With an additional cash inflow of CHF 33 million for investment, further major orders from premium manufacturers and new development projects, Feintool can look back on an encouraging business performance in the first half of 2013. The long-term strategy of concentrating on fineblanking and forming, coupled with continued internationalization and technical innovation, was systematically continued. In the period from 1 January to 30 June 2013, Feintool increased its net sales by 14.7 percent on a year-on-year basis to CHF 225 million. EBITDA rose 3.5 percent in the same period to CHF 22.4 million. Thanks to the capital increase, the equity ratio improved to 42.8 percent.
The world's automotive industry continued to show a mixed performance in the first half of 2013, in line with regional trends. The North American market developed positively, while European automotive production once again declined and the Asian market in particular enjoyed strong growth. On a year-on-year basis, global automotive production increased by 1.4 percent to 42.3 million vehicles.
Encouraging business situation
Group sales rose by 14.7% year-on-year to CHF 225 million. Orders received increased by an impressive 36.8%, and orders in hand by 8.8%. The gross margin rose by 19.6% from CHF 75.1 million to CHF 89.8 million. The EBITDA margin remained at the previous year's level of 10.0%, which had been adjusted for the effect of the sale of IMA Berlin. EBITDA increased by 3.5% from CHF 21.7 million to CHF 22.4 million.
Cash flow prior to the change in net working capital grew by 63.1% from CHF 14.7 million to CHF 24.0 million. Investment amounted to CHF 18.3 million – divided roughly equally between expansion and the normal replacement of production facilities – and the change in net working capital to CHF -21.9 million. Free cash flow thus came to CHF -16.2 million, compared with CHF 8.8 million in the previous year.
Owing to the investment strategy, depreciation increased by 51.7% from CHF 8.7 million to CHF 13.2 million. This was the primary reason for the reduction in the EBIT margin to 4.1 percent from the previous year's 5.6 percent (adjusted for the impact of the disposal of IMA Berlin). The operating result (EBIT) consequently fell by CHF 1.8 million to CHF 9.2 million.
All segments and regions positive
Orders received by System Parts rose by 60.4% auf CHF 216.1 million. CHF 40 million stemmed from the forming-business acquisition, with organic growth amounting to an impressive 33.8%. Sales rose by 28.8% in total to CHF 170.8 million, 4.4 percentage points of which came from organic growth. The European share of sales grew to 54.4% following the acquisition. The US share was 32.4%, while the Asian share fell to 13.2% largely due to the currency factor.
Order intake in the Fineblanking Technology segment declined by 16.2% to CHF 47.4 million. The decrease is a consequence of the lower orders from the group's internal System Parts segment. The crucial third-party business declined by 3.1%. Orders in hand amounted to CHF 46.4 million, representing sufficient work for 6-8 months. Sales rose by 1.2% to CHF 47.0 million. Order intake in the Automation Technology segment was 23% lower at CHF 18.6 million. Orders in hand amounted to CHF 25.4 million, ensuring capacity utilization for 6-8 months. Sales declined to CHF 19.6 million.
Cautiously optimistic outlook
Notwithstanding the fact that the global automotive market grew by just 1.4%, Feintool can look back on a successful first half of 2013. For the full year, we continue to expect a stable overall level of activity in the sector. We anticipate group sales in the region of CHF 480 million and – owing to additional development costs and investment in the start-up of new production – a slightly lower operating margin than in 2012.