Trumpf confirms 2012 results, offers cautiously positive outlook

Ditzingen, Germany - Trumpf Group released its final 2012 financial results on Oct. 18 which were in line with preliminary findings, and offered a few glimpses into where it sees growth in the coming months and year.

Trumpf basically confirmed its July preliminary data for 2012 sales (€2.33B, +15% Y/Y), pretax profits (€185M), and orders (€2.35B, +6% Y/Y). Sales in the company's lasers and electronics division rose by 15% to €727M; sales for laser technology alone (separate from the rest of the electronics business) was even better at 24% growth. "TRUMPF benefited from the fact that a lot of customers caught up on investments that had been postponed during the recession," stated President Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller at a press conference.

The company invested €153M in 2012 in its assets, more than double its 2011 investments; "it is only by making these major investments in the future that we can retain our technological lead over the long term," Leibinger-Kammüller said.

Regional breakdown of sales in 2012 was led by Germany (€671M, +14% Y/Y), the US (€274M, +23%) and China (€186M, +9%). Leibinger-Kammüller said Trumpf has been seeing strong growth over the past few months in the US, and "in problematic markets like Spain" the company has been taking market share. "Even though times are slightly tougher at the moment, there are good opportunities in many regional or technology-based markets -- and we want to take advantage of them as best we can."

The near-term outlook is still murky, though. Leibinger-Kammüller noted some weeks have very good order intake, but other weeks are very slow (and on a global basis). "Some customers are holding back on investments despite full order books, because the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone is making them nervous," she said. Market stability and better visibility should come, she added, from some resolutions on the political front happening in the next few weeks: getting the EU debt crisis under control, and stability and growth following the US presidential election and a Chinese government transition.

Nevertheless, the company's longer-term outlook is for growth in the new fiscal year (though Leibinger-Kammüller would not attach a number to it), "since we are well-positioned in the markets that count." She reiterated Trumpf's confidence in European markets and the economic strength in the US -- and that China will be the biggest growth market for the next couple of years.

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