First Quarter 2009: PULSION stabilizes at previous year's level
Downward trend of previous months stopped / Sales and earnings similar to first quarter 2008 / As expected, realignment measures not yet fully affective / Significant improvement in cash flow
After the sharp downturn in the second half of 2008, PULSION AG was able to stabilize business in the first quarter 2009. With an EBIT of EUR 0.5 million on sales of EUR 6.8 million, the Group returned to the levels reported in the first quarter of the previous year. The EBIT margin also remained at 7%. Adjusted for exchange rate factors, first-quarter sales revenue would have edged up by 1.0%.
Disposable products doing better
The greater emphasis of the sales department on disposable products in the Critical Care line of business resulted in a 5% increase in revenue with disposable products (catheters and probes). First-quarter sales of these products, with which PULSION generates its best margins, increased from EUR 4.2 million to EUR 4.4 million, while the subsidized sale of monitors decreased by 13% from EUR 1.7 million to EUR 1.5 million. First-quarter sales in the Pharma line of business fell by 4% from EUR 0.9 million to EUR 0.86 million, mainly reflecting mainly a lower volume of orders from one major customer.
Turnaround achieved with cash flow
The first-quarter free cash flow turned round from a cash outflow of EUR 0.8 million to a cash inflow of EUR 0.6 million, This improvement was due to a EUR 0.4 million reduction in operating costs, lower capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment (mainly reflecting the fact that the production site in Feldkirchen has been completed) and a lower number of monitor placements.
PULSION's first-quarter gross margin fell from 71% to 66%. Of this 5 percentage point decrease, 3 percentage points were attributable to exceptional factors. The remaining 2 percentage points were caused by sales deductions given to customers in the previous year which so far it has not been possible to adjust. In line with other medical technology companies, PULSION is aiming in the medium term to achieve a gross margin of 70%.
Business down in Europe and up in the rest of world
PULSION generated 87% of its first-quarter sales in its core region, Europe. At EUR 5.9 million, this was 7% less than in the previous year (Q1 2008: EUR 6.3 million). Business in the USA, an important market for the future, developed well. Even though still at a lower level, first-quarter sales on this market went up from EUR 0.1 million to EUR 0.2 million, corresponding to a growth rate of 52%. In the Rest of the World, PULSION recorded sales growth of 150% with sales revenue rising from EUR 0.2 million to EUR 0.6 million mainly on the back of the sell-off of PiCCOplus equipment on the Asian market.
"As reported in the Annual Report, the new strategy has not yet become fully affective in such a short space of time", commented PULSION's CFO Frank Posnanski. "So far, only the improvement in catheter sales gives an indication that the course adopted in autumn 2008 is the right one". PULSION will issue its first forecast for the financial year at the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 18, 2009.
PULSION Medical Systems SE
PULSION Medical Systems AG, founded in 1990, has become one of the leading specialists for intelligent medical diagnosis and therapy management systems and has been listed on the Stock Exchange in Frankfurt since 2001. The repeated development of innovative product lines in the medtech field is the basis for creation and expansion of the attractive disposable business with sterile products and pharmaceuticals.
The business unit PULSION Critical Care covering intensive care medicine, perioperative medicine and emergency medicine focuses on the management of cardiovascular and organ functions of critically ill patients.
Products and activities of the business unit PULSION Pharma are directed at the diagnosis and therapy management of organ and tissue perfusion in ophthalmology, surgery and hepatology.
PULSION products are marketed worldwide via own sales channels or secondary distribution. All products are certified with the CE mark which is basis for marketing in the EU and some other countries. The US-American FDA approval and the Japanese market approval have been issued for selected product lines.
Further information about PULSION is available at www.pulsion.com.