Mar 03, 2022 / 7:01 CET/CEST
Chief Financial Officer
+423 388 3510
Record sales in fourth Quarter 2021
With a new record figure of USD 144.5 million, sales increased by 23.6% compared with the prior-year fourth quarter, and by 18.2% over the third quarter 2021. Excluding negative currency effects of 1.1 percentage points and a small contribution from acquisition of 0.2 percentage points, INFICON achieved an organic growth of 24.6% in the reporting quarter. The strong regional development in North America and Asia on the one hand, as well as the strong demand in the Semi & Vacuum Coating and the General Vacuum markets on the other hand supported this rapid growth. With unchanged strong order dynamics, INFICON is confident about the business development in the new financial year, especially supported by the consistently driven capacity expansions in its own factories.
INFICON’s largest target market, Semi & Vacuum Coating, contributed with record sales of USD 77.5 million more than half to the overall Group sales in the fourth quarter. Sales grew again considerably by 47.6% year-over-year and by 30.9% compared with the preceding quarter. The business continued to benefit from the OEM demand from equipment manufacturers as well as from end user demand and small increases in the coating business. INFICON’s quickly advancing capacity increases as well as the positively developing new coating business for complex third party components (xParts) should allow further increasing sales in the future.
In the General Vacuum market, INFICON also achieved a new record sales value of USD 36.8 million. This is a plus of 15.7% over the same prior-year figure and again an increase of 9.9% over the previous quarter. The general global market condition and especially the unaltered strong, broadly based and stable demand for INFICON products from China supported this trend.
In the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Automotive market, sales developed stably both compared with the prior-year figure (+2.5%) as well as the third quarter 2021 (+1.2%) and remained on a high level with USD 24.5 million. The market for leak-testing of lithium ion batteries remained a major sales contributor and continues to grow rapidly.
The market for Security & Energy is characterized by large public sector orders; INFICON achieved sales of USD 5.7 million. This is a small increase over the third quarter, yet a decrease of 34.5% over the prior-year closing quarter. Based on recently launched new products, INFICON also expects rising sales in this market for the current year.
The gross profit developed largely in line with sales in the fourth quarter. Higher material and logistics costs, certain production bottlenecks, and the ongoing capacity expansion program pushed the gross profit margin to 46.7%. The expenses for research and product development remained on a high level with USD 11.5 million, yet increased as the other sales, general, and administrative costs only under-proportionately. The operating income for the fourth quarter was USD 31.1 million. This represents a remarkable increase of 45% over the prior-year figure. The operating income margin increased to 21.5%. Net income picked up by 54% to USD 26.3 million in the reporting quarter and thus achieved a margin of 18.2% of sales. For the fourth quarter, earnings per share were USD 10.76 after USD 7.00 a year ago.
Investment program to expand capacity by 50%
The global economic situation, the ongoing international trade and tariff discussions, bottlenecks on sourcing and logistic markets as well as in our own production, and the ongoing complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic represented the major challenges in 2021. Despite all this, INFICON pushed ahead with its considerable capacity enhancements in America and mostly so in Europe in order to meet the growing demand for INFICON instruments and components more flexibly and quickly in the future. In the year under review and in the current fiscal year, INFICON invests some USD 10 million in America and over USD 30 million in Europe. At conclusion, this two-year expansion program should increase the production capacities by around 50%.
Full year results 2021
Despite some bottlenecks in manufacturing, INFICON was able to increase its annual sales by 29.7% to USD 515.8 million. Excluding currency effects of 2.5 percentage points and a small influence from acquisition of 0.2 percentage points, the organic growth for fiscal 2021 was 27.0%.
In comparison with 2020, INFICON achieved with a plus of 37% the most significant growth in the Semi & Vacuum Coating market. This target market contributed with USD 261.4 million just over half to Group sales. The second largest target market, General Vacuum, grew 24% to USD 133.5 million and thus accounts for about a fourth of the annual sales. With an increase of 25% year-over-year, sales to the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Automotive contributed USD 99.8 million or almost 20% to Group sales. Sales to the Security & Energy market picked up by 7% to USD 21.1 million. The smallest target market thus made up for some 4% of Group sales.
Looking at the regional sales split, Asia contributed with 48% almost half to INFICON’s sales in 2021. Europe and America accounted both for roughly one fourth of sales.
