First Sensor expects its strategy for profitable growth to deliver further success in 2019
- Sales likely to rise from EUR155.1 million to EUR160-170 million
- Further increase in EBIT margin from 7.9% to 8.5-9.5%
- Management proposes dividend of EUR0.20 per share
- CEO Dr. Dirk Rothweiler appointed until end of 2023
First Sensor continued to grow profitably in fiscal 2018, as planned. Sales rose by 5.2% to EUR155.1 million (previous year: EUR147.5 million) and were generated with improved profitability. For instance, EBIT rose by 16.0% to EUR12.2 million. This equates to an EBIT margin of 7.9% (previous year: 7.2%).
"Our earnings for 2018 show that our strategy for profitable growth is taking effect and we are successfully generating and leveraging economies of scale," said Dr. Dirk Rothweiler, CEO of First Sensor AG, whose term of office was extended for a further four years by the Supervisory Board of First Sensor AG last week. "Our sensors for photonics and pressure are impressing key customers all over the world and have become integral parts of applications in Industry 4.0, state-of-the-art medical technology and green and networked mobility."
Successful improvement in earnings in 2018
With sales of EUR155.1million (previous year: EUR147.5 million), all key earnings figures have improved. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased from EUR19.6 million in the previous year to EUR21.3 million. The EBITDA margin thus climbed from 13.3% to 13.7%. Consequently, EBIT also improved by 16.0% to EUR12.2 million (previous year: EUR10.6 million). The EBIT margin thus reached 7.9% (previous year: 7.2%). After taxes, significantly increased consolidated net income of EUR7.5 million was reported for fiscal 2018 (previous year: EUR4.4 million). This equates to earnings of EUR0.72 per share in circulation (previous year: EUR0.40). Retained earnings at First Sensor AG amount to EUR9.3 million (previous year: EUR4.1 million). The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board therefore intend to propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR0.20 per share be distributed. This corresponds to a total distribution of EUR2.0 million or 22.0% of retained earnings.
Sales in the Industrial target market rose by 7.0% to EUR80.4 million (previous year: EUR75.1 million). This is attributable to the expansion of business with optical sensors and pressure sensors, for which there has been increased demand, particularly in Asia. In the Medical target market, the rise in demand for pressure sensors in the H series as well as imaging solutions caused sales to grow by 23.7% to EUR34.6 million (previous year: EUR27.9 million). Further sales growth was achieved in North America in particular. In the Mobility target market, sales amounted to EUR40.2 million in the last fiscal year (previous year: EUR44.5 million). This reflects the volatile geopolitical developments that hit the automotive industry last year.
Incoming orders and orders on hand
Demand for the First Sensor Group's sensors and sensor solutions remains high. In 2018, incoming orders totaled EUR159.6 million. As at December 31, 2018, orders on hand stood at EUR97.6 million, up EUR5.1 million on the previous year (EUR92.5 million). 80.0% of these orders are scheduled for 2019.
Statement of financial position and cash flow
Total assets increased to EUR168.4 million in fiscal 2018 (previous year: EUR159.6 million). As a result of the retained earnings for fiscal 2018 and the issue of shares from contingent capital, the equity ratio rose by 1.4 percentage points to 52.7%. In the area of property, plant and equipment, investments were mainly focused on expanding production capacity. On balance, working capital remained almost unchanged, falling by EUR0.2 million to EUR37.3 million (previous year: EUR37.5 million). Capital employed was also on a par with the previous year at EUR123.2 million (previous year: EUR122.9 million). ROCE developed positively, rising to 9.9% (previous year: 8.6%).
Operating cash flow amounted to EUR15.9 million (previous year: EUR16.0 million). Cash flow from investing activities totaled EUR-9.6 million following EUR-12.5 million in the previous year, when the standard ERP software was acquired. The investments in 2018 largely related to new machinery and equipment for expanding vertical integration, process improvements and increasing capacity. As a result, free cash flow amounted to EUR6.3 million, up EUR2.8 million year-on-year.
The First Sensor Group had a total of 863 employees (FTEs - full-time equivalents) and 32 apprentices (previous year: 31) as at the reporting date December 31, 2018.
For fiscal 2019, the Executive Board is anticipating sales between EUR160 million and EUR170 million. "In 2019, new customer-specific solutions for key customers are being taken into series production, resulting in greater volumes. At the same time, we are seeing increased orders for standard sensors and sensor solutions from our existing customers. This already provides a good starting point for a successful new fiscal year," commented CEO Dr. Dirk Rothweiler. "We aim to grow in all target markets and sales regions but are monitoring the impacts of the muted global economic expectations and the still unresolved geopolitical challenges very closely."
As a consequence of sales growth, the Executive Board also expects profitability to benefit from economies of scale again in 2019. In addition, further improvements in efficiency and productivity are envisaged. "We expect an EBIT margin between 8.5% and 9.5% for fiscal 2019. This planning is based on the expectation of a further rise in the sales volume as well as further implementation of our efficiency programs," said CFO Dr. Mathias Gollwitzer. Small-scale orders, contribution margins, lead times and yield loss are just a few of the topics on which the company is working systematically. "By 2020, we are likely to be generating a consistent EBIT margin of 10%."
Figures 2018 at a glance (rounding differences may occur)
|In EUR million, unless otherwise indicated
|EBITDA margin (%)
|EBIT margin (%)
|Earnings before taxes (EBT)
|Net profit for the period
|Earnings per share (EUR)
|Cash flow from operating activities
|Free cash flow
|Balance sheet total
|Equity ratio (%)
|Orders on hand
|Employees (average of the period)
|Number of shares in thousand as of Dec. 31
About First Sensor AG
In the growth market of sensor systems, First Sensor develops and produces standard products and customer-specific solutions for the ever-increasing number of applications in the industrial, medical, and mobility target markets. Based on innovative technology platforms, we develop products such as chips, components, sensors, and entire sensor systems. Trends such as Industry 4.0, autonomous driving, and the miniaturization of medical technology will drive our growth extremely rapidly in the future. First Sensor was founded in Berlin in 1991 and has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (SIS) since 1999 [Prime Standard Ι WKN: 720190 Ι ISIN: DE0007201907 Ι SIS]. For more details on First Sensor, please visit www.first-sensor.com.
Statements in this Corporate News relating to future developments are based on a prudent estimate of future events. Actual events may deviate from planned events, as they depend on a large number of market and economic factors, some of which are outside of the company's control.
The annual report 2018 is available for download on the internet at https://www.first-sensor.com/annual-report-2018
The Financial Statement Press Conference will take place today at 10:00 a.m. in Berlin, Peter-Behrens-Straße 15. Afterwards, the presentation will be made available in the Result Center under: https://www.first-sensor.com/en/investor-relations/results-center/
The annual general meeting 2019 takes place on Friday, May 3rd 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Pentahotel Berlin Köpenick, Grünauer Straße 1 in 12557 Berlin.
The Q1 Interim Report will be published on May 14th, 2019.
Since we cannot rule out date changes we recommend to always compare these and other dates online with our financial calendar: https://www.first-sensor.com/en/investor-relations/financial-calendar/
First Sensor AG Executive Board: CEO Dr. Dirk Rothweiler (right) and CFO Dr. Mathias Gollwitzer (left)
(c)First Sensor AG
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