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Fiscal year 2011 - sharp rise in profitability

The Jenoptik Group posted a marked leap in earnings for fiscal year 2011. Sales increased by 13.5 percent to 543.3 million euros. Earnings after tax reached a record 34.1 million euros. Jenoptik shareholders are to be paid a dividend.

"We have kept our word", said Jenoptik Chairman Dr. Michael Mertin. The sharp rise in profitability was the result of the work over recent years. "At the same time, we have restructured our corporate financing, which gives us certainty for the future." With these words, the Jenoptik Chairman thanked Chief Financial Officer Frank Einhellinger at the occasion of publishing the financial statements in Jena on Friday. The CFO will leave Jenoptik in June this year and hand over to Rüdiger Andreas Günther on April 1. "After a challenging period involving the realignment of the whole company from the operational and financing aspects, I am leaving Jenoptik after one of its most successful fiscal years. This is a good time to take up new career challenges. I would like to express my thanks for the confidence placed in me by the employees and partners who have supported me in my professional career", said Frank Einhellinger.

Sales, earnings and order intake rose in the double figure percentage range in 2011

In 2011, the Jenoptik Group posted organic sales growth of 13.5 percent to 543.3 million euros (prev. year 478.8 million euros). All three segments contributed to this, with the Metrology segment showing the biggest rise in sales of 23.1 percent. This also resulted in a corresponding change in the sector mix. The automotive/machine construction sectors accounted for nearly 30 percent of Jenoptik's total sales, pushing security and defense technology off the top spot.

Once again Jenoptik generated nearly 60 percent of its sales abroad. In the growth region of Asia, it achieved a marked, disproportionately high increase, with sales up by 55.1 percent; by now, 1 in every 10 euros is generated in Asia. Sales in the NAFTA region also increased at a disproportionately high rate of around 20 percent in dollar terms. "The growth in sales in these two key regions testifies to the success of our internationalization strategy which we have been pursuing over the last two years", said Michael Mertin. One example of this is the establishment of Jenoptik Shanghai by the Group in late 2011, combining all activities on the Chinese market. This was preceded by the formation or expansion of the Group's own presence in Korea and Japan as well as of the defense business in the USA.

Payment of a dividend proposed

The group operating result rose by nearly 70 percent to 49.2 million euros, a record in the company's more recent history (prev. year 29.0 million euros). As a consequence, Jenoptik posted an EBIT margin of more than 9 percent for the full fiscal year 2011, the figure coming in at 9.1 percent. All three segments increased their EBIT at a higher rate compared with the respective increase in sales. More efficient cost structures in all the Group's operating areas, together with the higher sales and resultant economies of scale, all contributed towards the leap in earnings.

At minus 14.2 million euros, the financial result was at approximately the same level as in the previous year. "Lower interest expenses due to the Group's refinancing at favorable terms through debenture loans will not have a positive impact on the financial result until the current fiscal year", explained CFO Frank Einhellinger. Income taxes totaled 4.4 million euros (95 percent of these being incurred in Germany), with non-cash effective deferred tax earnings in the sum of 3.5 million euros being simultaneously achieved. The earnings after tax were therefore 34.1 million euros (prev. year 9.0 million euros).

The Executive and Supervisory Boards of JENOPTIK AG will propose to pay a dividend of 0.15 euros per share to the Annual General Meeting which will take place in Weimar in June. "As promised we have restored Jenoptik's ability to pay a dividend. With the payment we prove that Jenoptik has become a company which combines growth and financial stability", said Michael Mertin. At the same time, the Jenoptik Chairman referred to the need for a sound financial footing, particularly as a technology-based company. How important this is was demonstrated by the financial and economic crisis in 2009/2010.

The order intake reached 647.9 million euros (prev. year 534.6 million euros), the highest level in recent years. The overall increase of 21.2 percent was primarily attributable to the Defense & Civil Systems and Metrology segments, who won a number of major orders. The order backlog of the Jenoptik Group also increased accordingly by around 90 million euros to 448.5 million euros (31.12.2010: 355.4 million euros).

Number of employees increased at the Jena site and abroad

The rise in sales and continuing good order book situation led to an increase in the number of employees, taking the figure to 3,117 (31.12.2010: 2,951). New employees were recruited primarily in the Lasers & Optical Systems and Metrology segments. The number of Jenoptik employees abroad also increased to the new figure of nearly 400, a rise to approx. 13 percent of the total number of employees.

Positive performance by the financial and balance sheet indicators

Despite increased capital expenditure and payments to a silent real estate investor, Jenoptik generated a free cash flow of 44.0 million euros in 2011, up sharply on the previous year (prev. year 31.6 million euros). "We have therefore secured the investment needed for the expansion of our business and achieved another small reduction in net debt", said Frank Einhellinger. Following the sharp reduction in 2009 and 2010, net debt fell slightly further to 77.1 million euros.

