Oct 18, 2018 / 5:00 CET/CEST
Bad Ragaz/Switzerland, October 18, 2018
INFICON Holding AG (SIX Swiss Exchange: IFCN) reports sales of USD 101.4 million for its third quarter 2018. This represents an increase of 13.4% over the same period of last year and, excluding exchange rate effects, an organic growth rate of 14.3%. In the first nine months of the year, sales increased by 16.5% (organically 13.9%) to USD 316.3 million. INFICON increases the guidance for the full business year 2018 even as some target markets weaken. With sales exceeding USD 400 million, INFICON expects a further increased operating income margin of around 20%. (previous: sales around USD 400 million and an operating income margin of over 19%)
Sales development in the target markets
The remarkable year-over-year results for the third quarter are lagging somewhat behind the dynamic of the first half-year. The combined sales volume for the months July to September is inferior to the second quarter by 2.7%. From a current perspective, INFICON expects the trend in the Semi & Vacuum Coating market to soften towards year-end after the boom phase of the preceding months. While the OEM and the end-user businesses in the semiconductor market developed appealingly in the third quarter, sales to OLED customers declined as expected. Compared with the same period last year, sales in this target market increased by 11.6% to USD 44.3 million, yet slipped 6.7% back over the preceding second quarter. The broadly based General Vacuum market overall kept its ongoing high sales level. The third quarter shows a plus of 7.7% to USD 28.1 million over the same period last year, yet it cooled slightly by 1.4% compared with the second quarter of 2018. INFICON reports a year-on-year sales increase of 51% to USD 7.7 million of its Security & Energy target market and 5.5% increase over the second quarter. The sales development in this market continues to be strongly influenced by large public sector orders and their quarterly timing. The Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Automotive market continues to be positive for INFICON, as evidenced by a sales increase of 15.1% to a new quarterly record high of USD 21.3 million year-over-year and an increase of 1.9% over the preceding quarter. The ongoing strong business trend in all market regions supports both the traditional refrigeration and air conditioning market as well as the automotive industry. In addition, the expansion of lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacities for electric vehicles in Asia further reinforces this positive trend. These trends also show in the sales development in the various world regions. Compared with the second quarter of this year, INFICON's sales to Asia increased by 4%, while they declined in the mid-single digit range in Europe and North America. Compared with the same period last year, sales increased significantly in all world areas.
Strengthening the software development capabilities for semiconductor process control
INFICON acquired all assets of Final Phase Systems, a software developer based in Austin, Texas, effective October 1, 2018. Some additional 20 software specialists with whom INFICON has already been working on certain project tasks are now strengthening INFICON's position as a leading supplier of process control software and sensor integration systems for the semiconductor industry.
Cash flow and margins
INFICON recorded a 15.8% higher gross profit of USD 50.4 million (previous year: USD 43.5 million) in the reporting quarter and an increase of its gross profit margin by one percentage point to now 49.7%. The expenses for research and development grew under-proportionately to the sales development. The sales, general, and administrative costs continue to be tightly managed and as a result, operating income picked up by 32% to USD 20.0 million, yielding an operating income margin of 19.7% for the reporting quarter after 17.0% a year ago. The net profit for the period was USD 15.3 million. This yields a net profit margin of 15.1%, up from 12.5% a year ago. Earnings per share were USD 6.30 at the end of September after 4.61 a year ago.
INFICON generated a cash flow from operations of USD 22.5 million after USD 14.0 million a year ago. The balance sheet shows a net cash position of USD 64.6 million after USD 85.0 million at year-end. The inventories for raw and semi-finished materials increased in accordance to the order and sales situation to USD 61.6 million. This also shows in the working capital of USD 105.8 million which equals to 26.1% of sales, up from 87.4 million at the end of September last year. Inventory turns decreased from 4.3 to 3.7 times. Based on a balance sheet total of USD 293.1 million, the equity ratio continues to be strong at 70.8% after 71.2% at mid-year.
Conference call and international webcast
Management will discuss the third quarter 2018 results today in greater detail on a conference call scheduled for 09:30 a.m. CEST today. The local dial-in numbers are as follows:
Europa: +41 (0)58 310 5000
UK: +44 (0)207 1070613
USA (Toll free): +1 (1)866 291 4166
USA (local): +1 (1)631 570 5613
All participants should dial in at least 10 minutes prior to the call. There is no PIN required to access the call. A live webcast of the conference call, including a visual presentation in addition to the audio, will also be available in the Investors section of the INFICON website www.inficon.com. You can access the webcast directly at http://bit.ly/INFICON_Q3_2018.
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Chief Financial Officer
+423 388 3510
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