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EANS-Adhoc: austriamicrosystems AG
austriamicrosystems reports revenues and
earnings for fiscal year 2009
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Financial results for fiscal year 2009 and fourth quarter 2009
Unterpremstaetten, Austria (February 22, 2010) austriamicrosystems (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs for consumer & communications, industry & medical and automotive applications, was impacted by the global economic crisis and the resulting semiconductor industry downturn in the fiscal year 2009. Full year revenues decreased by 26% to EUR 137.2 million and the operating result was a loss of EUR -18.6 million. In the fourth quarter 2009, austriamicrosystems recorded a significant improvement in orders and returned to profitability with revenues of EUR 43.9 million, up 11% quarter-on-quarter. Total backlog at the end of 2009 was EUR 45.6 million (2008: 29.8 million). For full year 2010 austriamicrosystems expects a further strong improvement in revenues and gross margins and a return to profitability.
Audited group revenues for fiscal year 2009 were EUR 137.2 million, 26% below the previous year´s revenues. On a constant currency basis, full year revenues decreased by 29% compared to the previous year. Revenues for the fourth quarter 2009 were EUR 43.9 million, up 11% quarter-on-quarter and up 2% from the EUR 43.2 million recorded in the last quarter 2008. On a constant currency basis, revenues for the fourth quarter increased by 14% compared to the same quarter 2008.
Gross margins for the full year 2009 decreased to 34%, clearly showing the impact of the industry downturn which resulted in low production utilization rates and high unabsorbed fixed costs in the first half of 2009 (2008: 51%). A full natural hedge in the production costs and manufacturing cost reduction and efficiency programs provided some support for gross margins in 2009. Gross margins for the fourth quarter 2009 improved to 42%, up 5 percentage points quarter-on-quarter but down from 49% in the same period 2008.
The group result from operations (EBIT) for 2009 was a loss of EUR -18.6 million compared to a profit of EUR 25.0 million in 2008. The investment in research & development was EUR 40.5 million, down from EUR 43.6 million in 2008, and continued to be driven by strong customer projects and long-term product roadmaps. The group EBIT for the fourth quarter 2009 was a profit of EUR 1.8 million, compared to a loss of EUR -0.2 million in the previous quarter and a profit of EUR 4.9 million in the fourth quarter 2008.
Net income for 2009 was a loss of EUR -18.0 million, compared to a profit of EUR 12.3 million in the previous year. Basic and diluted earnings per share for 2009 were CHF -2.55 / EUR -1.69 (2008: CHF 1.78 / EUR 1.13 and CHF 1.77 / EUR 1.12 respectively). Net income for the fourth quarter 2009 was a profit of EUR 1.3 million, compared to a loss of EUR -6.2 million for the same period 2008. Basic and diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter were CHF 0.18 / EUR 0.12 (2008: CHF -0.86 / EUR -0.57 and CHF -0.87 / EUR -0.58 respectively).
Cash flow from operations was EUR 20.3 million in 2009 (2008: EUR 47.5 million) as the company recorded a positive operating cash flow of EUR 15.4 million in the fourth quarter 2009. Capital expenditures for 2009 were EUR 10.3 million, 29% lower than EUR 14.4 million recorded in 2008. Total backlog at the end of 2009 was EUR 45.6 million compared to EUR 29.8 million on December 31, 2008. Total backlog at the end of 2009 does not reflect consignment stock agreements with major customers.
Cash and short term investments stood at EUR 42.2 million on December 31, 2009 compared to EUR 30.7 million at the end of 2008. Net debt decreased to EUR 25.7 million on December 31, 2009 compared to EUR 31.2 million at the end of 2008. The equity ratio was 60% at year-end 2009, compared to 62% at the end of 2008. The average number of group employees was 1,087 for fiscal year 2009, compared to 1,129 for the year 2008, and 1,071 for the fourth quarter 2009.
austriamicrosystems implemented a range of cost reduction measures in 2009, including the previously announced workforce reduction of around 70 employees worldwide. Due to the difficult market environment austriamicrosystems introduced short-time work for more than half of its Austrian workforce in June 2009; however, this was stopped earlier than expected at the end of 2009. Exceeding previous expectations, austriamicrosystems realized operating cost savings of approximately EUR 17 million in 2009, of which approximately one third will continue to benefit the operation cost structure going forward.
