Apr 23, 2015 / 5:00 CET/CEST
Bad Ragaz/Switzerland, April 23, 2015
Lower Shipments to Emergency Response & Security Market Lead to Slow Start into 2015
INFICON Holding AG (SIX Swiss Exchange: IFCN) reports 1.8% lower organic sales of USD 66.5 million for the first three months of 2015 compared with the same period last year. Including adverse currency effects, sales declined in absolute terms by 7.1%. Compared with the record-high last quarter of 2014, sales dropped 23%. The year-over-year comparison shows that shipments to INFICON's smallest target market Emergency Response & Security declined markedly by 55.7% to USD 3.9 million and that sales to the industrially broadly based market for General Vacuum Applications also fell by 10.3% to USD 26.2 million). Sales to customers in the Specific Vacuum Process Industries market grew by 3.2% to USD 22.3 million and to Refrigeration & Air Conditioning clients by 17.5% to USD 14.1 million.
Unchanged Outlook for Full Fiscal 2015
The market signals for the business year 2015 are quite positive for the foreseeable future, except for the General Vacuum Applications market which largely depends on the rather hesitant European business. INFICON therefore confirms its guidance for the full fiscal year 2015 with sales expected to range between USD 300 million to USD 330 million and income from operations between USD 48 million to USD 58 million.
In the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning market sales continue to develop steadily in the global automotive business while the overall solid Asian market loses some momentum. INFICON is positive about its business outlook in the Specific Vacuum Processes Industries market, both for its equipment manufacturer and end-user business in Semiconductor as well as opportunities in the flat panel display market. After the disappointing first quarter sales in the market for Emergency Response & Security, volumes are projected to pick up again in the American and the Asian business. INFICON, however, comments the market prospects for the General Vacuum Applications market somewhat cautiously: The rather hesitant trend in Europe still prevents a more pronounced surge in this market, which is increasingly served directly alongside its traditional private label business.
Continuously Solid Gross Margin and Strong Balance Sheet
Reflecting the decreased sales level and a somewhat lower gross margin of 48.8%, gross profit for the first quarter of 2015 amounted to USD 32.5 million after USD 35.5 million a year ago (see Fact Sheet Q1 2015). After lower cost than a year ago, the income from operations amounted to USD 8.1 million, yielding a margin of 12.1% of sales. Net profit for the first quarter was USD 5.1 million after USD 7.0 million a year ago. Fully diluted earnings per share thus resulted to USD 2.15 after USD 2.99 recorded for the first quarter of 2014.
The operating cash flow generated in the first quarter amounted to USD 3.3 million, due to the lower sales level, seasonally higher outflows and built-up inventories. The working capital increased by USD 1.2 million, mainly due to the higher stock levels, to USD 66.3 million; this equals 24.9 percent of sales. At the end of the first quarter, the debt-free balance sheet features net liquid assets of USD 80.1 million after USD 81.0 million at year-end 2014 and boasts a further improved equity ratio of 83.9%.
Distribution to Shareholders
As previously announced, the Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 29, 2015 to increase the distribution out of legal reserves from capital contributions for fiscal 2014 by CHF 1 per share to CHF 15.00. The full agenda for the AGM was published on March 30, 2015 and can be downloaded at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=124424&p=proxy.
Conference Call and Webcast Today at 09:30 a.m. CEST
INFICON's group management will provide a detailed presentation of the first quarter results today at 09:30 a.m. CEST. Participants can dial in at:
Europe: +41 (0) 58 310 5000
UK: +44 (0) 203 059 5862
USA: +1 (1) 631 570 5613
USA (Toll free): +1 (1) 866 291 4166
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 and the presentation visuals are available in the Investors section of the INFICON website at www.inficon.com where the webcast will later be archived.
Communication Calendar 2015
INFICON continuously updates its communication calendar which is available online at
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