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Jenoptik Group continued its positive development in the 1st quarter 2012.

TMCNet:  Jenoptik Group continued its positive development in the 1st quarter 2012.

[May 10, 2012]

Jenoptik Group continued its positive development in the 1st quarter 2012.

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jena, -- Sales and earnings reached the same high level as in the previous year. Demand from the automotive industry remained positive, demand from the semiconductor industry better than expected. Outlook for the current fiscal year reaffirmed.

Jenoptik remained on course in the 1st quarter 2012. Sales and earnings were maintained at the same high level as in the previous year. "As expected, we were not able exceed the high figures achieved in the previous year in all areas. Overall, our business performed better than had been predicted at the end of 2011," said the Jenoptik Chairman Dr. Michael Mertin in summarizing the situation. In this context he was focusing on the continuing robust development of the semiconductor equipment industry. "Changes in demand from the semiconductor industry naturally affect the Group result but their impact is no longer as significant as it was just a few years ago," continued the Group Chairman. At the same time, he emphasized the good performance achieved by the Metrology segment, in particular the Industrial Metrology division, as well as increased contributions to sales by the Energy Systems business unit.

In the 1st quarter 2012 sales of the Jenoptik Group increased by 10.6 percent to 137.7 million euros (prev. year 124.5 million euros), with all three segments contributing to the rise. Approx. 63 percent of sales came from abroad (prev. year 61 percent). Jenoptik's strategy of internationalization is bearing fruit. The Metrology and Defense & Civil Systems segments in particular increased their sales in the US.

At 11.6 million euros, the Group EBIT remained at roughly the same level as in the previous year (prev. year 11.8 million euros), giving an EBIT margin of 8.4 percent for the 1st quarter 2012 (prev. year 9.5 percent). This was caused by a different sales mix as well as higher investments in particular in R+D as well as in international distribution structures and thus in the future organic growth of the Jenoptik Group.

The financial result improved further over the same quarter in the previous year, to minus 2.2 million euros (prev. year minus 2.5 million euros). This was mainly due to the more favorable interest rate terms of the debenture loans issued in October 2011. Earnings before tax showed a corresponding slight increase to 9.4 million euros (prev. year 9.3 million euros). Earnings after tax totaled 8.0 million euros (prev. year 7.5 million euros). Group order intake totaled nearly 150 million euros and was therefore up on the level of sales for the quarter. The number of employees showed a small rise.

The Jenoptik Group order intake totaled 148.8 million euros and as expected was down on the high figure for the same quarter in the previous year -- by a total of 13.8 percent (prev. year 172.6 million euros). However, the order intake was 11.1 million euros higher than sales for the 1st quarter 2012, equating to a book-to-bill ratio of 1.08. The Group order backlog increased further to the new figure of 462.1 million euros (31.12.2011: 448.5 million euros; 31.03.2011: 398.1 million euros). This corresponded to an increase of 3.0 percent or 13.6 million euros in net terms compared with the end of 2011.

The order intake for the 1st quarter 2012 includes part of the major order awarded to the Metrology segment for traffic safety systems in Malaysia, the total order volume of which exceeds 40 million euros. The order intake in the previous year's quarter was influenced by the large individual order worth nearly 40 million euros in the Defense & Civil Systems segment for the PUMA armored fighting vehicle.

The number of employees in the Jenoptik Group also showed a positive development in conjunction with the expansion of business. As at the end of the 1st quarter 2012 the figure increased to 3,143 employees (31.12.2011: 3,117 employees). Cash flow from operating activities nearly 40 percent higher than in the same period in the previous year. Net debt reduced further.

With a shareholders' equity ratio of 48.3 percent and debenture loans issued in 2011, in the 1st quarter 2012 Jenoptik has a very robust financing structure geared towards the long term. As a result of the profit reported in the 1st quarter 2012, the shareholders' equity increased to 318.9 million euros (31.12.2011: 310.8 million euros). Cash flow from operating activities increased by 39 percent to 17.2 million euros (prev. year 12.4 million euros). The free cash flow provides information on the sustainable financial strength and is calculated on the basis of the cash flow from operating activities less payments for operational investment activities. Jenoptik increased this figure to 13.2 million euros by comparison with the previous year (prev. year 8.9 million euros). "These are solid figures to accompany my start at Jenoptik," said the new Chief Financial Officer Rüdiger Andreas Günther.

