Jenoptik posts good revenue and order intake in the first quarter

Revenue up on prior year at EUR 145.8 million; order intake increased to EUR 166.8 million; EBITDA boosted to EUR 15.8 million, EBIT as expected below prior year at EUR 8.7 million; 2015 guidance confirmed.

The Jenoptik Group ended the first quarter of 2015 as expected, with particularly encouraging development in orders and revenue seen in the Metrology as well as Defense & Civil Systems segments.
“Jenoptik started the new year as expected. Over the coming quarters, we are anticipating considerable growth in revenue and earnings, backed up by our well-filled project and order pipeline,” explains Jenoptik’s President & CEO Michael Mertin. “We will be realigning our organizational structure even more toward megatrends in the next few months, focusing on target markets to better serve customers with our products and solutions. This, in turn, will create better growth opportunities in the future.”
In the first three months of 2015, the Jenoptik Group generated revenue totalling EUR 145.8 million, 6.4% up on the prior year (prior year EUR 136.9 million). This was also the highest level of revenue posted by Jenoptik in a first quarter for a number of years. While the Metrology and Defense & Civil Systems segments grew, the Lasers & Optical Systems segment declined year-on-year due to weakened demand from the semiconductor equipment industry. Revenue was boosted in Germany, Europe and Asia.
At EUR 166.8 million, the order intake in the first three months was up 4.1% compared to the prior-year quarter (prior year EUR 160.3 million) and well above the quarter’s revenue. As of March 31, 2015, the order backlog, at EUR 447.4 million, exceeded the 2014 year-end figure by 5.9% (31/12/2014: EUR 422.5 million; 31/03/2014: EUR 432.8 million).
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 7.2% to EUR 15.8 million (prior year EUR 14.8 million). However, despite a slight increase in revenue income from operations (EBIT) at EUR 8.7 million did not, as expected, reach the prior-year level (prior year EUR 10.5 million), which included positive one-off effects. Depreciation effects from acquisitions completed in 2014, among other things, also reduced earnings in the first quarter of 2015. The EBIT margin fell from 7.7% to 6.0%.
On the back of an improved financial result of EUR 1.1 million (prior year minus EUR 1.5 million), the Jenoptik Group achieved higher earnings before tax in the period covered by the report than in the prior year (prior year EUR 9.0 million). Earnings after tax boosted to EUR 8.3 million, up on the prior-year figure of EUR 7.7 million.
As of March 31, 2015, the number of employees in the Jenoptik Group remained almost constant at 3,570 (31/12/2014: 3,553 employees). Around 18% of the workforce is employed abroad.
With the increased order intake and in preparation for future customer projects, working capital was built up in the first three months of 2015. Taken together with the payment made to the last silent real estate investor, this resulted, as scheduled, in an increase in net debt to EUR 111.2 million as of March 31, 2015 (31/12/2014: EUR 92.1 million).
In the first quarter of 2015, cash flows from operating activities came to minus EUR 0.8 million, considerably above the prior-year figure of minus EUR 7.1 million. The free cash flow improved to minus EUR 3.3 million (prior year minus EUR 10.7 million).
The Jenoptik Group’s equity ratio increased to 51.5% (31/12/2014: 50.1%). Together with the issued debenture loans and the syndicated loan, Jenoptik has a highly viable financing structure. “This gives us sufficient room for manoeuver to finance our future growth,” says Chief Financial Officer Hans-Dieter Schumacher. Jenoptik extended the existing syndicated loan in March 2015 and increased it from EUR 120 million to EUR 230 million. The company also successfully placed new debenture loans worth an increased sum of EUR 125 million in April.
The Lasers & Optical Systems segment reported a slow start of business in the first three months of the fiscal year. In part due to weakened demand from the semiconductor equipment industry, revenue fell 3.9% to EUR 56.3 million against the strong prior-year quarter which was marked by a very strong lithography market (prior year EUR 58.6 million). Business with laser systems and optoelectronic modules for medical technology applications showed positive development. The segment EBIT reduced by 43.2% to EUR 4.8 million. The prior-year figure of EUR 8.5 million was positively influenced by the one-off sale of a systems technology. At EUR 61.9 million, the order intake was down 5.2% on the prior year but above revenue in the reporting period. The segment’s order backlog rose to EUR 108.3 million (31/12/2014: EUR 100.8 million).
Slight capital expenditure growth in the automotive industry stimulated demand in the Metrology segment. In the first quarter, its revenue rose by 14.0% compared to the same period in the prior year, to EUR 46.5 million (prior year EUR 40.8 million). By contrast, the segment EBIT fell 24.0% to EUR 2.5 million (prior year EUR 3.4 million), in part due to depreciation effects from the companies acquired in 2014. The order intake increased significantly, to EUR 55.5 million (prior year EUR 44.7 million). At EUR 88.5 million, the segment’s order backlog was also well above the 2014 year-end figure (31/12/2014: EUR 77.2 million).
In the first quarter of 2015, the Defense & Civil Systems segment generated revenue of EUR 42.7 million, 13.9% higher than in the prior-year period (prior year EUR 37.5 million). With improved revenue and a higher margin in the product mix, the EBIT grew from minus EUR 0.9 million in the prior year to EUR 0.8 million. At EUR 50.7 million, the order intake exceeded both the prior-year figure and first-quarter revenue in 2015 (prior year EUR 49.8 million). It includes the scheduled major order to equip the Patriot missile defence system. The segment’s order backlog rose to EUR 253.5 million (31/12/2014: EUR 245.9 million).
The Executive Board reaffirms its 2015 guidance: Group revenue is expected to be between EUR 650 and 690 million; the EBIT margin between 8.5 and 9.5%. This presupposes that political and economic conditions do not deteriorate. In particular, these include export restrictions, regulations at European level, the Russia/Ukraine conflict and other disruptions in the euro zone.