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AT&S reports increase in earnings in first half of 2014/15

AT&S reports revenue at stable high level and improved profitability: 
EBITDA up 10.5%, consolidated net income up 29.5%.

Revenue
In the first six months of the financial year 2014/15 (1 April – 30 September 2014) leading printed circuit board manufacturer AT&S generated revenue of EUR 302.1 million (m), which was in line with the high level of revenue reported for the same period last year (H1 2013/14: EUR 299.9m).

Earnings
Due to high capacity utilisation, continuous improvements of the product mix and the results from efficiency improvement activities, EBITDA increased by 10.5% to EUR 72.3m. The EBITDA margin reached 23.9%, one of the highest levels ever. (H1 2013/14: 21.8%).
 
“These margins once again confirm AT&S’s position as one of the world’s most profitable printed circuit board manufacturers”, says CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer and adds: “Based on these results we confirm our given, positive guidance for full year 2014/15”. 

Consolidated net profit reached EUR 28.4m, an increase of 29.5% compared to the first half of 2013/14.

Undiluted earnings per share for the first half of 2014/15 were EUR 0.73. 

Cash flows and statement of financial position
Cash flows from operating activities of EUR 33.7m were around EUR 6.6m lower than in the same period last year. The year-on-year decrease results mainly from the increase in net working capital.

Net cash used in investing activities increased to EUR -88.7m in the first half of 2014/15 (H1 2013/14: EUR -40.1m), in line with expectations. Main investments were made in technology upgrades at existing facilities and in the Chongqing plant which is currently under construction.

Consolidated equity as at 30 September, 2014 was EUR 465.1m, resulting from of the improvement in consolidated profit for the period as well as positive foreign currency exchange differences of EUR 55.8m. The equity ratio end of September 2014 was 44.0%. (31 March 2014: 42.7%)

Net debt at the end of the reporting period was EUR 180.0m (31 March 2014: EUR 110.8m), corresponding to a gearing ratio of 38.7%. (31 March 2014: 28.4%)

The results in detail:

According to IFRS; € in millions2014/152015/16Change
01.04.2014 - 31.03.201501.04.2015 - 31.03.2016
Revenue667.0762.914.4%
Gross profit155.4151.6-2.4%
EBITDA167.6167.50.0%
EBITDA margin (%)25.122.0-
EBIT90.177.0-14.6&
EBIT margin (%)13.510.1-
Profit before tax85.068.8-19.1%
Profit for the period69.356.0-19.3%
Earnings per average number of shares outstanding (EUR)1.781.44-19.1%
Number of shares, weighted average (thousands of shares)38,85038,850-

1) 2014/15: Lower EPS largely attributable to higher number of shares due to the issue of new shares and sales of own shares in September and October 2013. Same basis of number of shares than in the comparison period would reflect an EPS of EUR 1.21

Business Unit Mobile Devices & Substrates stable
The Business Unit Mobile Devices & Substrates reached revenues of EUR 156.7m, almost in line with last year’s number. The change of -4.8% compared to the first half year of 2013/14 is mainly due to increased capacity consumption by high end product mix; production was operating at full capacity. Demand for mobile communications applications was one of the drivers for the continuous success of this Business Unit. With this development AT&S confirms its strong position in the market of high-end mobile devices.

Business Unit Industrial & Automotive (incl. Medical) continues its growth path
The consequent and strategic development of the customer and product portfolio for the Business Unit Industrial & Automotive (incl. Medical) resulted to a revenue increase of 8.8% to EUR 144.3m in the reporting period. The main reasons behind this are the increased use of innovative electronics in passenger cars (e.g. driver assistance systems, safety features and energy efficiency systems), as well as higher demand for industrial applications used in machine-to-machine communication, industrial automation and LED. In medical applications, revenue gains were primarily attributable to increased demand for therapeutic applications.

IC substrate plant in Chongqing
The setup of the Chongqing plant with a strategic focus on integrated circuit (IC) substrates business is proceeding according to plan. Installation and internal qualification of the first production line has been completed, equipment characterization and certification and production of samples has started. Investment in Chongqing since the start of the project until 30 September, 2014 amounted to EUR 163.1m. Start of production is scheduled for calendar year 2016.

Outlook confirmed
Based on the strong demand in the second half of the calendar year 2014 – particularly in the mobile devices segment – and the low visibility in respect to the first quarter of the calendar year 2015 we are assuming that, provided the macro-economic environment remains stable and considering todays foreign exchange rates, the business will continue the positive trend. For the full year 2014/15 we expect revenues in line with prior year and an EBITDA margin on the upper level of our target corridor of 18-20%.