Electronics Production | November 28, 2008

HTI to relocate production, affects 470 jobs

The restructuring at HTI High Tech Industries encompasses the relocation of production to improve the cost structure and the exploitation of synergies among the various production subsidiaries. Employees in Germany, Austria and Slovakia will be affected by the restructuring process.
The specific restructuring measures which are in their final stage of completion will directly impact the production locations of the HTI Group operating in the automotive component supplier and plastics processing industries, entailing a reduction of the work force by 470 employees in Germany, Austria and Slovakia.

The sales market for automotive products has shrunk considerably in recent weeks as a consequence of the global financial crisis, a development which has had a negative impact on the Plastics Processing and Metals Processing segments of the HTI Group. The difficult business conditions at present have confirmed the effectiveness of HTI’s business model, which succeeded in reducing the share of automotive industry related sales to 45% of total HTI Group sales in the first three quarters of 2008, down from 80% in the comparable period of the previous year.

Fiscal report for January-September 2008
In the first nine months of the 2008 business year, the HTI Group generated total sales of TEUR 156,025, up from TEUR 113,551 in Q1-3 2007. Due to the acquisition-related extension of the scope of consolidation encompassing the new subsidiaries HTP Skinline, Theysohn, Technoplast and Hitzinger, a comparison with the previous year’s figures only has limited validity. The business development of the Mechanical Engineering segment was positive, whereas the operations of the Plastics Processing and the Metals Processing segments for the automobile component supplier industry developed unfavorably as a result of the necessary capacity adjustment measures. In the third quarter of 2008, total sales of the HTI Group climbed 45.2% year-on-year to TEUR 56,247, up from TEUR 38,746.

EBITDA declined to TEUR 8,240 in the first three quarters of 2008, down from TEUR 12,119 in the comparable period of 2007. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of the HTI Group also decreased to TEUR – 1,096 from TEUR 4,980 in the first nine months of the preceding year, which represents an EBIT margin of -0.7% (Q1-3 2007: 4.4%). Consolidated earnings before tax (EBT) amounted to TEUR –6,199 in the period January-September 2008 (Q1-3 2007: TEUR 2,174). The earnings deterioration is primarily related to one-off costs for the implementation of the restructuring measures.

The expansion of the HTI Group is also reflected in the financial result, which totaled TEUR –5,103 as a consequence of financing acquisitions, compared to TEUR -2,805 in the previous year. The consolidated net profit for the period also developed unfavorably in the first nine months of 2008, amounting to TEUR -13,324 (Q1-3 2007: TEUR 2,243), or an earnings per share of EUR -0.91 (Q1-3 2007: EUR 0.17).

Outlook 4Q/2008
In the light of the difficult market conditions, an improvement in earnings is not to be expected in the fourth quarter of 2008, especially as the implementation of the restructuring package will first be completed by the end of 2008. Total sales of the HTI Group will remain at a level of EUR 200 million, as originally forecast.

Based on the full-year consolidation of the acquired subsidiaries, total sales in 2009 are expected to reach a level of about EUR 250 million, a forecast which takes the changed sales situation in 2009 into account. Completion of the restructuring program will significantly strengthen the competitiveness of the HTI Group. Accordingly, based on current market forecasts, we anticipate an improved earnings situation for 2009 compared to 2008. Financing is secured until the end of 2009, as core shareholders and financing partners continue to support HTI’s business model.


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