Feintool Group posts a loss for the first half of 2008/09

Corporate news announcement processed and transmitted by Hugin AS. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------- The semi-annual press conference will be held at 10.30 a.m. on 26 May 2009 at the Feintool head office, Industriering 8, Lyss, Switzerland The Feintool Group, a leading technology and systems provider and a global components supplier based in Lyss, Switzerland, has been badly hit by the global crisis in the automotive industry. The key figures for the first half of the current 2008/09 financial year are well below those for the first half of 2007/08 (which, however, was a record year). Despite the massive drop in volumes, the net operating result for the core business - less consolidated expenses - was CHF -11.3 million. Extraordinary charges of CHF 30.9 million impacted on the figures. At CHF 202.8 million, consolidated sales were 30.3% below those in the same period last year (CHF 291.2 million). The operating result (EBIT) declined to CHF -42.2 million (previous year: CHF 18.4 million) while net income was down from CHF 9.2 million to CHF -46.8 million. Order intake fell 55.8% to CHF 136.0 million (CHF 308.0 million) while orders in hand were 39.2% down at CHF 151.8 million (CHF 249.5 million). The worsening of the operating result by CHF 60.6 million compared with a year ago was due to volume and other negative effects, to extraordinary items and to cost-saving measures. This negative EBIT for the Group of CHF 42.2 million corresponds roughly to the negative EBIT generated by Mühlemann AG and the US companies plus total goodwill write-downs. Despite the massive drop in volumes, operating results at the other companies - less consolidated expenses - had no net effect on earnings. Order intake and orders on hand were adversely affected by greatly reduced call-offs from customers in the components business (with volumes substantially lower than in the previous year) and also to the downturn - observable since the beginning of the year - in client investments in technology and systems business. In the second half of the year, only a few insignificant extraordinary items are to be expected. However, sales and earnings in the current financial year 2008/09 are set to be considerably lower than for the record prior year. In the core Fineblanking/Forming segment, which accounts for 64% of sales, the record prior year gave way to a decline in business. Sales fell 30.9% to CHF 130.6 million (previous year: CHF 189.0 million) and EBIT decreased - mainly because of the difficult situation in the USA - to CHF -15.2 million (previous year: CHF 18.1 million). Order intake contracted to CHF 87.9 million (previous year: CHF 201.3 million), reducing the volume of orders in hand by 36.5% to CHF 107.6 million (year-ago level: CHF 169.5 million). The sizeable backlog of orders for presses was cleared, but in the meantime demand has fallen dramatically. Demand for customer services is also declining, though utilization of toolmaking capacity is gratifyingly high. We are pleased to report that the Automation segment, which accounts for 27% of sales, is still in the black. However, the figures for sales (CHF 54.9 million, down from CHF 70.2 million a year previously) and EBIT (CHF 1.8 million, down from CHF 4.5 million) were both lower than in the year-back period. At CHF 36.7 million, orders in hand were also down year-on-year by a hefty 41.8% due to 48.9% drop in order intake to CHF 38.5 million. All three business areas, Automation Systems, Automation Components and Fastening Systems, have been badly hit by the recession, though they have scored a growing number of successes with new sector-specific solutions. The downturn impacted severely on the Plastic/Metal Components segment: sales fell from CHF 32.6 million in the first half of 2007/08 to CHF 17.8 million, leaving the segment's share of group turnover at just under 9%. The negative EBIT of CHF -24.1 million reflects closure costs, impairments and provisions for all Mühlemann AG orders still entailing contractual obligations. As already communicated, the Board of Directors has decided, following futile negotiations, to wind up the segment by the end of 2010. The parent company Mühlemann AG in Biberist will be closed as of this date and the small-scale shop-in-shop operation in Nashville will be integrated in the local branch of Feintool System Parts. Signs of improvement in the medium term The current surge in toolmaking orders at the technology centres suggests that the automotive industry has stepped up its development and launch activities for new models with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In this area, Feintool is constructing tools for the series production of lighter and lower-cost functional components for innovative eight-speed automatic gearboxes and dual-clutch transmission systems. This should generate more orders for tools within the next 12 months and for parts manufacture in the medium term. Although the short-term demand for cars is currently declining, this does not alter the fact that the automotive industry is anticipating significant growth in the medium term, notably in the BRIC states. There is thus considerable potential for Feintool to open up new markets and applications and hence prepare the way for future growth. The Board of Directors and Group Management take an upbeat view of the Feintool Group's future development. New funds totalling about CHF 10 million will accrue from the sale of treasury stock to existing shareholders and the exercise of executives' stock options. Outlook for the 2nd half of the current 2008/09 financial year The market's transparency remains poor, and news of far-reaching changes at our global customer companies reaches us almost daily. The scrappage premium in Germany, for instance, has temporarily boosted demand in Europe. But announcements from GM, Chrysler and other OEMs of extended works closures in the summer worsen the chances of an upturn in the second half of the financial year (period to 30 September 2009). From the present perspective, therefore, sales and earnings in financial 2008/09 are set to be considerably lower than for the record prior year. +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | Key figures (CHF | 1st half | 1st half | Change % | | m) | 08/09 | 07/08 | | | | | | | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | Consolidated sales | 202.8 | 291.2 | - 30.3 | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | EBITDA | -25.0 | 28.7 | n.a. | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | Op. result (EBIT) | -42.2 | 18.4 | n.a. | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | Consolidated net | -46.8 | 9.2 | n.a. | | income | | | | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | Free cash flow | -31.8 | 21.4 | n.a. | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | Total assets | 31.3.09 | 30.9.08 | - 14.5 | | | 406.5 | 475.3 | | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | Shareholders' | 31.3.09 | 30.9.08 | - 24.3 | | equity | 154.9 | 204.6 | | |--------------------+-------------+----------------+---------------| | Employees | | | - 8.9 | | Apprentices | 31.3.09 | 30.9.08 | | | | 1629 | 1789 | - 3.8 | | | | 30.9.08 | | | | 31.3.09 | 106 | | | | 102 | | | +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ For further information, please contact: Urs Feitknecht, media spokesman, +41 (0)32 387 51 63 until 31.5.09 (retirement date) Karin Labhart, media spokesperson, +41 (0)32 387 51 11 - as of 1.6.09 (successor) The semi-annual press conference will be held at 10.30 a.m. on 26 May 2009 at the Feintool head office, Industriering 8, Lyss, Switzerland Feintool is a leading technology and systems provider in fineblanking/forming and assembly automation. It is also a supplier of metal and composite 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 1700 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 Head of Corporate Communications Urs Feitknecht Phone +41 (0)32 387 51 63 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 SIX Swiss Exchange;