ISRA continues profitable growth - successful start into financial year 2014/2015

ISRA VISION AG: 1st Quarter 2014/2015 - revenues rise by 9%, EBT by 10%
(PresseBox) (Darmstadt, ) .
- Revenue increase of 9% to 23.8 million euros (Q1 13/14: 21.9 million euros)
- EBT growth plus 10% to 4.4 million euros (Q1 13/14: 4.0 million euros)
- Strong margin level with respect to total output continues:
- EBITDA margin at 26% (Q1 13/14: 26%)
- EBIT margin increases to 18% (Q1 13/14: 17%)
- EBT margin at 17% (Q1 13/14: 17%)
- Gross margin at 61% to total output (Q1 13/14: 61%)
- Earnings per share (EPS) increase to 0.69 euro (Q1 13/14: 0.64 euro)
- Operative cash flow improved
- High order backlog of significantly more than 65 million euros (PY: approx. 55.5 million euros)
- Continuation of double-digit profitable growth with at least stable margins planned
- Increased focus on efficiency and external growth
- Dividend recommendation for financial year 13/14 raised to 0.39 euro (PY: 0.35 euro)

ISRA VISION AG (ISIN: DE 0005488100), one of the world's top companies for industrial image processing (Machine Vision) as well as globally leading in surface inspection of web materials and 3D machine vision applications, continues its growth in the first quarter of 2014/2015 after the successful 2013/2014 financial year and reaching the important revenue mark of 100 million euros. The company starts the new financial year with good order entries. With a revenue plus of 9 percent to 23.8 million euros (Q1 13/14: 21.9 million euros) compared to the same period of the previous year and an EBT growth of 10 percent to 4.4 million euros (Q1 13/14: 4.0 million euros), ISRA further pursues its strategy of double-digit profitable growth. The strong margin level also continues as forecasted. The EBT margin compared to revenues increases by one percentage point to 19 percent (FY Q1 13/14: 18%), compared to total output it reaches again 17 percent as in the previous year. Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) increases slightly stronger with a plus of 11 percent to 4.6 million euros (Q1 13/14: 4.2 million euros) compared to the same period of the previous year. The EBIT margin compared to total output increases by one percentage point to 18 percent (Q1 13/14: 17%). With an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) of 6.9 million euros (Q1 13/14: 6.3 million euros), the EBITDA margin amounts to 26 percent to total output (Q1 13/14: 26%). The gross margin (total output minus cost of materials and labor of production and engineering) shows with 61 percent to total output a minor increase compared to the previous financial year (FY 13/14: 60%). Operative cash flow also rose slightly and amounts to 2.0 million euros as of the reporting date (December 31, 2013: 1.9 million euros), thereby continuing the positive trend of the previous quarters. Given the increase in equity ratio by one percentage point to 59 percent (September 30, 2014: 58%) and the available credit lines, the company is equipped with solid capital resources for future growth. Earnings per share after taxes (EPS) increase to 0.69 euro (Q1 13/14: 0.64 euro).

The investments in the global expansion of the company, the increase of market shares in relevant industries and the extension of the international team at more than 25 locations - actions that were systematically continued in the 2013/2014 financial year - positively contributed to the business development in the first quarter of 2014/2015. The order entry dynamics from America that started in the second half of the 2013/2014 year also proceeded in the first quarter of the current financial year. As expected, Asia records a slightly lower dynamics - but also contributes similarly to the revenues as in the previous year. The demand from Europe is stable - essential growth impulses are expected in the second half of the year. The regional diversification of the company and the expansion of the global presence are important instruments for a continued positive revenue development.

