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Economic crisis affects 1st quarter 2009 for the Jenoptik Group

(PresseBox) (Jena, ) In the 1st quarter 2009 the Jenoptik Group was unable to repeat the performance achieved by the key indicators in the previous year and is feeling the effects of the continuing crisis in the semiconductor and automotive industries. The Defense & Civil Systems segment reported another positive performance.

The Jenoptik Group posted sales of 117.7 million euros in the 1st quarter 2009, nearly 9 percent below the figure for the same period in the previous year (prev. year 129.2 million euros). The Group result from operating activities (Group EBIT) was 0.4 million euros (prev. year 9.2 million euros), the EBITDA 7.7 million euros (prev. year 16.4 million euros). The main reasons for the fall in sales and Group EBIT are a continuing weak demand from the semiconductor and automotive industries which was particularly reflected in the key indicators of the Lasers & Optical Systems and Metrology segments. In addition, the lower volumes meant there was intense competition for the remaining business. As expected, the Defense & Civil Systems segment showed a good performance during the course of the 1st quarter 2009. However, an increase in sales in the double-figure percentage range plus a virtual doubling of the result from operating activities was unable to fully compensate for the reduction in the two other segments.

The Jenoptik Group improved the financial result by comparison with the 1st quarter 2008 to minus 3.3 million euros (prev. year minus 4.8 million euros). This was attributable both to an improvement in the investment as well as the net interest result. The investment result for the same period in the previous year still included the costs for Xtreme technologies which had been sold in May of the previous year. In the current year the net interest result was positively influenced by a generally lower level of short-term interest rates. The Group earnings before tax totaled minus 2.9 million euros (prev. year 4.4 million euros); the earnings after tax minus 2.7 million euros (prev. year plus 3.2 million euros).

The order intake of the Jenoptik Group reached 109.9 million euros and was therefore approx. 20.8 percent down on the same period in the previous year (prev. year 138.8 million euros) but at the same level as in the 4th quarter 2008 (109.8 million euros). As a consequence of the lower order intake in comparison with sales the order backlog of the Jenoptik Group fell slightly as against the end of 2008, to 384.8 million euros (Dec. 31, 2008: 395.1 million euros).

Cash flow from current business activities was below the level for the previous year but nevertheless remained in positive territory at 2.3 million euros (prev. year 7.9 million euros). The reduction was due mainly to the negative earnings before tax for the quarter.

Net debt of the Jenoptik Group, at 194.6 million euros, remained at a consistent level (Dec. 31, 2008: 191.6 million euros). The shareholders' equity quota increased once again as the result of a reduction in the balance sheet total and as at end March 2009 was 42.9 percent (Dec. 31, 2008: 42.5 percent).

Development of staff numbers: short-time working in parts of the Group.

The number of employees in the Jenoptik Group remained constant at 3,399 (as at Dec. 31, 2008: 3,400). Switches between the segments and Other resulted from the transfer of employees to the Jenoptik Shared Service Center (SSC) which started operating in January 2009 with a total of 66 employees. Adjustments designed to reflect the reduction in capacity utilization in individual areas of Jenoptik, mainly in the Optical Systems and Industrial Metrology divisions, were made through the introduction of short-time working, further reduction in the number of temporary personnel plus staff reductions.

As at March 31, 2009 about 300 employees of the Jenoptik Group in Germany were on short-time working. The number of working hours for these employees was reduced by an average of 25 percent for an initial period of six months respectively. In April 2009 a further 107 employees were placed on short-time working. "Our fundamental aim is to retain know-how within the company" stated the Jenoptik Chairman Michael Mertin. With this in mind Jenoptik had also decided to invest in future in vocational training. In April 2009 JENOPTIK AG, together with SCHOTT JENAer GLAS GmbH and Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH, became the third shareholder in the Jena Training Center which is responsible for providing training in the optical, precision mechanic, electronic and commercial careers, for career advice and guidance in the selection of study courses, as well as for retraining, qualifications, advanced and further training in the area of adult training in and around Jena.

The number of employees within the Jenoptik Group in the year 2009 as a whole will reduce. Adjustments in personnel numbers are to be planned primarily within the framework of the Jenoptik Excellence Program. The analysis phase of this comprehensive program aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing costs has now been completed. The implementation of the initial measures will begin in the current 2nd quarter, with the first effects being felt in the 2nd half-year 2009.

Information on the Jenoptik Group segments.

