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DGAP-News: First Sensor expects its strategy for profitable growth to deliver further success in 2019

DGAP-News: First Sensor AG / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
First Sensor expects its strategy for profitable growth to deliver further success in 2019

21.03.2019 / 08:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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.

Target markets
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 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sales revenues 124.0 137.7 150.1 147.5 155.1
Industrial 68.4 74.1 72.5 75.1 80.4
Medical 20.4 23.8 30.7 27.9 34.6
Mobility 35.2 39.8 46.9 44.5 40.2
EBITDA 13.5 11.4 19.4 19.6 21.3
EBITDA margin (%) 10.9 8.3 12.9 13.3 13.7
EBIT 4.1 1.2 10.0 10.6 12.2
EBIT margin (%) 3.2 0.9 6.7 7.2 7.9
EBITA 5.3 2.5 11.2 12.8 14.5
Earnings before taxes (EBT) 1.7 1.2 8.7 7.2 10.4
Net profit for the period 0.4 -1.5 6.1 4.4 7.5
Earnings per share (EUR) 0.02 -0.17 0.57 0.40 0.72
Cash flow from operating activities 12.2 5.0 16.6 16.0 15.9
Free cash flow 7.5 -1.8 10.0 3.5 6.2
Balance sheet total 144.9 153.5 154.0 159.6 168.4
Shareholders' equity 72.0 71.3 77.5 81.9 88.8
Equity ratio (%) 49.7 46.4 50.3 51.3 52.7
Net debt 29.7 33.0 24.4 22.8 19.5
Working capital 30.3 36.5 35.7 37.5 37.3
ROCE (%) 3.4 1.0 8.5 8.6 9.9
Incoming orders 139.3 142.3 132.9 163.7 159.6
Orders on hand 86.4 90.7 82.2 92.5 97.6
Book-to-bill-ratio 1.12 1.03 0.89 1.11 1.03
Employees (average of the period) 719 770 791 787 835
Number of shares in thousand as of Dec. 31 10,131 10,167 10,208 10,216 10,222


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/

Printable images

First Sensor AG Executive Board: CEO Dr. Dirk Rothweiler (right) and CFO Dr. Mathias Gollwitzer (left)

(c)First Sensor AG

First Sensor AG owns the rights to the images. Bei Verwendung bitten wir Sie um einen Hinweis darauf. Please make reference to this when using the material. If you require more material, you are welcome to contact us or check out our picture archive https://www.first-sensor.com/en/company/press/picture-archive/index.html.

First Sensor AG
Peter-Behrens-Str. 15
12459 Berlin
Investor Relations
E-mail: ir@first-sensor.com
T +49 30 639923-760

21.03.2019 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.
Archive at 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, Tradegate Exchange

End of News DGAP News Service

789995  21.03.2019 

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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