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SMT Scharf AG publishes final figures for 2008
Foreign share of revenues up slightly again / EBIT margin up to 14.9 % from 14.6 % / Proposed dividend of € 0.85 per share
At the same time, foreign revenues fell by € 0.4 million year-on-year to € 37.5 million after having increased for the previous three successive years. This was in particular due to the fact that Russian customers postponed orders at the start of November that would originally have been shipped by the end of 2008.
On the profits side, the SMT Scharf Group booked EBIT of € 7.4 million (previous year: € 7.5 million), lifting the EBIT margin to 14.9 % from 14.6 %. This was supported, in particular, by progress in making production more flexible and international as well as the successful launch of new products. Owing to changes in the product mix, the cost of materials ratio fell to 48.1 % from 49.1 %. The ratio of personnel expenses was unchanged year-on-year. Other operating expenses increased, in particular as a result of charges from adverse changes in currency exchange rates. Net income fell to € 5.3 million from € 6.0 million. In the previous year, the reduction in deferred tax liabilities as a result of the reform of corporate taxation in Germany had a positive impact on earnings.
On December 31, 2008, SMT Scharf's order book totaled € 26.2 million, up 180 % year-onyear. Around 90 % of these orders stemmed from foreign countries. This increase was due to orders from mine operators, which comprise several machines that are to be shipped over a staggered period. This coincided with the unscheduled postponement of several orders from Russia.
The SMT Scharf Group continued to increase its international sales and service activities. It formed a subsidiary in Russia, allowing the company to offer its own services there in future.
As a result of its more intense sales efforts, it has, in turn, been able to acquire several new customers, including in China, South Africa and Ukraine.
"Despite some setbacks, 2008 was another year of successful international growth for SMT Scharf, and we are proud that our corporate strategy has once again earned its laurels," commented Dr. Friedrich Trautwein, SMT Scharf AG's CEO. Management believes that it will be able to further increase revenues and earnings on average over the coming years. Russia, Poland, China and South Africa will continue to be key markets in this regard.
The Managing and Supervisory Boards will make a proposal to the General Meeting for fiscal year 2008 to distribute a dividend of € 0.70 per share and a bonus dividend of € 0.15, or a total of € 0.85 per share. This corresponds to a 68 % distribution rate. In terms of the closing price of SMT Scharf's shares on March 6, 2009, the dividend return is 10.0 %.
The full annual financial report for 2008 can be downloaded from the investor relations section of www.smtscharf.com.
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