In the 1st quarter 2009 the global economic crisis impacted on the Lasers & Optical Systems segment. Sales, results and order intake were consequently down on the level in the previous year. The segment posted sales of 36.9 million euros (prev. year 54.6 million euros) with the two divisions contributing to the 32.4 percent fall. The Optical Systems division continues to be affected by the ongoing crisis in the semiconductor industry. The reduction in demand from the automotive industry was felt by the Lasers & Material Processing division. This was reflected primarily in the segment's result from operating activities (EBIT) which reported a negative figure of minus 1.3 million euros in the 1st quarter (prev. year 7.2 million euros). There was a similar picture in the order book situation. Order intakes were down by 37.1 percent compared with the same period in the previous year to 41.9 million euros (prev. year 66.6 million euros). Thus the order intake was higher than sales increasing the segment's order backlog by 6.3 percent as against December 31, 2008 to 67.6 million euros (Dec. 31, 2008: 63.6 million euros).

In the Metrology segment the effects of the crisis in the automotive industry could not be offset by the smaller, albeit more stable Traffic Solutions division. At 24.3 million euros the segment achieved sales at almost the same level as in the previous year (prev. year 25.9 million euros), with the Industrial Metrology division still benefiting from the order backlog resulting from the period prior to the crisis. The segment's result from operating activities (EBIT) reduced by comparison with the same quarter in the previous year and, at minus 2.1 million euros, was once again in negative territory (prev. year minus 1.1 million euros). In addition to the consequences of the crisis in the automotive industry this was also attributable to the costs for establishing the Traffic Service Providing business unit. The segment's order book situation - by contrast to the development of sales - reflects the current situation: order intakes reduced by comparison with the period in the previous year by 36.2 percent to 19.9 million euros (prev. year 31.2 million euros). Order intakes, particularly in the Industrial Metrology division, also fell once again compared with the 4th quarter 2008. The order backlog of the segment reduced from 37.0 million euros as at end 2008 to 32.0 million euros.

In the 1st quarter 2009 the Defense & Civil Systems segment continued its successful development of business achieved in the previous year in market conditions which remained stable to good, although in the 1st quarter it benefited from the delivery of a major order which will be completed in the current 2nd quarter. The segment increased its sales by 14.3 percent over the 1st quarter 2008 to 54.4 million euros (prev. year 47.6 million euros), with all business units contributing towards the positive performance. The result from operating activities (EBIT) improved by 96.0 percent to 4.9 million euros (prev. year 2.5 million euros), here again the significant contribution coming from the Sensor Systems business unit as a result of the economies of scale within the framework of the major order. The order book situation also reflected the good to stable development by the segment and the target markets. The order intake increased by 16.9 percent to 46.4 million euros (prev. year 39.7 million euros); the order backlog reduced slightly to 285.8 million euros (Dec. 31, 2008: 294.6 million euros) as the result of a slight increase in the sales volume compared with the order intake.

Outlook for the current fiscal year.

Sales and results for the year 2009 will not reach the same levels as in 2008. "We must face up to numerous challenges resulting from the economic crisis", stated Michael Mertin, Chairman of the Executive Board of JENOPTIK AG. These include more difficult sales conditions and increasingly more intense competition in the remaining business.

However, the extent of the consequences of the economic crisis varies in the individual Jenoptik segments. In the difficult environment this year Jenoptik will continue to benefit from the stable business generated by the Defense & Civil Systems segment which is expected to make another contribution to sales in excess of 200 million euros in 2009 (2008: 208.5 million euros). We also anticipate relative stability in the development of sales in the Traffic Solutions division (Metrology segment). However, as a result of the fall in demand, sales of the Optical Systems and Industrial Metrology divisions in 2009 are expected to be sharply down on the 2008 fiscal year.

The Jenoptik Group results from operating activities will be influenced by the anticipated reduction in the sales volume as well as a market environment in which competition is intense. As a result of the stable contribution from the Defense & Civil Systems segment as well as the Group's presence in various markets, the Jenoptik Management continues to predict a positive Group operating result. However, in the context of the economic crisis, the possibility of additional one-off effects having a negative impact on the results cannot be ruled out - these include for example customers or suppliers becoming insolvent or experiencing difficulties in obtaining finance, or mainly non-cash one-off expenses resulting from measures aimed at reducing costs and increasing efficiency within the Jenoptik Group.

The complete report on the 1st quarter 2009 will be available to you online as pdf-file at under Investors / Accounts and Reports from 9 a.m.