Jena, Germany – The Jenoptik Group increased sales in the first nine months of the current fiscal year by 10.9 percent to 383.9 million euros (prev. year 346.2 million euros). This is primarily attributable to increased sales with the semiconductor and automotive industries. Foreign sales accounted for ~60 percent of total sales. The Jenoptik Group posted its strongest growth in Asia, with a 37 percent increase in sales to 38.3 million euros.
In addition to the growth in sales, improved cost structures in all individual areas, improved purchasing processes and the increase in capacity utilization all contributed to the growth in earnings. The Lasers & Optical Systems segment in particular made a positive contribution to the development of the results. Earnings before tax totaled 26.1 million euros compared with 11.3 million euros for the same period in the previous year; earnings after tax amounted to 21.4 million euros (prev. year 9.6 million euros) equating to an increase of 122.9 percent. Earnings per share improved accordingly from 0.17 for the period in the previous year, to 0.37 euros.
The Group posted a 25 percent increase in the order intake, or by 102.8 million euros in net terms, to 513.7 million euros compared with the level in the previous year (410.9 million euros). As expected, order intakes from the semiconductor industry declined slightly. The Group offset this reduction through several major orders in the Defense & Civil Systems segment plus growth in the Metrology segment. The growth in order intake outpaced the increase in sales; the order backlog rose correspondingly by 34.3 percent or 121.8 million euros in net terms, to 477.2 million euros (31.12.2010: 355.4 million euros). The book-to-bill-ratio, the ratio of order intake to sales. thus amounted to 1.34.
In the third quarter just past, Jenoptik initiated major investments. The optimized production facilities were officially opened at the Altenstadt site (Bavaria), making allowance for the growth in the energy systems area of the Defense & Civil Systems segment. The segment received several major orders from the US over recent months. The decision to invest in the expansion of the Berlin site in the Lasers & Optical Systems segment will significantly increase the capacities for the production of laser bars, the base material for high-power diode lasers. Production is expected to commence at the beginning of 2013.
The increase in sales was accompanied by a small rise in personnel numbers in the Jenoptik Group, with the number of employees worldwide totaling 3,039 at the end of September (31.12.2010: 2,951). As previously announced, the rate of increase in the number of employees was clearly underproportional to the growth in sales.
The Lasers & Optical Systems segment again increased its sales and earnings compared with the previous year. Sales totaled 159.2 million euros (prev. year 137.3 million euros), representing a rise of 16.0 percent. This was primarily attributable to the Optical Systems Division. The segment achieved ~70 percent of its sales abroad (prev. year approx. 70 percent). The result from operating activities (segment EBIT) was 24.8 million euros (prev. year 10.7 million euros), and more than doubled.
The leap in earnings is attributable in particular to the Optical Systems Division, which posted high sales from the semiconductor industry. Improved production and cost structures throughout the segment contributed towards the result. At 166.9 million euros, the order intake was only slightly below the high level achieved in the previous year (173.9 million euros). The demand from the semiconductor industry weakened slightly, as had been forecast. By contrast, there was a marked increase in demand for laser systems for various industries compared with the previous year. The segment’s order backlog accordingly showed a small rise to 102.0 million euros (Dec. 31, 2010: 98.8 million euros).
Jenoptik expects a continuation of the positive development in the operating business in the current fourth quarter, although the development of business in the Lasers & Optical Systems segment is anticipated to continue, returning to normal. Sales for the full year 2011 are expected to come in at ~525 million euros; the previous year, sales were 479 million euros excluding the discontinued Business Division.