Jenoptik experiences strong growth in 1st half-year

(PresseBox) ( Jena, )
- New revenue record of 316.1 million euros achieved
- EBITDA climbs to 38.7 million euros, EBIT significantly up on prior year at 26.6 million euros
- Operating cash flow improves to 12.3 million euros
- Forecast for 2015 reaffirmed

The Jenoptik Group achieved, as expected, a good performance in the 1st half of 2015. In the 2nd quarter in particular, Jenoptik recorded increasingly dynamic revenue, income from operations and order intake. With the new revenue and earnings records in the 2nd quarter, the Group was able to more than compensate for the weaker 1st quarter.

"The positive half-yearly financial statements create a good basis for our annual targets as well as the further development of Jenoptik. It confirms that we are on course for further growth," explained Michael Mertin, Jenoptik's President & CEO. "In the coming months, we will continue to work on aligning our organizational structure more closely to megatrends and target markets. This will enable us to position our products and solutions more closely to our customers and develop better, more sustainable growth opportunities for us."

Revenue growth of 11.6 percent with good order situation

In the first six months of 2015, the Jenoptik Group reported record revenue of 316.1 million euros, an increase of 11.6 percent on the prior year (283.2 million euros). This was also the highest level of revenue posted by Jenoptik in a half-year for a number of years. At 170.4 million euros, the revenue recorded in the 2nd quarter was also the highest in a quarter to date. On a regional level, revenue increased in particular in Europe (excluding Germany), primarily due to acquisitions in the previous year. In America, a higher demand in the automotive industry as well as project-related settlements helped to contribute to a marked increase in revenue.

In the 1st half-year of 2015, the order intake of the Jenoptik Group increased to 333.7 million euros, an improvement of 6.1 percent on the previous year (prior year: 314.5 million euros). The order backlog also increased and at 432.2 million euros on June 30, 2015 it exceeded the comparative figure from the end of 2014 by 2.3 percent (31/12/2014: 422.5 million euros). Of this, around 54 percent is still to be recognized as revenue in the current fiscal year (prior year: 48 percent).

In the 1st half-year, Jenoptik increased earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) disproportionately by 13.1 percent to 38.7 million euros (prior year: 34.2 million euros). The Group operating result (EBIT) was influenced by a changed revenue mix and the settlement of a major project and rose as a result of the increased revenue by 10.8 percent to 26.6 million euros (prior year: 24.0 million euros). Consequently, Jenoptik recorded the highest earnings in a 1st half-year and, at 17.8 million euros, the best quarter in terms of earnings in the company's recent history. At 8.4 percent, the EBIT margin remained at the same level as in the previous year (prior year 8.5 percent).

The higher Group EBIT and an improved financial result of minus 1.9 million euros (prior year minus 3.2 million euros) have also enabled the earnings before tax in the first six months of 2015 to grow significantly to 24.7 million euros (prior year 20.7 million euros). Earnings after tax boosted to 20.1 million euros, up on the prior-year figure of 17.9 million euros.

The number of employees in the Jenoptik Group changed only slightly at 3,531 on June 30, 2015 (31/12/2014: 3,553). Around 18 percent of the Group's workforce is employed abroad.

Solid asset position, Group financing further improved

Through the expansion of the operating business and in preparation for future customer projects, working capital was built up in the first six months of 2015. The 2nd quarter also saw the distribution of the dividend amounting to 11.4 million euros. Taken together with the payment to the last silent real estate investor at the beginning of the year, this resulted, as scheduled, in an increase in net debt to 115.9 million euros as of June 30, 2015 (31/12/2014: 92.1 million euros).

Despite the increase in working capital, the high-earning 2nd quarter led to a positive cash flow from operating activities. As of June 30, 2015, it was, at 12.3 million euros, considerably above the prior year's figure of minus 13.5 million euros. The free cash flow improved to 8.4 million euros (prior year minus 24.7 million euros).

The Jenoptik Group's equity ratio increased to 52.8 percent (31/12/2014: 50.1 percent). Together with the issued debenture loans and the syndicated loan, Jenoptik has a highly viable financing structure. In March 2015, the company extended the existing syndicated loan, increasing it from 120 million euros to 230 million euros. In addition, new debenture loans worth an increased total sum of 125 million euros were successfully placed in April.

Revenue reaches record high in two segments

The Lasers & Optical Systems segment was able to compensate for the restrained start to the year in the 2nd quarter. In the first six months, the segment achieved revenue of 119.2 million euros in line with the prior year (118.1 million euros). In particular, business increased in the USA, and demand for laser processing systems and optoelectronic modules also remained strong. In contrast, demand from the semiconductor equipment industry was still down on the prior year, although there was a slight upturn towards the end of the 1st half-year. The segment's EBIT fell by 26.1 percent to 11.4 million euros due to only moderate development of revenue and a lower margin in the product mix. The prior year's figure of 15.4 million euros had also been positively influenced by the one-off sale of a system technology. At 125.3 million euros, the order intake was identical to that of the prior year and above the revenue for the reporting period. The segment's order backlog increased to 108.2 million euros (31/12/2014: 100.8 million euros).

The slight improvement in capital expenditure in the automotive industry continued to boost demand in the Metrology segment in the 1st half-year of 2015. At 97.4 million euros, the segment was able to further increase revenue by 15.2 percent compared with the prior year (84.6 million euros). Both the acquisitions in Traffic Solutions and also the improved business by Industrial Metrology with the automotive industry contributed to the growth. Revenue in Europe increased by more than one third. The segment EBIT fell to 6.4 million euros (prior year 9.2 million euros), due to the weak market conditions in the USA in the traffic safety area and increased functional costs. In addition, depreciation effects arising from the acquisitions influenced the EBIT. The segment's order intake increased significantly to 112.7 million euros (prior year: 84.9 million euros). At 84.0 million euros, the order backlog was above the figure at the end of the prior year (31/12/2014: 77.2 million euros).

Thanks to the good development of business in the energy and sensor systems areas, the Defense & Civil Systems segment was able to increase its revenue in the 1st half-year by almost a quarter compared with the prior year to 99.7 million euros (prior year 80.1 million euros). In the 2nd quarter, the segment recorded its highest quarterly revenue in recent years - 57.0 million euros. This included one part of the major order for equipping the Patriot missile defense system. With improved revenue and a higher margin in the product mix, the EBIT for the segment grew from 0.5 million euros in the prior year to a current figure of 6.1 million euros. At 97.4 million euros, the order intake was slightly below the revenue in the period covered by the report and 5.5 percent below the value in the prior year (103.1 million euros), which included two major orders for the delivery of energy systems. The order intake in the segment showed only a slight fall to 242.9 million euros (31/12/2014: 245.9 million euros).

Forecast for 2015 reaffirmed

In light of the planned good development in the 1st half-year and the expected further pick-up in the remaining months of 2015, the Jenoptik Executive Board reaffirms its forecasts for the current fiscal year: Group revenue is expected to be between 650 and 690 million euros; the EBIT margin between 8.5 and 9.5 percent. This presupposes that political and economic conditions do not worsen. In particular, these include export restrictions, regulations at European level, international conflicts and other disruptions in the euro zone.

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This press release may contain statements relating to the future which are based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the corporate management of the Jenoptik Group. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors may result in major discrepancies between the actual results, financial position, development or performance of the company and the assessment presented here. Such factors may include exchange-rate swings, interest rate changes, the launch of competitor products or alterations to the corporate strategy. The company shall accept no obligation to update such future projections or adapt them to future events or developments.
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