Results for the first half of 2010

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Horgen, August 19, 2010 – Orders received reached CHF 536.6 million in the first half.  Gross revenues amounted to CHF 481.5 million.  The significant increase in volume is attributable to the acquisition of 3A Composites, completed at the end of November 2009, and to the positive business performance in all divisions. 3A Composites posted a 14% increase in like-for-like revenue and SSM Textile Machinery and Ismeca Semiconductor have already posted higher revenues for the first six months of the year than for the whole of 2009.

The Group posted EBITDA of CHF 48.5 million (1H 2009: –13.0) and EBIT of CHF 33.7 million (1H 2009: –13.7). Net earnings amounted to CHF 23.6 million (1H 2009: -10.5). This includes currency losses of around CHF 5 million and one-time extraordinary expenses amounting to some CHF 3 million for the spin-off of 3A Composites and its establishment as an independent entity.

SSM Textile Machinery, in a much improved sector environment, saw new orders increase significantly to CHF 47.2 million (+250%) – albeit starting from a unique historic low baseline. Revenues more than tripled compared with the year-back period to CHF 43.8 million (+227%). All regions - led by China - recorded substantial recoveries in demand. Thanks to a significantly higher gross margin and low cost structures, the operating result (EBIT) came to CHF 7.2 million, after a loss of just under CHF 6 million. The EBIT margin stood at a very impressive 18%.

Ismeca Semiconductor - also starting from a low baseline - posted a similar marked increase in volumes. New orders reached CHF 73.1 million (+267%) and revenues came to CHF 50.2 million (+204%). The positive gross margin and similar strict cost management led to an operating result of CHF 6.0 million (1H 2009: -7.1), which is equivalent to an EBIT margin of 12% – this includes income of CHF 1.2 million for patents and licenses. An amount of the same magnitude will be due in the second half.  Gains on foreign currency positions produced a positive financial result which, gratifyingly, led to net income of CHF 8.7 million (1H 2009: -5.5).

3A Composites recorded new orders amounting to CHF 416.3 million and revenues of CHF 387.3 million, corresponding to an increase of 14% (on a like-for-like basis). This produced EBITDA of CHF 35.9 million and EBIT of CHF 21.8 million. An increase in raw material costs prevented an even better result.

Core Materials posted a very good result, favored by strong demand from China in the wind power sector. Display showed a strong recovery in both Europe and the US, as many customers replenished their low inventories. Architecture is recovering with a time lag. Revenues were particularly strong in India, the Middle East and in Asia generally.

The encouraging pace of business is expected to continue in the second half of the year. All divisions reported a sustained healthy order intake. Given that some inventories were still at low levels at the beginning of the year, the second half looks set to be at least equally positive.

Cash and cash equivalents and treasury shares worth some CHF 300 million, plus a virtually debt-free balance sheet, are still available for acquisition projects.

A conference call in English on the results for the first half of 2010 for analysts, media representatives and investors will take place today, starting at 3:00 p.m. (CET). Anyone interested in participating can dial in to the call fifteen minutes before the start using the following number:
Tel. +41 44 580 64 03