Reporting its forecast for the current fiscal year, Jenoptik posted order intake at the same level as sales, with a slight fall in sales and earnings. The order backlog of the Jenoptik Group as at 31 March 2013, at EUR 447.5 million, remained at the same high level of EUR 446.8 million as at the end of the year 2012.
As expected, sales and earnings in the first quarter 2013 came in 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 with a comparatively weak first 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.
Jenoptik posted sales of EUR 132.0 million in the first quarter of 2013 (prev. year EUR 137.7 million). The slight decline of 4.1% 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% of sales abroad (prev. year 63%). 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% 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 EUR 10.6 million, remained slightly below the level of the previous year (prev. year EUR 11.6 million). The EBIT margin was 8.0% (prev. year 8.4%). By contrast, the gross margin improved due partly to the cost reductions arising from the Jenoptik Excellence programme, 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 EUR 1.6 million (prev. year minus EUR 1.7 million). “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 EUR 1.2 million (in prev. year EUR 1.4 million). The earnings after tax totalled EUR 7.9 million (prev. year EUR 8.4 million).
At EUR 132.0 million the order intake was at precisely the same level as sales (prev. year EUR 148.8 million). “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 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 first quarter 2013 remained below the previous year‘s level (prev. year EUR 148.8 million).
The order backlog of the Jenoptik Group as at 31 March 2013, at EUR 447.5 million, remained at the same high level of EUR 446.8 million as at the end of the year 2012.
As at the end of the first quarter 2013 the Jenoptik Group had 3,297 employees (31.12.2012: 3,272). Employees were recruited primarily in the Metrology segment.
As a result of the repayment of short-term financial liabilities, net debt as at 31 March 2013 was further reduced to the new figure of EUR 72.0 million (31.12.2012: EUR 74.5 million).
In April 2013, Jenoptik concluded a syndicated loan of EUR 120 million 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 first quarter 2013, the shareholders’ equity quota of the Jenoptik Group once again rose above the 50% level to 50.4% (31.12.2012: 49.3%).
The development of the Lasers & Optical Systems segment was characterized by a cautious start due to the continuing weakness of the semiconductor market. At EUR 49.7 million, sales remained below the level for the previous year (prev. year EUR 57.2 million) 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 EUR 4.1 million (prev. year EUR 8.9 million). The order intake, at EUR 52.2 million, was at almost the same level as in the previous year (prev. year EUR 55.0 million), slightly exceeded sales. The order backlog at EUR 107.1 million was also up slightly on the previous year (31.12.2012: EUR 105.2 million).
The first quarter 2013 was also a very successful one for the Metrology segment. Sales rose to EUR 42.8 million (prev. year EUR 37.2 million). 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 EUR 6.5 million (prev. year EUR 3.0 million). The order intake, at EUR 42.2 million (prev. year EUR 58.9 million), 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 EUR 88.5 million, was at the same level as at the end of 2012 (31.12.2012: EUR 87.4 million).
The Defence & Civil Systems segment successfully continued its chosen course of internationalization. However, sales postponed to subsequent periods led to a decline in sales down to EUR 39.5 million (prev. year EUR 43.6 million). As a result of this development of business, the segment EBIT fell from EUR 1.3 million to EUR 0.3 million. The order intake was slightly up on the level of the previous year at EUR 37.4 million (prev. year EUR 35.3 million), the order backlog totalled EUR 253.5 million compared with EUR 255.8 million as of 31 December 2012.
“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%. 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 operational EBIT should come in between EUR 50 and 55 million. 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.