). Thus, earnings per share declined from EUR 1.31 in the previous year to EUR 1.24 in the year under review.

Cashflow and liquidity. Due to the higher year-on-year liquidity requirements for the development of complete production lines in showrooms at national and international sites, cashflow from operating activities dropped from EUR 25.6 million to EUR 22.0 million. As anticipated, the free cashflow of EUR 6.3 million (PY: EUR 16.4 million), was lower year-on-year due to the significant increase of investing activities for the extension of national and international sites. Taking into account the distribution of profits in respect of the 2007 financial year, total net liquidity of the Group decreased from EUR 42.0 million to EUR 35.1 million. The equity ratio decreased from 81.2% to 77.5%.

Order income and order backlog. Primarily borne by the strong rise in demand for Cards & TECURITY® solutions, order income rose from EUR 167.5 million by 13.0% to EUR 189.2 million. While the company recorded marked growth of 37.1% to EUR 125.7 million (PY: EUR 91.7 million) with orders for Cards & TECURITY® solutions and once again successfully qualified itself as a one-stop solution provider with complete responsibility for a large project, orders for Semiconductor Related Products declined by 27.3%, from EUR 39.2 million in the previous year to EUR 28.5 million in the year under review, due to the weak semiconductor environment and delays in converting to RFID Smart Labels. The general economic decline in demand particularly in the automotive industry led to a slight downturn of orders for Traceability solutions in the year under review - after high growth in previous years - of 3.1% to EUR 15.8 million (PY: EUR 16.3 million). At EUR 19.2 million (PY: EUR 20.3 million) order income in Precision Parts & Systems was 5.4% below the level of the previous year after the sustained dynamic for the last three years. To the end of the year under review, order backlog rose 10.7% and totaled EUR 80.8 million (PY: EUR 73.0 million).

Sales. In sales Mühlbauer achieved a record high: At EUR 172.9 million, the Mühlbauer technology group exceeded the previous year's value of EUR 159.5 million, which corresponds with an increase of 8.4%. Cards & TECURITY® solutions provided the greatest increase in sales in terms of volume, which rose from EUR 89.2 million by 13.1% to EUR 100.9 million. In the year under review, the technology group recorded sales proceeds of EUR 34.9 million from the marketing of Semiconductor Related Products, which also comprise automation systems for the production of RFID Smart Labels, thus virtually stagnating at the declining level of previous year's sales (PY: EUR 36.1 million). Sales of machines and systems for the labeling and identification of electronic components, referred to in brief as "Traceability", rose strongly by 26.4% to EUR 17.7 million. With regard to the manufacture of highly precise parts and components for sensitive security and safety-related applications, in brief "Precision Parts and Systems", the technology group virtually maintained the high sales growth of the previous year with EUR 19.4 million (PY: EUR 20.2 million)

Outlook. The Mühlbauer technology group, which is the only system partner worldwide for the complete transfer of technology and expertise related to the manufacture of electronic ID documents, is retaining its long-term growth strategy. Due to the fact that Mühlbauer is unique as a provider of one-stop solutions, the company is assuming that it will be able to further increase its attractiveness on the market, thus being increasingly able to benefit from the global transformation process. The Mühlbauer Group is therefore currently expecting that it will at least be able to compensate the temporary weakness in demand for products from semiconductor-related industries, Traceability applications and Precision Parts & Systems. Overall, we are anticipating the stable development of sales and earnings for the 2009 financial year and further growth for the following year.
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