Given the net loss recorded for fiscal year 2009, austriamicrosystems will not propose a dividend for 2009. Despite this, the company´s cash dividend policy remains in place and the distribution of 25% of net earnings is expected to resume after the company has returned to profitability on a full year basis.
austriamicrosystems´ business performed in line with expectations in the past year taking into account the global economic crisis and its impact on the company. In spite of the difficult demand environment which began to improve in the second half, austriamicrosystems was very successful in its target markets gaining hundreds of design-ins as a leader in low power consumption, high accuracy and analog performance.
In Consumer & Communications, austriamicrosystems now supplies 4 of the Top 5 handset vendors with power and lighting management products providing industry-leading solutions for all major applications and technologies. Orders and shipments in the handset market continued to return toward previous levels in the second half of 2009 and particularly the fourth quarter which saw strong order and shipment volumes. In LCD TV LED backlighting, austriamicrosystems is shipping significant mass production volumes of LED drivers to several major OEMs in Korea, Japan and Taiwan following a rapid ramp-up which started in the third quarter last year. austriamicrosystems commands a significant share of this exciting market and expects the LCD backlighting market to continue to show rapid growth going forward.
MEMS microphone products also performed strongly in 2009 with significant further volume growth expected for 2010. In this market austriamicrosystems maintained an estimated market share of over 90%, building on its expertise of 5 product generations and more than 1 billion parts shipped. In other growth applications such as active noise cancellation, the EasyPoint input device or handset camera autofocus austriamicrosystems achieved important design-ins for upcoming devices or is seeing first end products on the market.
Industry & Medical showed a mixed performance in the last year. The industrial market continued to be heavily impacted by the global economic downturn with customer orders and shipments at significantly reduced levels in the major market segments industrial automation, sensors and building automation. Despite signs of an improvement in demand from certain industrial applications over the last months austriamicrosystems does not expect revenues from this area to reach previous levels in 2010. The company´s industry-leading magnetic encoder product range again increased market acceptance and achieved good design-ins in 2009 given its compelling advantages. The medical business, on the other hand, remained robust throughout 2009. austriamicrosystems was also able to win major new accounts for dedicated IC solutions in both key areas, medical imaging (digital X-ray, CT, ultrasound) and personal healthcare devices.
Automotive remained negatively affected by the sharp automotive industry downturn for most of 2009, however, customer demand and orders improved in the fourth quarter. austriamicrosystems´ automotive customer base expanded last year despite the industry downturn and customers´ development and design-in efforts on next generation technologies continued at a good pace. These include encoders, FlexRay data bus systems and battery management for current and upcoming technologies. The Full Service Foundry business was successful as a leading analog foundry focused on specialty processes in spite of the difficult market environment in 2009, given its high quality client base, particularly in sensors.
Despite the semiconductor industry crisis, austriamicrosystems added significant new customers to its global base in a number of markets and won numerous important projects and design-ins at existing customers. This success attests to austriamicrosystems´ technology leadership and strong product portfolio gaining increasing recognition and design sockets at top OEMs worldwide.
With its successful products and increasing base of high quality customers, austriamicrosystems is strongly positioned in its target markets Consumer & Communications, Industry & Medical and Automotive for 2010 and beyond. The company´s own world-class production infrastructure provides an additional competitive advantage in the current market environment showing increasing signs of tightening semiconductor capacities worldwide.
Based on currently available information, austriamicrosystems expects full year revenue growth for 2010 of around 20% compared to 2009, a significant improvement in full year gross margins and a return to full year profitability. austriamicrosystems will update its full year outlook as more information becomes available during the year. For the first quarter 2010, austriamicrosystems expects revenues and earnings to show strong growth compared to last year´s first quarter and quarter-on-quarter revenue seasonality to stay significantly below historic levels.
Additional financial information is available on the austriamicrosystems website at http://www.austriamicrosystems.com/eng/Investor
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ots Originaltext: austriamicrosystems AG
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Moritz M. Gmeiner
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Fax: +43 3136 500-5420
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