The Group’s stable course should continue in 2009.
The Jenoptik Group can look back on a successful 2008 despite the marked downturn in economic activity, particularly in the 2nd half-year 2008 and was able to increase sales and operating result compared with 2007. In 2008 the measures introduced during the course of 2007 as part of the strategic realignment were proven to have been correct and necessary. Since December 22, 2008 the Group has been included again in the TecDax due to its positive development.
According to initial calculations group sales 2008 will total almost 550 million euros, just short of the original target. Compared with sales of 521 million euros in the 2007 fiscal year, sales are expected to reflect an increase of approx. 5 percent which has been achieved exclusively through our own resources, i.e. through organic growth.
The group operating result in 2008, expected to be approx. 37 million euros, reached the lower end of the forecast range issued in spring 2008. The optoelectronics group is therefore reaffirming its forecast results despite difficult economic conditions and the collapse of the semiconductor market. In 2008 the Jenoptik Group benefited from the increased demand for defense and security technology, the pick-up in the international traffic safety market in the 2nd half-year 2008, the successful and global integration of Etamic into the Industrial Metrology division as well as the consistent disposal of marginal activities during the course of 2007 and in the 1st half-year 2008 as part of the Group’s strategic realignment.
In 2008 the financial result will improve significantly compared with the previous year. Expenses from the investment result will reduce only slightly. On the other hand, as forecast the net interest result will improve substantially by 11 to 14 million euros, according to provisional calculations it will come in at the upper end of this range.
Earnings before tax in 2008 will be significantly above the 0.7 million euros in the previous year thanks to the slight increase in the EBIT and the positive effect in the net financial result and come in at a double-digit million euros amount. As expected, the Jenoptik Group was able to finance the growth with the positive operating cash flow. According to provisional calculations net debt as at the end of the 2008 fiscal year remained below the 200 million euro mark.
In 2008 the Jenoptik Group reported an overall stable performance in its operating business and was able to compensate for economic fluctuations. As expected, the performance by the individual segments varied.
For the Lasers & Optical Systems segment the 2nd half-year 2008 was a difficult period. The slump of the semiconductor industry which has deepened since the summer of 2008 clearly left its mark on the operating business. Consequently, the segment will post sales and results down on those for the previous year although in the years 2005 to 2007 it managed to post double-figure percentage increases in its performance indicators in each case. The Optoelectronical Systems business unit, whose photo diode and LED areas of business were strengthened by the purchase of the Berlin-based Epigap at the end of 2007, posted a positive performance. The Micro Optics business unit was able to partially cushion the semiconductor crisis through high technology products and the Diode Lasers business unit can look back on a successful fiscal year. In the Laser Processing Systems business unit Jenoptik has firmly established itself in the photovoltaics sector, reporting strong sales growth and enabling it to offset falling orders from the automotive industry.
As previously announced, the Metrology segment achieved the turnaround in the 2nd half-year 2008. The operating result showed a marked return to profits as the traffic solutions business recovered sharply in the 2nd half-year. At the same time further investment was made in the new Traffic Service Providing area of business in the USA and this was processed in full on the results side. In 2008 Industrial Metrology benefited from its global position as a total provider following the successful integration of Etamic and amalgamation of the structures. Although the slump of the global automotive industry in the last two months of 2008 was reflected in the order intake this was offset by a very good business performance during the previous months, enabling the division to start 2009 with a stable order backlog.
The Defense & Civil Systems segment can look back over a highly successful year. Sales and results reported double figure increases in percentage terms. Strong demand for defense and security technology had an impact in this respect. The Sensor Systems business unit reported continued success in placing new developments on the market such as e.g. new infrared-based border surveillance systems for the EU’s external borders in the Ukraine. Following a difficult 2007 the Optronics business unit benefited from new orders in the aerospace technology area within the framework of its project business and established itself for example as the leading provider of positioning control and docking sensors worldwide.
Into 2009 with a stable order book situation.
Although the order intake and backlog posted a fall particularly in the final months of the previous fiscal year this was primarily attributable to the generally troubled semiconductor and automotive industry. The group order intake is therefore expected to be down on the figure for the year 2007 but still just exceed the 500 million euro mark (prev. year 525.8 million euros). With a forecast order backlog of almost 400 million euros, as expected the order backlog failed to reach the same high level as in the previous year (prev.year. 439.4 million euros). However, both in the Defense & Civil Systems segment and increasingly in the other segments, the Jenoptik Group is focusing on long-term agreements and supply partnerships.
The Jenoptik Group is keeping to its medium to long-term growth targets. Sales in the medium to long-term are therefore expected to increase to 1 billion euros with a marked improvement in the EBIT margin compared with the current figure, then rising to between nine and ten percent. “At this point in time it is virtually impossible to predict the extent of the time delay that will be caused by the current economic crisis” says Dr. Michael Mertin, Chairman of the Jenoptik Executive Board. “We are continuing our strategic realignment on a consistent basis along our five value levers of growth, client orientation, internationalization, employees & management as well as operational excellence, as defined in 2007 and will take advantage of the crisis as an opportunity from which we aim to emerge stronger as an optoelectronics group” stated the Chairman.
In view of the current trends, which do not hold out the promise of any early economic recovery and the duration and depth of which are difficult to predict at this point in time, we cannot yet give any concrete forecasts for sales and results for the 2009 fiscal year. However, on today’s assessments the Group will be unable to escape fully unscathed from a continuation of the weakness in economic development, particularly in the semiconductor and automotive industry. The Group intends to continue exploiting opportunities on a consistent basis, thanks in particular to the group-wide expertise as an optoelectronics group and therefore as a provider of a cross-sectional technology and continue to benefit from its broadly-based position and gain market shares.
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