At 25.1 million euros, capital expenditure in 2011 was significantly higher than in the previous year (prev. year 14.5 million euros). The key projects were the continued optimization of production systems for higher output energy systems at the Altenstadt site in Bavaria, as well as the start of construction to expand the production of base materials for high-power diode lasers at the Berlin site.

The Group's financing has been secured through the debenture loans in the sum of 90 million euros. These were placed at favorable terms with a final maturity of five resp. seven years; as such they do not require any repayments during the term. "We utilized the money to repay loans, in particular the loan covered by a federal-state guarantee. This was particularly important for us. We would like to express our thanks for the confidence which the politicians have shown in our development" said CFO Frank Einhellinger.

Information on the Jenoptik Group segments

The Lasers & Optical Systems segment posted a high growth as a result of the high level of demand from the semiconductor industry. Sales were up by 14.9 percent to 217.1 million euros (prev. year 188.9 million euros). The Lasers & Material Processing segment increased sales of semiconductor lasers, lasers for medical technology as well as laser processing systems, primarily for the automotive industry and for processing of thin-films in the photovoltaics industry or related areas. The segment achieved a record EBIT of 29.2 million euros (prev. year 13.3 million euros). The 119.5 percent leap in earnings also came from both operating business units, once again with Optical Systems making the biggest contribution. This was due mainly to the expansion of the systems business, which now has a significantly greater share of the business. The improvement and cost saving measures, which were introduced in 2009 and have been pursued continually since then, also had an impact on the results. At 224.4 million euros the order intake was down slightly on the high level in the previous year (prev. year 230.2 million euros) but just ahead of sales. As expected, the strong demand from the semiconductor industry eased during the 2nd half-year 2011. The order backlog, at 101.3 million euros, was up slightly on the figure for the previous year (31.12.2010: 98.8 million euros).

The Metrology segment posted record results. Sales increased to 140.1 million euros in 2011 (prev. year 113.8 million euros). The 23.1 percent growth came from Industrial Metrology thanks to strong demand from the automotive industry. In addition, the sales figure includes the first contributions from the major Saudi Arabian project of Traffic Solutions. The segment EBIT, up by 39.5 percent, increased at a stronger rate than sales, reaching 12.0 million euros (prev. year 8.6 million euros). This was attributable to the growth in sales and more efficient structures. The order intake rose by 21.7 percent to 166.7 million euros (prev. year 137.0 million euros). This figure includes the major traffic safety order from Saudi Arabia worth more than 20 million euros. The order intake exceeded sales so the order backlog increased by 53 percent to 69.0 million euros (31.12.2010: 45.1 million euros). In the current fiscal year, the segment won another major order in the traffic safety area worth more than 40 million euros for traffic safety systems from Malaysia.

The Defense & Civil Systems segment achieved record orders which included several major, long-term orders that will contribute to sales over the years ahead. In the fiscal year just past, sales totaled 183.3 million euros (prev. year 173.9 million euros). The small rise in sales is primarily attributable to the growth in sales in the aviation and energy systems areas. The segment EBIT totaled 11.6 million euros (prev. year 8.6 million euros). The main contributors to the growth in earnings were the Altenstadt site which produces higher output energy systems, as well as the joint venture Hillos in Jena which manufactures laser range-finder equipment for applications in the construction industry and 50 percent of which is included in the results on a proportional basis. The order backlog totaled 254.5 million euros (prev. year 163.7 million euros), representing an increase of 55.5 percent. This figure includes several major orders that will not be repeated each year. They include large orders for the new PUMA infantry fighting vehicle for the Germany Army as well as additional major orders from the US Government to supply generators for the Patriot air defense missile system. The order backlog increased accordingly by 31.7 percent to 279.9 million euros (prev. year 212.6 million euros).

Outlook for the current fiscal year 2012: remaining cautiously optimistic

"Our innovative products in high-tech markets, a growing systems business, strong international presence and efficient internal structures provide us with good opportunities to expand our position as a global player in optoelectronics", summarized Michael Mertin. "Our performance testifies to the confidence our customers place in us, an increasing number of which include large corporations and global leaders." At the same time, he emphasized that risks to the economic development remain for the current fiscal year, primarily as a result of the sovereign debt and currency situation. "We stand by our cautious optimism that we expressed in February. We are seeing a stable order intake in the 1st quarter 2012. The year has got off to a good start and we expect a successful first quarter", said the Jenoptik Chairman. For the full year 2012, the Jenoptik Group anticipates a slight organic sales growth of 2 to 6 percent compared with 2011. The other two segments should more than compensate for the anticipated reduction in sales in the Laser & Optical Systems segment as a result of the expected reduction in demand from the semiconductor industry. The Group EBIT in 2012 is once again expected to exceed the 40 million euro mark and come in at between 40 and 50 million euros depending upon the course of the cycle in the semiconductor industry. Following the debt reorganization and restructuring of the Group financing in 2011, the Jenoptik Group also expects a marked improvement in the net interest result due to lower interest expenses with a positive impact on the earnings before tax.

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