In the reporting quarter, ISRA grew in both segments - Surface Vision and Industrial Automation. The Industrial Automation segment is characterized by a broad customer base mainly from the automotive industry. In addition to this, several larger orders are expected in the medium term - the international sales team will be reinforced for this purpose. In the first three months of the financial year, revenues climbed by 12 percent to 4.1 million euros (Q1 13/14: 3.6 million euros). EBIT also increase by 12 percent to 0.8 million euros (Q1 13/14: 0.8 million euros), whereby the EBIT margin rose by one percentage point to 19 percent referenced to total output compared to the previous year (Q1 13/14: 18%). For the current year, management also expects a revenue contribution from the "Plug & Automate" product series which, after the launch in the German market, have successfully been installed at some strategic customers.

In the Surface Vision segment, revenues increase to 19.7 million euros in the first three months of the financial year (Q1 13/14: 18.3 million euros). The strong annual result of 2013/2014 of 77.4 million euros - an improvement of 19 percent compared to previous year - continues with an increase of 8 percent in the first quarter. EBIT rose by 13 percent to 3.8 million euros (Q1 13/14: 3.4 million euros), which corresponds to a margin of 17 percent to total output (Q1 13/14: 17%). High order entries are recorded particularly from the Plastics segment. Metal profits from the innovations recently introduced to the market. The good order situation in glass industry continued in the new financial year. The business performance tendency in the solar industry is positive and on a similar level as in the previous year. In this context, ISRA profits specifically from the sustained demand for inspection systems from Asia and the strategically strong market position following the successful integration of GP Solar. The revenues in the Paper unit are intensively supported by innovations and investments in the expansion of the global sales team. The recently introduced product innovations for customers in the printing industry are accompanied by marketing activities and forced by sales. In the area of inspection systems for security paper, like banknote paper, intensive marketing campaigns are being prepared, especially to present the innovations at upcoming trade fairs.

In the course of the 2014/2015 financial year, the further expansion of the CSSC (Customer Support and Service Center) will be one of the strategic key issues with the goal to further expand the share of the service revenues. The new release of the intelligent yield management software "EPROMI" for efficiency and productivity increase in production will be launched with extensive coverage in the second quarter of 2014/2015. At the same time, the first orders are delivered to Asia. Management expects not only additional revenue impulses from "EPROMI", but also the extension of unique selling points in the core business.

Besides the organic, the external growth through acquisitions of suitable companies is an important part of the long-term strategy to grow sustainably, diversified across technologies, regions and markets. As acquisition targets, ISRA defined the access to new markets that can be assigned directly or indirectly to long-term large future markets, the expansion of the technological base, as well as the increase of market shares in existing customer markets. The management again intensified the acquisition activities following the successful integration of GP Solar. With the support of external M&A partner, numerous targets are being approached in parallel. Currently, several possible target companies are at a partially advanced stage. It is planned to conclude at least one acquisition project, following a positive evaluation result, in the current financial year.

In the 2014/2015 financial year, the company will concentrate strategically as well as operationally on the realization of the next revenue dimensions. ISRA strengthened the focus on efficiency with the appointment of the internationally experienced manager Andreas Gerecke to the Executive Board. In his function as Executive Director Group Operations, Gerecke is also responsible for the further optimization of the production processes - lean production - as well as the targeted expansion of the infrastructure for future growth. The further improvement of the production processes will also contribute significantly to optimizing the working capital and the cash flow.

Based on the strong order backlog of significantly more than 65 million euros (PY: approx. 55.5 million euros) in the first quarter, management plans a profitable revenue increase for the entire 2014/2015 financial year in the double-digit growth rate - similar to the previous years. In terms of profit, it is planned to further optimize the margins, at least to hold the current high levels. The business expectations in the individual industries and regions show an inconsistent picture. Despite the political uncertainties and the economic challenges in some regions, the company assumes in its forecast that the worldwide economic conditions will not change significantly. ISRA's goal for the next years remains firmly in view; with the intensive focus on efficiency and innovations as well as targeted reinforcement of individual regions, the company continuously and actively prepares for the medium-term targeted revenue dimension of 150 million euros.

Further information is available at www.isravision.com.
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