Apr 17, 2019 / 5:00 CET/CEST
Bad Ragaz/Switzerland, April 17, 2019
The results for the first quarter 2019 of INFICON Holding AG (SIX Swiss Exchange: IFCN) were within expectations and INFICON confirms its outlook for the full year 2019 with sales of around USD 400 million and an operating income margin of some 19%. The sales volume for the months of January to March 2019 increased by 1.6% to USD 95.7 million over the figure reported for the fourth quarter of 2018. Compared with the record-high amount of USD 110.7 million recorded in the first quarter a year ago, sales decreased by 13.6%. Without negative currency effects (-2.6 percentage points) and excluding the contribution from acquisitions (+1.4 percentage points), the organic change was -12.4%. The operating income rose by 12.4% compared with the figure for the fourth quarter 2018 to now USD 16.7 million or 17.5% of sales after USD 24.6 million or 22.2% in the respective prior-year quarter.
Slowdown in Asian semiconductor market
The sales decline over the previous year was mostly caused by a slowdown of the OEM business in the Semi & Vacuum Coating market. In the first quarter of 2019, INFICON's sales decreased year-over-year by 24.9% to USD 39.2 million. Compared with the closing quarter of 2018, the sales in INFICON's largest target market declined by 3.4%. This development reflects the lower demand from Asian – and especially Chinese – customers while the business in Europe and North America remained quite stable. INFICON expects a stronger second half of 2019 in this market. Sales to the industrially and geographically broadly based General Vacuum market grew by 5.4% to USD 29.3 million compared with the fourth quarter of 2018. This illustrates the globally robust economy. The comparison with the strong prior-year figures for the first quarter reveals a decrease of 5.5%. The sales in the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Automotive target market developed favorably, both in the Automotive as well as the traditional Refrigeration and Air Conditioning business with an annual increase of 2.9% and a plus of 16.3% over the preceding fourth quarter. INFICON assesses the outlook in the General Vacuum and the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Automotive markets as positive. The sales in INFICON's smallest target market, Security & Energy, decreased both compared with the respective prior-year quarter (-13.4%) as well as with the preceding fourth quarter (-21.6%). The future sales trend in this interesting market which is mainly influenced by large public orders remains difficult to predict.
INFICON reports a gross margin of 50.1% for its first quarter 2019. In the last quarter 2018, the gross margin had clearly slipped below 50%. After acquisition related higher research and development expenses and the selling, general, and administrative costs which reflect among other factors an increase in the number of employees, INFICON reports an operating income of USD 16.7 million. This is a decline of 32% when compared with the value of the same period last year, yet an increase of USD 1.8 million or 12.4% over the closing quarter of 2018. The operating income margin rose from 15.8% in the fourth quarter of 2018 to now 17.5% and did not reach the record-high level of 22.2% achieved in the first quarter a year ago. Net income for the period was USD 12.8 million after USD 18.7 million last year. The earnings per share amounts to USD 5.27 after USD 7.70 a year ago.
Confirmed outlook for 2019
INFICON confirms its guidance for the full year 2019 with expected sales of around USD 400 million and an operating income margin of around 19%.
Cash flow and balance sheet
INFICON generated an operating cash flow of USD 7.3 million in the first quarter 2019, while the respective figure had been negative with USD -2.0 million a year ago. The working capital remains unchanged versus the preceding quarter and amounts to USD 110.3 million. This is 28.8% of sales after 24.6% a year ago or 29.1% calculated for the previous quarter.
Conference call and webcast
INFICON will discuss the first quarter 2019 results in greater detail today at an English-language conference call at 09:30 CEST. Participants are invited to dial in using any of the following numbers:
Europe: +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/IFCN_IR_home
Corporate communication calendar 2019
INFICON's corporate communication calendar is continuously updated and available online at
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Chief Financial Officer
+423 388 3510
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