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Results for first half of 2012 financial year: Feintool continues positive trend in first-half 2012

Results for first half of 2012 financial year: Feintool continues positive trend in first-half 2012

Feintool successfully maintained its position against a challenging global economic backdrop. The long-term strategy of concentrating on fineblanking and forming, coupled with expansion in Asia and innovation-led projects, was systematically continued.

In the 1 January to 30 June 2012 period, Feintool increased its net sales by 10.5 percent on a year-on-year basis to more than CHF 196 million. Operating profit (EBIT) rose CHF 5.1 million in the same period to CHF 13.8 million. This corresponds to growth of 58 percent and an EBIT margin of 7.0 percent.

One-time effects from the disposal of IMA Automation Berlin GmbH on 31 March 2012 and the purchase of Herzing + Schroth, which was completed on 31 May 2012, contributed CHF 2.3 million to the result. With chipless-forming specialist Herzing + Schroth, Feintool continues to expand its capabilities in the core business of Forming. As a result of the acquisition, headcount increased to 1,848 at the end of June 2012.

Double-digit growth in the US and Japan

Sales at System Parts, which includes Herzing + Schroth, increased by 15.3 percent in the first half of 2012 to nearly CHF 133 million. The parts business for automotive manufacturers in Asia – most notably Japan – developed particularly dynamically. The approximately 70 percent increase in first-half sales in that region was partly attributable to the recovery process following last year's Fukushima natural and nuclear disaster. With the opening of its third factory, Feintool is continuing its organic growth trajectory in Japan. Business also developed very dynamically in the US, where sales grew 16.5 percent between January and the end of June 2012. Although Feintool technology is used largely in the medium to upper vehicle segment, which has proved significantly more robust in the face of the euro crisis, a slight – to some extent currency-related – drop in European sales was impossible to avoid.

In the first half of the year, the capital goods segment of Fineblanking Technology benefited above all from the very good level of orders received in the previous year. The drop in sales of nearly one quarter to around CHF 46 million was largely a consequence of the noticeably smaller proportion of press deliveries for the in-house System Parts segment. The crucial third-party business declined by 5.5 percent.

Automation technology, the company's third pillar, reaped the benefits of its successful market positioning in first-half 2012. Despite the disposal of IMA Berlin, sales grew more than 14 percent to CHF 26.4 million.

Large orders backlog; slight decline in orders received

The orders backlog of the Feintool Group amounted to CHF 227 million as at 30 June this year, representing a year-on-year gain of 31.7 percent. Stripping out the effects of the purchase of Herzing + Schroth and disposal of IMA Berlin, the orders backlog grew by 5.2 percent. This figure was negatively affected by currency fluctuations. Orders received dropped by 7.9 percent to CHF 202.6 million. After adjustment for currencies, the decline was 5.9 percent. Customers are in some cases holding back on investment or reducing order volumes in view of the ongoing uncertainty over the future development of the world economy.

Increased operating profit; new long-term financing

The increase in sales and higher productivity offset higher indirect costs, which were also in preparation for future sales. Overall, there was an operating profit (EBIT) of CHF 13.8 million as compared to CHF 8.7 million in the previous year. This result represents a profit margin of 7.0 percent. All regions and segments operated at a profit. The net result for the period under review – due to higher taxes – amounted to CHF 7.2 million; this compares with CHF 6.6 million in the previous year.

Following the acquisition of Herzing + Schroth, net debt rose to CHF 76.9 million in the reporting period. On 28 June 2012, Feintool signed a CHF 120 million five-year syndicated loan agreement with eight banks. The new credit line was used firstly to repay existing loans but will also serve to finance future growth.

Shareholders' equity came to CHF 137.7 million as at 30 June 2012. As a result of the acquisition, the equity ratio fell to 35.1 percent

Optimistic outlook despite troubled backdrop

The outlook for business remains cautiously positive: Feintool is the sole global provider in fineblanking and forming. These are ideal technologies for benefiting from the megatrends in the automotive industry: producing high precision and high quality in large unit numbers cost-effectively. For the current fiscal year of 2012, Feintool expects consolidated sales of CHF 400 to 450 million and an EBIT margin of between four and six percent.

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