Oct 18, 2012 / 5:00 CET/CEST
Bad Ragaz/Switzerland, October 18, 2012
Q3 Sales of USD 70.0 million reflect low demand from semiconductor market
INFICON Holding AG (SIX Swiss Exchange: IFCN) reports sales of USD 70.0 million for the third quarter 2012, a decline both compared with the previous quarter (-7.3%) as well as the same period of last year (-10.7%). Negative foreign exchange effects impacted sales by 5.1 percentage points while acquisitions positively contributed 2.4 percentage points. Adjusted for these effects, sales declined organically by 8.0%, reflecting primarily a bigger than expected decline in the demand from the semiconductor market.
A favorable product and customer mix allowed INFICON to increase its gross margin to 49.5% of sales during the reporting period. With nearly unchanged expenses for research & development and tightly controlled sales and administration costs, INFICON recorded an operating profit of USD 11.0 million, resulting in an improved margin of 15.8% after 15.1% recorded a year ago. The net profit for the period of USD 8.2 million equals 11.7% of sales, or fully diluted earnings per share of USD 3.65 after USD 4.31 a year ago.
Very solid balance sheet with equity ratio of 77%
The balance sheet as per September 30, 2012 shows a strong increase in net cash (cash minus short-term borrowings) to USD 72.1 million compared with the figures recorded as per end of June. This increase reflects the strong operating cash flow of USD 16.4 million, up from USD 13.7 million in the preceding second quarter of the year. Somewhat higher inventories expanded the net working capital to 21.4% of sales. Compared with the financial statements per June 30, 2012, the equity ratio remained unchanged at a strong 77.0%.
Semiconductor market with weak demand leads to noticeable decline in sales
The sales volume generated in the Specific Vacuum Industries market declined during the third quarter 2012 following unexpectedly low investment levels in the semiconductor market. While the market for optical coatings developed positively, the overall sales of USD 20.2 million represent a decline of 26.3% over the prior year's period, or a 27.3% decrease compared with the preceding second quarter. The Refrigeration & Air Conditioning market is backed by a broad array of industrial applications, but experienced, as expected, lower sales compared with the respective prior year period (-11.6%) and the second quarter (-1.5%), not least reflecting the market developments in Asia. The market for General Vacuum Processes, which depends largely on the European economy, developed rather well with an increase of 10.3% over the preceding quarter and just a minor decline of -2.1% over the same period of last year. The market for Emergency Response & Security grew again significantly and achieved 23.4% higher sales of USD 5.8 million compared with the same quarter of last year, however, did not reach the preceding quarter's volume (-10.8%) due to the timing of certain shipments.
From a current perspective, INFICON is cautious about the future development of sales, yet tends to expect a further earnings improvement. Due to the hardly predictable sales development in thesemiconductor market, INFICON curtails the upper end of the expected sales span for the full year 2012 from USD 290-310 million to now USD 290-300 million. At the same time, INFICON raises the lower end of the now more precisely defined earning forecast range of USD 45-50 million (before USD 42 to 54 million).
Management will discuss the third quarter results today in more detail in a conference call scheduled for 09:00 a.m. CEST. The local dial-in numbers are as follows:
+41 (0)91 610 56 18 (CH + Europe)
+44 (0)203 059 58 63 (UK)
+1 (1)866 666 56 64 (USA - Toll-Free)
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.
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