Micronas increases net sales and operating profit in first quarter
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- Micronas increases net sales to CHF 44.2 million
- Manufacturing areas in Freiburg run at 80 percent capacity
- Gross margin rises to 41.9 percent
- Operating profit (EBIT) up 2.8 percent on previous quarter
- Net sales of CHF 84 million and an EBIT margin of 14 percent now expected for first half of 2012
Micronas has started 2012 with a successful first quarter, continuing the positive trend set in the previous year. Micronas Group's consolidated net sales came to CHF 44.2 million, which is CHF 0.6 million higher than the figure for the fourth quarter of 2011. Sales by the discontinued Consumer business contributed just CHF 1 million to the total in the first quarter of 2012. Automotive sales went up 1.9 percent to CHF 43.2 million. The gross margin improved from 41.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 41.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012; the absolute figure was CHF 18.5 million. Operating profit (EBIT) was up 2.8 percent in the first three months of the year to CHF 7.3 million (Q4-2011: CHF 7.1 million). The EBIT margin improved to 16.5 percent of sales.
The Micronas Group's profit for the first quarter of 2012 came to CHF 3.3 million, down from CHF 12.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, though this latter figure was boosted by the capitalization of deferred taxes worth CHF 8.5 million. Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2012 came to CHF 0.11. On March 30, 2012, Micronas held cash and cash equivalents of CHF 157.4 million, compared with CHF 156.2 million at the end of 2011. Cash and cash equivalents thus increased by CHF 1.2 million even after a distribution of CHF 1.5 million to Micronas shareholders from the capital contribution reserve. Shareholders' equity increased to CHF 133.4 million (31.12.2011: CHF 129.2 million). This produced an equity ratio for the first quarter of 2012 of 47.6 percent, compared with 46.0 percent at the end of 2011.
The manufacturing areas in Freiburg, which include the front-end wafer fab and the back-end assembly and testing areas, ran at about 80 percent capacity in the first quarter. Short-time work was only continued at a low level in some production areas. Micronas expects to phase out short-time work altogether at Freiburg by the end of the second quarter at the latest.
The new Innovation Center was founded in the first quarter in order to pursue innovation systematically in automotive electronics, and to translate these innovations into future products. By creating the Innovation Center, Micronas is aiming to strengthen its strategic product development. Klaus Heberle heads the center in his role as Chief Investment Officer. On March 1, 2012, Dirk Behrens took over from Klaus Heberle as Head of the Automotive division.
At the ordinary Shareholders' Meeting of March 23, 2012, all of the proposals put forward by the Board of Directors were approved by a large majority. Board Members Heinrich W. Kreutzer, Lucas A. Grolimund, Dieter G. Seipler and Stefan Wolf were each re-elected for a one-year term up to the next ordinary Shareholders' Meeting. At the end of March 2012, CHF 0.05 per share was paid out to shareholders for the first time in the history of Micronas in the form of a distribution from the capital contribution reserve.
Based on the good results for the first quarter, the Board of Directors and Management now expect that net sales for the first half of 2012 will reach CHF 84 million. The EBIT margin is expected to be around 14 percent.