Business develops positively for M.A.X. Automation Group in the first half of 2015

M.A.X. Automation AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results

2015-08-14 / 07:19


Business develops positively for M.A.X. Automation Group in the first half of 2015

- EBIT before PPA amortization of EUR 7.6 million more than doubles

- Group sales increase by 4% to EUR 171 million

- New Group financing reduces interest costs and offers greater flexibility for financing continued growth

- Outlook for the full year 2015 confirmed based on high order backlog

Düsseldorf, August 14, 2015 - M.A.X. Automation Group continued to develop successfully in the first half of 2015. After getting off to a good start in the first three months of the year, the company that specializes in high-tech mechanical engineering reported increasing business dynamics in the second quarter. The business developed fully in line with its expectations in the first half of the year. The Management Board thus confirms the economic targets for the full year 2015.

Key Group Figures for the First Half of 2015

- Consolidated new orders for the Group rose by 9.5% to EUR 176.0 million in the first six months of the year (same period last year: EUR 160.7 million). Of this amount, orders valued at EUR 85.1 million were received in the second quarter.

- The order book position on June 30, 2015, reached the high level of EUR 163.5 million and was thus 7.8% higher than on the same date in 2014 (EUR 151.7 million). At 1.03, the book-to-bill ratio was also higher than last year's level.

- Group sales rose by 4.3% from EUR 163.4 million to EUR 170.5 million. Sales increased by 5.1% to EUR 94.9 million in the second quarter (same quarter of last year: EUR 90.4 million).

- At EUR 7.6 million, M.A.X. Automation Group managed to more than double consolidated earnings (EBIT) before PPA amortization (purchase price allocations) for the period compared to the first half of 2014 (EUR 3.6 million). In the second quarter, EBIT before PPA increased by 9.2% to EUR 5.8 million after EUR 5.3 million in the same quarter last year. EBIT after PPA amounted to EUR 5.3 million in the first half of 2015 and was thus more than three times higher than last year's figure (EUR 1.6 million). The second quarter accounted for EUR 4.6 million of this amount (Q2 2014: EUR 4.4 million).

- Net profit for the period turned to the positive value of EUR 2.3 million after a loss of EUR 0.4 million in the prior-year period.

- Equity as of June 30, 2015, was EUR 98.3 million and thus slightly lower than at the end of 2014 (EUR 99.8 million) due to the dividend payment that was approved for 2014 (EUR 4.0 million) at the end of June. At a solid 32.0%, the equity ratio remained above the targeted minimum level of 30%.

- Net debt was reduced further in accordance with the strategy. It amounted to EUR 52.4 million at mid-year or roughly EUR 23.0 million below the figure on the same day last year.

Development of the segments
The Industrial Automation segment developed at a solid high level in the first half of 2015. Due to the start-up of new projects and related temporarily lower capacity utilization, sales were EUR 107.2 million or 5.9% lower than last year (EUR 113.9 million). Nevertheless, earnings before PPA amortization for the segment rose sharply by 12.2% to EUR 7.0 million (prior-year period: EUR 6.2 million). The EBIT margin increased from 5.4% to 6.2% of total output.

In the Environmental Technology segment, sales rose dynamically by 27.4% to EUR 63.4 million (first half of 2014: EUR 49.8 million). EBIT before PPA improved by EUR 3.7 million to EUR 2.3 million. This development reflects the significant progress our Group company Vecoplan AG is making. The acquisition of the remaining 20% stake in our US subsidiary Vecoplan LLC also contributed to this result. By fully integrating the company, we now have more direct operational control over the important North American business.

New Group financing opens up additional opportunities for growth
M.A.X. Automation AG reorganized the Group's long-term financing and agreed to a syndicated loan with five well-known banks totaling EUR 150 million at the end of June. The term is five years with two options to extend. The main advantages are better financing terms, more comfortable covenants and significantly lower complexity. The new financing package replaces the previous syndicated loan that M.A.X. Automation AG had arranged, but also the major bilateral loan agreements of Group companies. This frees up collateral for M.A.X. Automation and its subsidiaries. In addition, the new syndicated loan opens up further scope for taking advantage of growth opportunities.
The new financing structure in conjunction with improved working capital management is expected to reduce interest expense by up to EUR 1 million per year.

Outlook for financial year 2015
The Management Board confirms the targets for the full year 2015 considering the positive development of business in the first half, the high order backlog and the plans of the Group companies for the coming months. It continues to expect consolidated revenue in the range of EUR 360 million to EUR 380 million and consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and before PPA amortization in the range of EUR 20 million to EUR 22 million.

Fabian Spilker, CEO of M.A.X. Automation AG, comments as follows: "The figures for the first half of the year clearly reflect the progress we are making in developing M.A.X. Automation into a decentralized high-tech mechanical engineering group. As an expert with comprehensive technological know-how with sophisticated automation solutions, we want to increasingly leverage synergy effects between the Group companies. We intend to continue with this strategy with vigor. At the same time, we now also have sufficient scope for further growth thanks to the new Group financing and the strategic positioning of our operating companies."

The full length report on the first half of 2015 is available for downloading on the website of M.A.X. Automation AG under in the "Investor Relations" section.

Press contact:
Frank Elsner / Frank Paschen
Frank Elsner Kommunikation für Unternehmen GmbH
Tel.: +49 - 5404 - 91 92 0
Fax: +49 - 5404 - 91 92 29

About M.A.X. Automation:
M.A.X. Automation AG with its headquarters in Düsseldorf is an internationally active high-tech mechanical engineering Group and a leading full-service supplier of integrated and sophisticated system and component solutions. Its operational business is divided into two segments. In the Industrial Automation segment, the Group is considered to be a trendsetter in the development and manufacturing of integrated and proprietary solutions for use in manufacturing and assembly in the automotive industry, medical technology, packaging machines and the electronics industry due to its comprehensive technological know-how. In the Environmental Technology segment, M.A.X. Automation develops and installs innovative systems for use by the recycling, energy and raw materials industries.

in EUR mill. H1 2015 H1 2014 Change
New order intake 176.0 160.7 +9.5%
Order book position* 163.5 151.7 +7.8%
Revenue 170.5 163.4 +4.3%
EBITDA 11.0 6.4 +71.4%
EBIT before PPA 7.6 3.6 +112.4%
EBIT after PPA 5.3 1.6 +227.4%
Earnings for the period 2.3 -0.4 ++
EBIT per share before PPA (in EUR) 0.28 0.13 +112.4%
Earnings per share (in EUR) 0.09 -0.01 ++

* Date June 30, 2015, compared to June 30, 2014

in EUR mill. 30.06.2015 31.12.2014 Change
Equity 98.3 99.8 -1.5%
Equity ratio (in %) 32.0 33.8 -1.8 pp
Financial debt 88.9 100.3 -11.4%
Cash and cash equivalents 36.4 52.4 -30.4%
Net debt 52.4 47.9 +9.4%
Employees (headcount)*
- of which trainees*

* Date June 30, 2015, compared to June 30, 2014

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