M.A.X. Automation Group exceeds its own expectations in 2015

DGAP-News: M.A.X. Automation AG / Key word(s): Preliminary Results

2016-03-18 / 07:22
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


M.A.X. Automation Group exceeds its own expectations in 2015

- Group sales for the high-tech engineering Group rise by 9.2% to EUR 383.8 million

- Operating profit (EBIT) before PPA amortization increased by 13.0% to EUR 24.8 million

- The equity ratio improved significantly to 37.5%, strong cash flow and further reduction in net debt

- CEO Fabian Spilker: "M.A.X. Automation is stronger than ever from an economic standpoint."

Düsseldorf, March 18, 2016 - M.A.X. Automation Group had a successful financial year 2015 and experienced increasing operational dynamics over the course of the year. The company that specializes in high-tech engineering improved its key figures, in part quite significantly, and even exceeded its original expectations. This was due not least to a very strong final quarter. In addition, the Group benefited from a favorable product and project mix in the reporting year.

M.A.X. Automation made great progress in 2015 on continuing its strategic further development into a decentrally organized high-tech engineering Group. The Group companies increasingly realized synergies by working together more closely. The focus of the Group's portfolio on its core activities was completed with the sale of parts of altmayerBTD GmbH & Co. KG in the area of environmental technology. In addition, M.A.X. Automation AG put Group financing on new footing by taking out a long-term syndicated loan in the amount of EUR 150 million. A stable basis for further growth has thus been established.

Key Group Figures for 2015 (preliminary, unaudited data)

- New consolidated orders totaled EUR 363.7 million and were thus 7.2% higher than last year's level (EUR 339.3 million). Here, M.A.X. Automation recorded the highest order intake in its history for a single quarter in the fourth quarter.

- The consolidated order book position amounted to 135.2 million euros on December 31, 2015, 5.6% below the high previous year's figure of EUR 143.1 million.

- Group sales increased by 9.2% from EUR 351.4 million to EUR 383.8 million and were thus slightly above the forecast range of EUR 360 million to EUR 380 million. Sales from October to December also reached a record high for a single quarter.

- Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and PPA amortization increased by 13.0% from EUR 21.9 million to EUR 24.8 million and were thus significantly higher than the original target range of EUR 20 million to EUR 22 million. In this case, the strong fourth quarter had an impact. Furthermore, the Group benefited from a favorable product and project mix from an earnings perspective. EBIT per share before PPA amortization was EUR 0.92 after EUR 0.82 in 2014.

- The Group posted improved net profit of EUR 10.6 million (2014: EUR 10.0 million; +5.7%). This means earnings per share were EUR 0.40 after EUR 0.37 the previous year.

- Group equity exceeded the EUR 100 million mark for the first time in the history of M.A.X. Automation and was EUR 106.2 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 99.8 million; +6.5%) at the end of the year. At 37.5%, the Group had a significantly higher equity ratio on the balance sheet date that was well above the desired minimum value of 30% (December 31, 2014: 33.8%).

- Operating cash flow increased significantly from EUR 17.8 million to EUR 29.5 million, partly due to a further improvement in working capital management.

- The Group's net debt at the end of the year was reduced further by EUR 8.2 million to EUR 39.7 million (December 31, 2014: EUR 47.9 million) even despite high investments. A reduction by EUR 16.2 million had already been achieved last year.

Development of the segments
The Industrial Automation segment recorded an overall positive business development in 2015. Its development was based on the growing demand for comprehensive automation solutions and related services. Sales rose by 6.4% to EUR 252 million (2014: EUR 236.9 million). Segment EBIT before PPA amortization increased to EUR 26.4 million and was thus up 46.4% compared to the previous year (2014: EUR 18.0 million). The EBIT margin based on overall performance amounted to 10.5%, an improvement of 2.9 percentage points, among other factors, due to the favorable product and project mix.

The Environmental Technology segment, which had consisted of the Vecoplan Group and parts of altmayerBTD GmbH & Co. KG that were sold at the end of financial year 2015, also recorded an overall positive business trend, albeit at a somewhat slower pace in the second half of the year. Sales rose by 15.0% from EUR 114.9 million to EUR 132.1 million. EBIT before PPA amortization increased by EUR 1.2 million to EUR 1.5 million. The decrease is mainly due to operating losses and restructuring expenses at altmayerBTD and a loss on the sale of parts of this Group company. On the other hand, effects from the strategic further development of the Vecoplan Group had a positive impact.

Outlook for financial year 2016
The Management Board sees M.A.X. Automation Group positioned strategically and economically correctly after arranging for the Group's portfolio to concentrate completely on high-tech engineering and bundling Group financing. It expects to see a further increase in demand for technologically advanced automation solutions in the relevant target industries automotive, medical technology, packaging automation, electronics, recycling, energy and raw materials.

For the current year 2016, the Management Board expects Group sales in the range of EUR 370 million to EUR 390 million and Group EBIT before PPA amortization of at least EUR 24 million euros. This forecast also includes the high earnings level that was already achieved in 2015, not least due to the very strong fourth quarter, and the advantageous product and project mix in the previous year.

Fabian Spilker, CEO of M.A.X. Automation AG: "M.A.X. Automation made significant progress in 2015 and demonstrated its earnings power. As a high-tech engineering group, we now have special expertise in cutting-edge fields such as micro-assembly, dosing technology, and robotics, and thus serve several long-term growth drivers in our target markets. Our company is economically stronger than ever before. We thus have a solid basis for achieving our ambitious medium-term targets."

The complete consolidated financial statements for 2015 will be published on March 31, 2016.

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

About M.A.X. Automation AG
M.A.X. Automation AG (Securities Identification Number: 658090) 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.


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