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  • Micronas
  • Hans-Bunte-Strasse 19
  • 79108 Freiburg
  • http://www.micronas.com
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  • Susy Krucker
  • +49 (761) 517-2324

Currency effects hurt first quarter sales and results

(PresseBox) (Zürich, ) .
- Sales down on fourth quarter in Swiss franc terms; 6 percent growth after adjusting for currency movement
- Negative net result owing to euro losing value against the Swiss franc
- Sales forecast of CHF 71 million for first half of 2015 confirmed; EBIT margin expected to be between 3 and 4 percent

In the first quarter of 2015 income statement and balance sheet figures were pushed lower by their conversion into the Group's currency of account, the Swiss franc, owing to the removal of the minimum exchange rate between the euro and the franc.

Consolidated first quarter 2015 net sales at Micronas Group reached CHF 35.7 million. This is a fall of 8.1 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2014. After adjusting for currency movements, sales went up 6 percent quarter on quarter. Sales by the Automotive segment reached CHF 33.4 million, which is 8.5 percent lower than in the fourth quarter of 2014. After adjusting for currency movements, however, there was a rise of 5 percent. In the Industrial segment, sales came to CHF 2.3 million, which is a fall of 2.3 percent. After currency adjustment, though, a 12 percent rise was recorded.

Micronas Group's gross margin for the first quarter of 2015 was 27.8 percent of sales, compared with 34.1 percent in the previous quarter. The margin was influenced negatively in the first quarter by the reduction in inventories, which was designed to improve delivery performance. Operating profit (EBIT) was down slightly from the previous quarter's CHF 1.4 million to CHF 1.3 million; the first-quarter EBIT margin was 3.7 percent - unchanged on the previous quarter.

After financial income and taxes, this resulted in a loss of CHF 4.4 million for the first quarter of 2015. As already communicated in February 2015, this loss is mainly due to the valuation of euro-denominated cash holdings at Micronas Semiconductor Holding AG, which led to a book loss of CHF 6.0 million following the removal of the EUR-CHF minimum rate. Consequently, Micronas Group posted a loss per share of CHF 0.15 in the first quarter of 2015.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, cash, cash equivalents and short-term financial cash deposits fell by CHF 18.0 million to CHF 133.3 million, mainly because of exchange rate effects. Shareholders' equity came to CHF 83.9 million, giving an equity ratio of 31.8 percent, compared with 36.9 percent in the previous quarter. This fall was primarily due to the exchange rate related valuation of intercompany loans of an equity nature. The fact that pension provisions were calculated using a lower discount rate also had an effect.

Capacity utilization at the manufacturing facilities in Freiburg stood at around 85 percent in the first quarter of 2015. Incoming orders came to CHF 33.9 million, compared with CHF 40.8 million in the previous quarter. After currency adjustment this represents a fall of 5 percent against the fourth quarter of 2014. The book-to-bill ratio for the first quarter of 2015 was 0.95.

At this year's ordinary Shareholders' Meeting on March 27, 2015, all proposals put forward by the Board of Directors were approved. Board Members Heinrich W. Kreutzer, Lucas A. Grolimund and Dr. Dieter G. Seipler were re-elected and Stefanie Kahle-Galonske was elected as a new Member. Heinrich W. Kreutzer was also elected Chairman of the Board of Directors while Heinrich W. Kreutzer and Dr. Dieter G. Seipler were elected as members of the Nomination and Compensation Committee. The proposals on the maximum aggregate amount of compensation paid to the Board of Directors and Group Management were approved by a large majority. The proposed changes to the Articles of Incorporation on reducing the number of mandates Members of the Board of Directors can assume outside the Micronas Group, clarifications relating to pension benefits, following the corporate purpose and the basis of existing nominee rules were also all approved by a large majority.

The proposed distribution of CHF 0.05 per registered share against reserves from capital contributions was paid out to Micronas shareholders at the beginning of April 2015. The share buy-back program proceeded as planned; between March 10 and April 8, 2015 a total of 116 604 shares were repurchased, equivalent to 0.4 percent of the Company's share capital.

The Board of Directors and Management still expect sales of around CHF 71 million for the first half of 2015 based on an EUR/CHF rate of 1.05. Owing to the conversion of money held in foreign currencies, a loss is expected at net profit level. The EBIT margin for the first half of 2015 is likely to be between 3 and 4 percent.

Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements, such as projections, forecasts and estimates. Such forward-looking statements are dependent on certain risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those anticipated in this press release. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on Micronas' views and assumptions as of this date and Micronas does not assume any obligation to update or revise this press release. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction.

Micronas

Micronas (SIX Swiss Exchange: MASN) the most preferred partner for sensing and control serves all major automotive electronics customers worldwide, many of them in long-term partnerships for lasting success. While the holding company is headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland), operational headquarters are based in Freiburg (Germany). Currently, the Micronas Group employs around 900 persons.