Press release BoxID: 460783 (Mühlbauer Holding AG & Co. KGaA)
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Third quarter 2011: Huge investments in research and development impacts earnings - Mühlbauer remains optimistic

(PresseBox) (Roding, ) The globally active Mühlbauer technology group continued to fill its order books in Q3 2011. At the same time, the solution provider pushed ahead its market position and invested more in research and development than ever before to gear up for the markets that are becoming noticeably rougher. Even though the company's earning power was unable to benefit equally as in the same period of the previous year, the company remains optimistic and is still expecting to achieve total sales of approx. EUR 200 million.

At EUR 53.3 million, the sales achieved by the solution provider during the reporting period was virtually at the level of the previous year (PY: EUR 54.5 million), while gross profit dropped 11.1%, from EUR 22.0 million to EUR 19.6 million - also as a result of higher personnel costs due to project-related recruitment. Based on sales, the gross profit margin therefore declined by 3.7% points, dropping from 40.4% to 36.7%. The EUR 3.0 million rise in selling expenses against Q3 2010 and the EUR 1.4 million personnel-related rise in research and development expenses also impacted operating income negatively. Based on the sales achieved during the quarter, this results in an EBIT margin of 8.9% (PY: 20.9%). The statement of income for the period under review reports net earnings of EUR 3.5 million, EUR 5.7 million less than for the same period of the previous year (PY: EUR 9.2 million). During the reporting period, earnings per share totals EUR 0.23, after EUR 0.63 year-on-year.

With a slight decline in sales and cost of sales to EUR 144.9 million (PY: EUR 147.5 million) in the nine-month comparison, gross profit was only slightly lower year-on-year, at EUR 57.5 million (PY: EUR 58.3 million). This corresponds to a gross profit margin of 39.8%, after 39.6% year-on-year. Cost increases pertaining to selling and administrative expenses as well as in the research and development area ultimately resulted in the fact that the EBIT of EUR 16.8 million, achieved in the first nine months of 2011, lagged the previous year's result of EUR 27.6 million significantly - by EUR 10.8 million. This corresponds to an EBIT margin of 11.6%, after 18.7% year-on-year. If the income for the comparative period is adjusted for special effects from legal disputes that have since been finalized, this results in a downturn of EBIT by EUR 8.5 million. The net earnings achieved in the nine-month period total EUR 12.8 million, after EUR 21.8 million in the first nine months of the previous year. Earnings per share amount to EUR 0.87 (PY: EUR 1.50).

In the first nine months of the current financial year, cashflow from operating activities was EUR +26.1 million, which is EUR 10.7 million below the previous year's level (PY: EUR +36.8 million). Adjusted for cashflows from transactions with short-term marketable securities and taking into consideration the outflows from ongoing investments of EUR 20.2 million (PY: EUR 18.1 million), this results in a free cashflow of minus EUR 6.3 million - after EUR 24.6 million year-on-year.

The consolidated order income of the worldwide system partner for ID solutions totaled EUR 56.4 million in Q3 2011 and was thus 10.2% lower year-on-year (EUR 62.8 million). The reason for this decline was primarily the decrease in demand for semiconductor back-end products in the second half of 2011, after the strong growth experienced in the previous year. Based on the first nine months of 2011, order income amounted to EUR 199.1 million, which corresponds to a decline of 15.6% against the order value of EUR 235.9 million achieved in the first nine months of 2010.

The business model of the Mühlbauer Group is based on a solid groundwork that has evolved for a period of thirty years. The high innovative strength and early positioning of the company in promising emerging markets involving the intelligent identification of people or flows of goods have turned Mühlbauer into a globally leading partner of numerous governments and prestigious industrial companies. Following the reinforcement of its investments of up to EUR 30 million in the year under review and the distinct intensification of its research and development activities, the company considers itself very well positioned for further growth in the 2012 financial year, despite the clouding of the overall economic outlook.

Mühlbauer Holding AG & Co. KGaA

As an independent partner, Mühlbauer is already involved in more than 300 ID projects and supports numerous governments and public authorities worldwide, accepting full responsibility for the introduction of innovative ID documents. As a developer and manufacturer of the complete range of hardware and software systems in-house, customers benefit particularly from the technological and market expertise of the solution provider for the recording of personal and biometric data, the production and personalization of individual ID documents such as ID cards and ePassports, through to fully automatic access controls, which it gained over a period of thirty years.