The sales development led to a higher gross profit of USD 247 million for the year under review. The gross margin improved from 47.3% slightly to 47.9%. After a 21% year-on-year increase in research and development expenses and only a 14% increase in selling, general, and administrative costs, INFICON closed the fiscal year with a 62% increase in operating profit to USD 100.4 million and an operating profit margin of 19.5%. Net income rose by 63% to USD 80.3 million or to a margin of 15.6%. Earnings per share were USD 32.87 after USD 20.18 a year ago.
INFICON publishes an expanded sustainability report, compiled and certified according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard. Despite 30% higher sales, the switch to more environmental friendly energy allowed INFICON to reduce CO2 emissions by 31%. Additional measures are planned for the future.
Cashflow and Balance Sheet
INFICON achieved an operating cash flow of USD 19.8 million in the fourth quarter. For the whole fiscal year, the operating cash flow was USD 85.1 million after USD 50.5 million a year ago. INFICON closed the year with net liquid assets of USD 54.6 million (prior year USD 40.9 million). The balance sheet features a high equity ratio of 69% (prior year 73%) at the end of 2021.
Proposed distribution and Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will take place on March 31, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shareholders cannot participate in person. Shareholders will, however, have the option to interact with the company. INFICON invests in future growth with capacity increases and still foresees a higher distribution to shareholders. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting to distribute CHF 21 per share for the fiscal year 2021: CHF 3.10 out of legal reserves from capital contributions and CHF 17.90 as ordinary dividend. The invitation to the Annual General Meeting including the full agenda and proposals by the Board of Directors is available online at https://ir.inficon.com/annual-general-meetings/ The invitation will also be sent to all registered shareholders, and it will published in the Swiss Gazette of Commerce.
INFICON assesses the outlook for the business year 2022 quite positively, given the full order book, the current order intake and the general market condition. With the current capacity expansion, INFICON should be able to meet the customers’ demand more rapidly and flexibly. Against this backdrop, INFICON expects sales for the full year between USD 550 million and USD 600 million and an operating profit margin of over 20%. Due to the current geo-political situation, the ability to forecast is generally limited.
Media and Analyst Conference
INFICON discusses its fourth quarter and full-year results 2021 today, March 3, 2022, at an English language Media and Analyst conference in Zürich at Zunfthaus zum Rüden, Limmatquai 42, CH-8001 Zürich. The prepared remarks will also be webcast via MS Teams. Online participants please log in to the conference at https://ir.inficon.com/conference-calls-or-webcasts/ Online participants are in a listen-only mode during the presentations. The presentation is available for download at 07:00 a.m. CET in the Investor Section of the INFICON website www.inficon.com.
Annual Report 2021
INFICONs Annual Report 2021 is available online at www.inficon.com in the Investor Section or directly at https://ir.inficon.com/financial-results-and-presentations/ INFICON again expands its reporting by a significantly expanded sustainability report.
Communication Calendar 2022
The first quarter 2022 results will be published on April 22, 2022 at 07:00 a.m. CEST in a media release and at further discussed in an English language online conference which will be recorded and archived. The communication calendar of INFICON is continuously updated and available on online at https://ir.inficon.com/financial-calendar/
To automatically receive notification via e-mail of the latest financial information from INFICON, sign-up for e-mail Alerts in the Investors section of the INFICON website at https://ir.inficon.com/contact-and-information-request/
INFICON is a leading provider of innovative instrumentation, critical sensor technologies, and Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 software solutions that enhance productivity and quality of tools, processes and complete factories. These analysis, measurement and control products are essential for gas leak detection in air conditioning/refrigeration, and automotive manufacturing. They are vital to equipment manufacturers and end-users in the complex fabrication of semiconductors and thin film coatings for optics, flat panel displays, solar cells and industrial vacuum coating applications. Other users of vacuum based processes include the life sciences, research, aerospace, packaging, heat treatment, laser cutting and many other industrial processes. We also leverage our expertise in vacuum technology to provide unique, toxic chemical analysis products for emergency response, security, and environmental monitoring. INFICON is headquartered in Switzerland and has world-class manufacturing facilities in Europe, the United States and China, as well as subsidiaries in China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. INFICON registered shares (IFCN) are listed on SIX Swiss Exchange. For more information about INFICON and its products, please visit www.inficon.com.
This press release and oral statements or other written statements made, or to be made by us contain forward-looking statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts. These forward-looking statements are based on the current plans and expectations of our management and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could significantly affect our current plans and expectations, as well as future results of operations and financial condition. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
|INFICON Results Fiscal Year 2021|