Feintool with strong level of orders in hand and significantly improved balance sheet structure

The Feintool Group, based in Lyss (Switzerland), has reported a 3.9% increase in sales for the 2006/07 financial year (ended 30 September) to CHF 520.4 million (previous year: CHF 501.0 million). Assessment of the Feintool Group's performance at operating level - and its change relative to the previous year - must take into account EBIT before impairment expense. This figure came to CHF 28.3 million in the reporting period (previous year: CHF 28.5 million). After stripping out the CHF 2.7 million in non-recurring income generated in the 2005/06 financial year (as mentioned in the first-half report), this gives a year-on-year improvement of CHF 2.5 million (8.8%) at operating level. However, the CHF 2.5 million impairment expense announced in October, together with higher taxes, resulted in a lower result for the year. Net profit fell 23.7% to CHF 11.9 million (previous year: CHF 15.6 million). Orders in hand rose by 39.0% to CHF 237.7 million (previous year: CHF 171.0 million). Net debt fell by 36.2% to CHF 88.0 million (previous year: CHF 138.0 million), while shareholders' equity increased CHF 51.2 million to CHF 191.3 million, corresponding to an equity ratio of 41.5% (previous year: 32.8%). The Feintool Group can look back on a successful financial year in overall terms. It reported another increase in sales, together with burgeoning order books. This was primarily attributable to the Fineblanking/Forming and Automation segments. The Plastic/Metal Components segment continued to deliver unsatisfactory results. However, its problems have been identified and the appropriate corrective actions are being implemented. At the Annual General Meeting on 22 January 2008, the Board of Directors will be proposing the payment of a dividend of CHF 7.50 per registered share. Feintool's cornerstone Fineblanking/Forming segment raised sales by a further 5.7% to CHF 337.5 million (previous year: CHF 319.2 million). Its share of Group sales now stands at 64.7% (previous year: 63.4%). The segment increased its EBIT before impairment expense by 13.5% to CHF 28.5 million. In the presses and equipment business, sales of the Feintool and Schmid brands managed to improve on the high level of preceding years. In the components business, the European factories posted double-digit growth rates, the Japanese and the US companies single-digit rates. Year-on-year, the order intake in this segment rose by 8.5% and orders in hand by 26.3%. By focusing on existing key customers and simultaneously moving into promising new areas such as medical technology and photovoltaics, the Automation segment raised its sales by 4.8% to CHF 116.4 million (previous year: CHF 111.1 million). This segment accounted for 22.3% (previous year: 22.1%) of Group sales. EBIT before impairment expense remained slightly below the previous year's figure at CHF 8.8 million (CHF 8.9 million). In the assembly components and riveting business, Feintool added innovative products to its line-up. The segment achieved impressive increases of 53.9% in order intake and 120.4% in orders in hand. The Plastic/Metal Components reported a 7.4% drop in sales to CHF 67.5 million (previous year: CHF 72.9 million) and accounted for 13.0% (previous year: 14.5%) of Group sales. EBIT before impairment expense remained positive at CHF 0.4 million (CHF 0.2 million). The marketing drive launched by the new management of the segment, the restructuring and process adjustments, and the decision to close the plant in Thailand, will have a positive impact on earnings in the medium term. Potential collaborations are also being investigated with the aim of improving the segment's market position. Rise in investments and liquidity The consolidated cash flow statement shows cash flows from operating activities of CHF 36.6 million (previous year: CHF 38.2 million). Due to a total investment of CHF 30.7 million in property, plant and equipment (previous year: CHF 21.7 million), Feintool disclosed a lower free cash flow than in the previous year at CHF 8.1 million (CHF 14.4 million). Solid balance sheet structures At CHF 460.4 million, total assets were 7.9% higher than the figure for the previous year (CHF 426.7 million). Net debt improved by CHF 50.0 million, and amounted to 46.0% of shareholders' equity (previous year: 98.5%). Shareholders' equity increased by CHF 51.2 million to CHF 191.3 million, bringing the equity ratio up to 41.5% (previous year: 32.8%). Headcount rose by 3.4% to 1,801 (previous year: 1,742); as an investment in the future, 107 apprentices are being trained at Feintool (previous year: 91). Key figures (CHF m) 06/07 Previous year Change % Consolidated sales 520.4 501.0 + 3.9 Fineblanking/Forming 337.5 319.2 + 5.7 Automation 116.4 111.1 + 4.8 Plastic/Metal Components 67.5 72.9 - 7.4 EBITDA 49.9 49.2 + 1.4 EBIT before impairments 28.3 28.5 - 0.7 Operating profit (EBIT) 25.8 28.5 - 9.5 Consolidated net income 11.9 15.6 - 23.7 Total assets 460.4 426.7 + 7.9 Shareholders' equity 191.3 140.1 + 36.6 Net debt 88.0 138.0 - 36.2 Orders in hand 237.7 171.0 + 39.0 Headcount* 1801 1742 + 3.4 (*as at 30.9.07; excludes 107 apprentices) For further information, please contact: Joachim Kaufmann, CEO Jürg E. Wenger, CFO Phone +41 (0)32 387 51 11 Feintool is a leading technology and systems provider in fineblanking/forming and assembly automation. It is also a global supplier of metal and plastic components. Feintool operates globally at the company's own facilities in Switzerland (head office in Lyss), Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, the United States, Japan and China, where around 1800 employees are committed to customer satisfaction. Feintool International Holding Industriering 8, CH-3250 Lyss Phone +41 (0)32 387 51 11 Fax +41 (0)32 387 57 81 feintool-fim@feintool.com www.feintool.com Corporate Communications Urs Feitknecht Phone +41 (0)32 387 51 63 Mobile +41 (0)79 204 41 13 Fax +41 (0)32 387 54 16 urs.feitknecht@feintool.com The media release can be downloaded from the following link: --- End of Message --- Feintool International Holding Industriering 8 Lyss Schweiz WKN: 905428; ISIN: CH0009320091 ; Index: SPI, SPIEX, SSCI; Listed: Main Market in SWX Swiss Exchange;