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DGAP-News: First Sensor AG: First Sensor will continue to grow also in 2016

DGAP-News: First Sensor AG / Key word(s): Final Results/Forecast
First Sensor AG: First Sensor will continue to grow also in 2016

23.03.2016 / 07:03
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

- Sales rise to EUR137.7 million, sales forecast clearly exceeded

- EBITDA lower than expected at EUR11.4 million due to extraordinary effects

- Fiscal year 2016 focuses on more growth and improved profitability

- Guidance 2016: sales EUR145-150 million, EBIT margin 5-6%

First Sensor AG, a developer and manufacturer of customer-specific solutions on the growth market of sensor technology, increased sales by 11.1% to EUR137.7 million in the 2015 fiscal year (previous year: EUR124.0 million). As a result, the latest forecast (EUR136 million) was clearly exceeded again. With growth rates between 8.3% and 16.5%, all three segments have contributed to this positive development.
"Growth in the past fiscal year shows that our focus on technology-driven target markets already lets us participate in their exceptionally rapid growth," said Dr. Martin U. Schefter, Chairman of the Management Board at First Sensor AG. "This demonstrates that we are successfully developing customer applications that by far exceed standard components already available on the market."

In 2015, the operating result (EBITDA) was burdened by a range of extraordinary effects, mainly the closure of the Singapore site and valuation allowances on inventories. These effects totaled a slightly higher amount than most recently forecast. As a result, EBITDA amounted to EUR11.4 million at year-end. Adjusted for these effects, EBITDA would have amounted to EUR14.1 million in 2015 (previous year: EUR13.5 million). EBIT reached EUR1.2 million (previous year: EUR4.1 million), which corresponds to a margin of 0.9%. The consolidated result for the year as a whole was negative at -EUR1.5 million (previous year: +EUR0.4 million) mainly due to extraordinary effects.

"The positive overall situation as regards organic growth cannot hide the fact that we cannot be satisfied with the development of profitability," said Dr. Mathias Gollwitzer, CFO of First Sensor AG. "Even when the non-recurring effects with a negative impact on fiscal year 2015 are taken into account, the earnings quality still is not satisfactory. We have addressed this issue and taken measures that will sustainably improve profitability. Our target is to increase operating earnings step by step to an EBIT margin of 10%."

For the 2016 fiscal year, the Management Board intends to develop sales between EUR145 million and EUR150 million and initially generate an EBIT margin between 5 to 6%.

In the Industrial business unit, sales in the past fiscal year rose by EUR5.7 million or 8.3% to EUR74.1 million (previous year: EUR68.4 million). The segment's sales share thus amounts to 54% (previous year: 55%). With growth of 16.5% (EUR3.4 million) the Medical business unit saw the strongest growth and increased its sales to EUR23.8 million (previous year: EUR20.4 million). Its share in total sales therefore reached 17% (previous year: 16%). The Mobility business unit increased its sales by EUR4.7 million to EUR39.8 million (previous year: EUR35.1 million), corresponding to growth of 13.4%. As a result, it represents 29% of total sales (previous year: 28%).

Incoming orders and orders on hand
With incoming orders of EUR142.3 million, a new peak value was achieved in 2016. Orders on hand in the Group increased by EUR4.3 million to EUR90.7 million at year-end (previous year: EUR86.4 million), thus the book to bill ratio was 1.03 due to reporting date reasons (previous year: 1.12).

Balance sheet and cash flows
Total assets amounted to EUR153.5 million on the reporting date (previous year: EUR144.9 million). The equity ratio decreased from 49.7% to 46.4%, mainly as a result of the placement of promissory note loans in December. For the early repayment of the variable three-year tranche of EUR19.0 million, three new promissory notes with terms of three and seven years were subscribed by Germany institutional investors. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR21.5 million at the end of the year (previous year: EUR14.5 million). Working capital rose from EUR30.3 million in the previous year to EUR36.5 million, predominately due to the discontinuation of factoring. In addition to the low result, this was also the most significant cause for the decline in operating cash flow from EUR12.2 million in the previous year to EUR5.0 million in the 2015 fiscal year. Free cash flow after investments (EUR6.8 million) was thus negative at -EUR1.8 million (previous year: EUR7.5 million). For the current fiscal year, the company plans to make investments above the amount of write-downs.

The First Sensor Group had a total of 773 employees as at December 31, 2015, compared with 757 in the previous year (+2%).

In the 2016 fiscal year, First Sensor will focus on further creating growth at the company. Sensors are an indispensable component of technology-based products, and experts estimate that the number of sensors installed in B2B applications worldwide is doubling roughly every eight to nine years. The Management Board therefore anticipates that the demand for the company's products and solutions will continue to rise. "Our positioning as a specialist in customer-specific solutions is the starting point for many development projects that we work on in partnership with our customers," said Schefter. "They are often the basis for a longstanding collaboration." To further increase our proximity to customers worldwide, the Group's internationalization will also be selectively expanded, initially with a focus on North America and China. "With these investments, we are tapping additional sales potential that will support the dynamic growth of the First Sensor Group in the medium and long term."

