Positive performance continues

(PresseBox) ( Delbrück, )
.
- Sales rise by 6.9% to €54.5 million
- EBIT margin at 13.5% surpasses industry average by far
- Equity-to-assets ratio climbs significantly to 32.7%

paragon continued its positive performance in 2012 in the third quarter. The exchange-listed direct supplier to the automotive industry increased its revenue after nine months by 6.9% to €54.5 million (prior year: €51.0 million). The EBIT margin of 13.5% demonstrates that paragon continues to be one of the most profitable automotive suppliers. "Concurrent with this, we have continued our long-term increase in equity. By year-end 2012, the equity-to-assets ratio will be at approximately 35%, making paragon one of the highest equity companies in Germany," pointed out CEO Klaus Dieter Frers.

The Company's sales have met the expectations of the Managing Board. Despite above-average results in the first six months, Frers stuck to his conservative forecast and continued to predict single-digit revenue growth for the year as a whole. Also after the high increase in sales in the first six months (12.8%) related to one-off items, the plant holidays of the major customers had the expected impact in the third quarter of 2012.

After nine months, the EBIT margin in relation to revenue of 13.5% slightly exceeded the Managing Board's forecast of 13.2%. The EBITDA margin at 18.9% was also pleasing. Compared to the prior year, the absolute earnings figures declined slightly:

EBIT by 1.8% (from €7.5 million to €7.3 million) and EBITDA by 3.2% (from €10.6 million to €10.3 million). As at September 30, 2012, paragon posted net income for the year according to IFRS of €4.7 million (prior year: €4.6 million); this resulted in earnings per share of €1.13 (prior year: €1.13).

In addition to a further build-up of equity, the Company also optimized the financial situation as planned by repaying liabilities. The interest-bearing liabilities dropped by 17.4% to €13.8 million (prior year: €16.7 million); net debt even declined by 18.4% to €5.9 million (prior year: €7.2 million).

As at September 30, 2012, paragon AG employed 382 of its own workers and 48 temporary staff members. This increased the number of employees from 400 on September 30, 2011 (343 own workers and 57 temporary staff members) to 430. The locations accounted for the following figures (own workers/temporary staff members) as at September 30, 2012: Delbrück (74/1), Suhl (213/43), Nuremberg (38/4) and St.Georgen (57/0).

Despite the volatile market, the Managing Board confirms its previous forecast for 2012 (single-digit increase in sales compared to 2011, EBIT margin roughly the same as in 2011), since the largest customers are heading towards a record year. Other vehicle manufacturers, which currently face sales problems, contribute only a small amount to paragon sales in any case. For 2013, the Managing Board expects the first quarter to be rather subdued, possibly related to widespread plant holidays of the manufacturers at the turn of the year 2012/2013, with generally slight growth in sales and a double-digit EBIT margin. In the medium term, paragon predicts a pick-up in the rate of growth.
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