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© Aixtron Business | February 23, 2017

Aixtron: Financial targets achieved in 2016

Before interest and taxes, the loss of Aaachen-based equipment manufacturer reduced from EUR 26.7 million to 21.4 million.
Following a strong second half, Aixtron met its guidance published at the beginning of the year. At EUR 196.5 million, total revenues for 2016 virtually matched the previous year’s figure (2015: EUR 197.8m), while Q4/2016 revenues came to EUR 89.8m (Q3/2016: EUR 51.2m). This figure, which represents the highest quarterly revenues since 2011, was due to a high volume of planned system shipments. The largest contributions came from production systems for LED, telecom and optoelectronics, as well as for the silicon industry.

EBITDA in 2016 rose year-on-year by 52% (2016: EUR -7.9m; 2015: EUR -16.4m). This development was driven by the strong fourth quarter of 2016 (Q4/2016: EUR 12.5m; Q3/2016: EUR -0.4m) for which a positive EBIT and net result of EUR 7.9m and EUR 6.4m respectively were also posted. As expected, overall EBITDA in H2/2016 came in positive at EUR 12.1m.

The free cash flow of EUR -42.9m in 2016 improved by EUR 14.4m, or 25%, on the previous year (2015: EUR -57.3m). The negative free cash flow of EUR -4.9m in the fourth quarter of 2016 (Q3/2016: EUR 3.0m) was mainly due to high shipment volumes at the end of the year. A large part of the resultant increase in outstanding receivables has converted into cash in Q1/2017.

Total order intake in 2016 came to EUR 225.1m, 35% higher than in the previous year (2015: EUR 167.1m) and the highest figure in five years. In Q4/2016, total order intake of EUR 60.5m was slightly down on the previous quarter but significantly higher than in the previous year (Q3/2016: EUR 69.0m, Q4/2015: EUR 31.3m). This was due to consistently high demand for LED, telecom and optoelectronic applications, including the sale of AIX R6 inventories.

As of December 31, 2016, the equipment order backlog totaled EUR 78.1m, a 67% increase on the figure of EUR 46.7m at the beginning of the year (December 31, 2015: EUR 42.9m; September 30, 2016: EUR 104.0m).

“The dominant topic in fiscal year 2016 was certainly the planned takeover by Grand Chip Investment, which was intended to secure the company’s access to the major Chinese market while also ensuring that all of Aixtron’s product portfolio could be brought to market maturity. Following the US President’s order prohibiting the bidder’s acquisition of Aixtron’s US business and the investor’s subsequent withdrawal, Aixtron acted to realign its corporate strategy targeting a sustainable return to profitability and to report a positive EBIT for full year 2018. Now it is a matter of implementing this strategy”, comments Martin Goetzeler, CEO of Aixtron SE.

Guidance

Following the termination of the planned takeover transaction by a Chinese investor in December 2016, Aixtron is now focusing on the optimal structure of its technology portfolio as part of its corporate strategy. Against this background, Aixtron is currently pursuing different options in order to successfully reduce required upfront expenses for the development of future technologies. These options include looking for partners, joint ventures or other alternatives. All these measures are targeted to enable a sustainable return to profitability and to report a positive EBIT for full year 2018.

Based on the existing business structure and the assessment on Aixtron’s current order situation with the internal budget rate of USD/EUR 1.10, Management expects for fiscal year 2017 to achieve revenues and an order intake between EUR 180 and 210 million.

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October 16 2017 2:56 PM V8.8.6-2