The company is unlocking further potential with cooperations. The focus is on companies with expertise in complementary technologies. For example, last year we began a cooperation with the Optoi Group, a leading provider in the area of silicon photomultiplier technology. "When it comes to the further development of the company, we place a clear focus on qualitative growth. We have laid the foundations for gradually improving profitability to an EBIT margin of 10% over the coming years, while we anticipate annual sales growth of around 10%," said Gollwitzer. "The objective is to enhance value continuously."

First Sensor in figures

in EUR million, unless otherwise indicated 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Sales revenues 65.2 111.9 108.5 124.0 137.7
Industrial - - - 68.4 74.1
Medical - - - 20.4 23.8
Mobility - - - 35.2 39.8
EBITDA 6.7 13.4 11.6 13.5 11.4
EBITDA margin (%) as compared to total output 9.7 11.6 10.6 10.8 8.3
EBIT 1.6 3.6 2.7 4.1 1.2
EBIT margin (%) as compared to total output 2.3 3.1 2.5 3.2 0.9
Net profit for the period 0.5 0.5 -0.5 0.4 -1.5
Earnings per share (EUR) 0.06 0.05 -0.05 0.02 -0.17
Cash flow from operating activities -2.6 10.0 13.1 12.2 5.0
Free cash flow -58.1 -2.9 5.9 7.5 -1.8
Balance sheet total 160.2 158.6 144.9 144.9 153.5
Shareholders' equity 69.1 69.9 70.0 72.0 71.3
Equity ratio (%) 43.1 44.1 48.3 49.7 46.4
Net debt -33.3 -39.0 -35.8 -29.7 -33.0
Working capital 34.3 36.3 28.6 30.3 36.5
ROCE 1.2 2.6 2.3 3.4 1.0
Incoming orders 29.7 117.8 121.4 139.3 142.3
Orders on hand 63.6 73.4 73.7 86.4 90.7
Book-to-bill-ratio 0.46 1.05 1.11 1.12 1.03
Employees (average of the period) - 691 686 719 770
Sales revenues per employee   161.9 158.2 172.5 178.8
Number of shares in thousand as at 31.12. 9.843 9.940 9.981 10.131 10.167

About First Sensor AG
First Sensor AG is one of the world's leading suppliers in the field of sensor systems. Our company develops and manufactures standardized and customized sensor solutions for applications in the Industrial, Medical and Mobility growth markets. With over 800 employees, we are represented at six German locations and also have development, production and sales sites in the USA, Canada, Singapore, China, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Sweden and Denmark along with a worldwide partner network. First Sensor AG is a German public limited company and has been listed in the Prime Standard of the German stock exchange in Frankfurt since 1999. For more details on First Sensor, please visit www.first-sensor.com.

Legal Disclaimer
This report contains statements of a predictive nature and does not represent any incitement to purchase shares of First Sensor AG, but rather is intended exclusively for information purposes with regard to possible future developments at the company. All future-oriented information in this consolidated financial report were produced on the basis of probability-based plan and represent statements regarding the future which cannot be guaranteed.

The consolidated financial report is available for download on the internet at http://www.first-sensor.com/en/investor-relations/financial-publications/annual-reports/.

It is intended to publish the Q1 Interim Report on May 2, 2016.

The annual general meeting takes place on May 4th 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Pentahotel Berlin Köpenick, Grünauer Straße 1 in 12557 Berlin.

First Sensor AG
Peter-Behrens-Str. 15
12459 Berlin
Corinna Krause
E-Mail: ir@first-sensor.com
T +49 30 639923-571


23.03.2016 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Media archive at www.dgap-medientreff.de and www.dgap.de

Language: English
Company: First Sensor AG
Peter-Behrens-Straße 15
12459 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 63 99 23-760
Fax: +49 (0)30 63 99 23-719
E-mail: ir@first-sensor.com
Internet: www.first-sensor.com
ISIN: DE0007201907
WKN: 720190
Listed: Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart
End of News DGAP News Service

448041  23.03.2016 

First Sensor is one of the world's leading suppliers in the field of sensor systems and part of TE Connectivity. In the growth market of sensor systems, First Sensor develops and produces customer-specific solutions for the ever-increasing number of applications in the industrial, medical, and mobility target markets. Our goal here is to identify, meet and solve the challenges of the future with our innovative sensor solutions early on.
Investor Relations
Our investor relations activities aim at raising the international publicity of First Sensor AG and at consolidating and extending the perception of our share as an attractive growth stock. This means we keep our online communication transparent, comprehensive and continuous in order to enhance your trust in our share.
Tailored Solutions
In the growth market of sensor systems, First Sensor develops and produces customer-specific sensors, electronics, modules and complex systems for the ever-increasing number of applications in the industrial, medical, and mobility target markets. As a solution provider the company offers complete development services from a first draft and proof of concept up to the development of prototypes and finally serial production. First Sensor offers comprehensive development expertise, state-of-the-art packaging technologies and production capacities in clean rooms from ISO class 8 to 5.
Innovation, excellence, proximity – these are our values, our ambition, our drive. Anything less is not an option. Our sensor solutions stand for technical innovation and economic growth. As such, they form the basis for the development and application of new technologies in almost all areas of life. We aim to shape this future together with you.

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