Jenoptik remains on track in the 1st quarter 2013. Executive Board reaffirms its forecast for the current fiscal year 2013

Sales and operating earnings down just slightly on the previous year in challenging economic conditions and in spite of the continued expansion of sales activities and R+D

(PresseBox) ( Jena, )
As expected, sales and earnings in the 1st quarter 2013 came in slightly below the high level of the previous year. The predicted weakness in the semiconductor industry continued in the quarter covered by the report. "In addition to fluctuations during the year with a comparatively weak 1st quarter, changes in demand from the semiconductor industry do of course impact on the Group's earnings but can be better compensated than still just a few years ago. The continued internationalization, improved cost structures, as well as the targeted development of projects with key customers had positive effects also in a challenging economic environment," states Jenoptik Chairman Dr. Michael Mertin.

Order intake at the same level as sales. Sales and earnings report slight fall.

Jenoptik posted sales of 132.0 million euros in the 1st quarter of 2013 (prev. year 137.7 million euros). The slight decline of 4.1 percent resulted from the continuing weakness in the semiconductor market and postponement of sales to subsequent periods. The Group continued its successful strategy of internationalization and generated 66 percent of sales abroad (prev. year 63 percent). There was a particularly strong rise in sales in America. The two growth regions of America and Asia/Pacific once again accounted for more than 30 percent of Group sales. In 2012, Jenoptik further expanded its sales and service structures, especially in these two regions. Since then, the international activities of the Group have been strengthened by new locations in Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore.

As a result of the development of sales and due to the continued expansion of sales structures and expected higher R&D costs, the Group operating result (EBIT), at 10.6 million euros, remained slightly below the level of the previous year (prev. year 11.6 million euros). The EBIT margin was 8.0 percent (prev. year 8.4 percent). By contrast, the gross margin improved due partly to the cost reductions arising from the Jenoptik Excellence program as well as economies of scale in conjunction with major projects acquired.

Lower interest expenses led to an improvement in the financial result to minus 1.6 million euros (prev. year minus 1.7 million euros). "On the one side, this development reflects the reduction in liabilities to banks but also the improvement in Jenoptik's creditworthiness," says Chief Financial Officer Rüdiger Andreas Günther. Income taxes amounted to 1.2 million euros (prev. year 1.4 million euros). The earnings after tax totaled 7.9 million euros (prev. year 8.4 million euros).

At 132.0 million euros the order intake was at precisely the same level as sales (prev. year 148.8 million euros). "Even in the current difficult economic environment, we succeeded in posting a good order intake because we are able to offer our customers and partners excellent solutions. To this end, we utilize our comprehensive know-how in all aspects of optoelectronics," says Michael Mertin. The order intake is subject to substantial fluctuations during the year due to major projects. In the first three months of the previous year the order intake included amongst others the major order for traffic safety technology from Malaysia on a pro rata basis. Consequently, as expected, the order intake in the 1st quarter 2013 remained below the previous year's level (prev. year 148.8 million euros).

The order backlog of the Jenoptik Group as at March 31, 2013, at 447.5 million euros, remained at the same high level of 446.8 million euros as at the end of the year 2012.

Small increase in number of employees.

As at the end of the 1st quarter 2013 the Jenoptik Group had 3,297 employees (31.12.2012: 3,272). Employees were recruited primarily in the Metrology segment.

Further reduction in net debt. Shareholders' equity quota once again above the 50 percent level.

As a result of the repayment of short-term financial liabilities, net debt as at March 31, 2013 was further reduced to the new figure of 72.0 million euros (31.12.2012: 74.5 million euros).

In April 2013, Jenoptik concluded a syndicated loan of 120 million euros with a period of five years. "With this credit line with attractive terms we have not only created financial flexibility for future growth, but this also enabled us to establish an international core group of banks," said Rüdiger Andreas Günther, commenting on the conclusion of the contract.

As a result of the profit achieved in the 1st quarter 2013, the shareholders' equity quota of the Jenoptik Group once again rose above the 50 percent level to 50.4 percent (31.12.2012: 49.3 percent).

Information on the Jenoptik Group's segments.

The development of the Lasers & Optical Systems segment was characterized by a cautious start due to the continuing weakness of the semiconductor market. At 49.7 million euros, sales remained below the level for the previous year (prev. year 57.2 million euros) as a result of among other things the declining demand from this sector. The development of sales as well the investments in the future were reflected in the segment's EBIT, which stood at 4.1 million euros (prev. year 8.9 million euros). The order intake, at 52.2 million euros, was at almost the same level as in the previous year (prev. year 55.0 million euros), slightly exceeded sales. The order backlog at 107.1 million euros was also up slightly on the previous year (31.12.2012: 105.2 million euros).

The 1st quarter 2013 was also a very successful one for the Metrology segment. Sales rose to 42.8 million euros (prev. year 37.2 million euros). The increase was attributable on the one side to industrial metrology, which benefited from strong demand from the automotive industry as a result of the global trend towards fuel-saving and low-emission engines, and on the other side from traffic safety systems as a result of deliveries for major projects. The segment EBIT more than doubled to 6.5 million euros (prev. year 3.0 million euros). The order intake, at 42.2 million euros (prev. year 58.9 million euros), was below the high figure for the previous year, which had included among other things the major order for traffic safety technology form Malaysia. The order backlog, at 88.5 million euros, was at the same level as at the end of 2012 (31.12.2012: 87.4 million euros).

The Defense & Civil Systems segment successfully continued its chosen course of internationalization. However, sales postponed to subsequent periods led to a decline in sales down to 39.5 million euros (prev. year 43.6 million euros). As a result of this development of business, the segment EBIT fell from 1.3 million euros to 0.3 million euros. The order intake was slightly up on the level of the previous year at 37.4 million euros (prev. year 35.3 million euros), the order backlog totaled 253.5 million euros compared with 255.8 million euros as of December 31, 2012.

Outlook for the current fiscal year 2013: Forecasts reaffirmed.

"With its products, the Group is benefitting from future-oriented megatrends in the areas of energy efficiency, security, health, mobility, as well as the increasing global digitization. For us, these trends, together with our innovative products, the successful continued implementation of our internationalization strategy, as well as more efficient internal structures form a key basis for our future profitable growth," said Michael Mertin, commenting on the future prospects for the Jenoptik Group.

In 2013, Jenoptik intends to invest in the expansion of its sales structures and innovative products and optimize internal processes. To this end, various projects such as the initiatives for process harmonization and excellence - both in the operational business and the commercial area - will be continued on a consistent basis. In addition, Jenoptik is combining its optics manufacturing in North America at one site. In future the manufacture of energy systems will be concentrated at two locations in Germany. "These steps should help to strengthen profitability and enable synergies to be utilized to even better extent. We must implement these projects on a targeted basis in order to achieve excellence in the global competition and work more effectively internally," says Chief Financial Officer Rüdiger Andreas Günther in summary.

The Executive Board of Jenoptik reaffirms its forecasts for the fiscal year 2013. In challenging economic conditions it expects to see slight growth in sales of up to 5 percent. Regional growth will come primarily from America and Asia/Pacific. Depending upon the course of the semiconductor cycle and further development in demand from the automotive industry, especially in the 2nd half of 2013, the EBIT generated in the operating business should come in between 50 and 55 million euros. The costs for the above mentioned projects and optimization of the locations in the mid-single digit million euro range will also affect the EBIT.
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