Following a small reduction in net debt in the previous fiscal year to 77.1 million euros as at December 31, 2011, Jenoptik succeeded in significantly reducing this figure even further. As at March 31, 2012 net debt totaled just 61.4 million euros. Including the claims of silent real estate investors debt amounted to approx. 90 million euros. The claims of the silent real estate investors will be reduced by payments in the current 2nd quarter 2012. These payments will have an effect on net debt. Information on the development of the three segments.

The Lasers & Optical Systems segment reported a positive performance. Slight falls in demand from the semiconductor industry were offset on the sales side by other areas but were reflected in a moderate reduction in the segment EBIT. Sales came in at 57.2 million euros and were therefore up slightly by 2.0 percent (prev. year 56.1 million euros). The growth in sales came from the laser business and the Optoelectronic Systems business unit. Contrary to the original assumptions, sales with the semiconductor industry showed only a slight fall. The segment posted a high EBIT of 8.9 million euros (prev. year 10.2 million euros) which made a significant contribution to the Group's success. The reduction in earnings was the result of the change in the sales mix, but could be cushioned through new key accounts and an expansion of the system business. As expected, at 55.0 million euros, the order intake was also down on the high level achieved in the previous year (prev. year 61.1 million euros) but was however better than had originally been forecast. Overall, the segment succeeded in reducing its dependency upon the semiconductor industry by also in attracting an increasing number of key accounts in other areas for an intensive cooperation.

The Metrology segment continued its positive performance, tripling its EBIT to 3.0 million euros (prev. year 1.0 million euros), primarily as a result of the good business situation in the Industrial Metrology division. Sales rose by 33 percent to 37.2 million euros (prev. year 28.0 million euros). The order intake was influenced by the major order for traffic safety in Malaysia. However, large projects like these lead to fluctuations in the order-related key indicators on a quarterly basis. The order intake of the segment rose by 55.0 percent to 58.9 million euros (prev. year 38.0 million euros) and includes 19 million euros of the major order from Malaysia worth a total in excess of 40 million euros. At Intertraffic, the headline trade fair in Amsterdam at the end of March, the division showcased its new laser scanner system which will be rounding off the range of stationary speed and red light monitoring systems from autumn. Jenoptik will become the only provider in the world to have all the sensor system technologies for modern traffic monitoring at its disposal.

The Defense & Civil Systems segment continued its stable development, posting small increases in sales and segment EBIT. The business is oriented towards the long-term and quarterly figures can be distorted by major orders which impact in particular on the order intake. At the end of the 1st quarter 2012 sales at 43.6 million euros were 9.0 percent above those for the same quarter in the previous year (prev. year 40.0 million euros). In this context, all of the segment's business units reported a small increase in sales. As a result of the growth in sales, the segment EBIT rose by 18.2 percent to 1.3 million euros (prev. year 1.1 million euros). As expected, at 35.3 million euros, the order intake was significantly down on the same quarter in the previous year (prev. year 73.7 million euros) which had been influenced by the individual order for the PUMA totaling nearly 40 million euros. The segment was not awarded a similar order in the period covered by the report. The new thermal imaging camera from the Sensor Systems business unit was premiered with great market success. This is the world's first handheld, non-cooled thermal imaging camera with a 3.1 megapixel infrared image resolution and integrated laser rangefinder. Outlook for the year 2012 as a whole: forecasts reaffirmed.

Jenoptik expects a continuation of the positive development of business in 2012. "This has been reaffirmed by the progress achieved in the first quarter," said Michael Mertin. Nevertheless, it was too early to put precise figures on the forecasts for the year as a whole. "We still see no solution to the debt crisis in the Western countries and political elections are being held, the results of which could bring about further changes. We want to wait and see how the semiconductor industry progresses," said the Chairman of the Executive Board.

The Jenoptik Group therefore reaffirms the forecasts for the current 2012 fiscal year issued within the framework of the reporting on the 2011 annual financial statements: sales should increase organically over the year 2011, by 2 to 6 percent (2011: 543.3 million euros). All three segments are expected to contribute towards the Group's growth. The EBIT is forecast to come in at between 40 and 50 million euros, with the further course of the semiconductor cycle having an influence on this result. Lower interest expenses will have a positive effect on the earnings before tax also in the subsequent quarters and have a positive influence on the Group result for the period.

The full quarterly report will be available on the Internet from 9.00 am under Investor Relations / Reports & Presentations.

Contact Investor Relations Sabine Barnekow +49 3641 65-2156 +49 3641 65-2804 Public Relations Katrin Lauterbach +49 3641 65-2360 +49 3641 65-2484 ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com)).

(c) 2012 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

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