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SMT & Inspection | February 19, 2009

IPTE with sales of €232 million in 2008

IPTE ended 2008 with total group sales for the year of €232 million, 9% lower than in 2007 (€255 million). Net profit was €441,000 compared with €10.9 million in 2007.
During the 4th quarter the company recorded a pre-tax loss of €1,784,000, as compared with a pre-tax profit of €2,591,000 in Q4 2007. Q4 sales were €58.2 million compared with €68.5 million in Q4 2007.

The general economic crisis has impacted sales and results at IPTE too. After falling slightly by 4% during the first half of 2008, the fall reached more than 15% for the group as a whole during the second half. Contract manufacturing activity fell by over 15% for the year as a whole (from €195.3 million to €165.9 million). Sales by the automation division, on the other hand, rose in 2008 by 11.2% to €67 million (€60.2 million in 2007), reflecting the acquisition of Platzgummer GmbH as of January 1, 2008. Apart from Platzgummer activity levels were down 9% (from €60.2 million to €55 million). Total order book at end-2008 amounted to €78 million (€83 million at end-2007).

Sales of the automation division rose from €17 million in Q4 2007 to €20 million in Q4 2008. The division ended the fourth quarter with an order book of €24.5 million (€28 million at the end of the third quarter). Sales of the Contract Manufacturing division fell from €51.4 million in Q4 2007 to €38.2 million in Q4 2008. The division ended the fourth quarter with an order book of €53.3 million (€60.8 million at the end of the third quarter).

The fourth quarter ended with a loss of €1,806,000. This loss is the result of:
- restructuring in both divisions (impact of around €400,000 in contract manufacturing – closing in Slovakia and personnel reduction – and €400,000 in automation – personnel reduction);
- realized and unrealized foreign exchange losses of €1.3 million on the US dollar, Romanian lei and Czech crown;
- undercoverage of fixed costs in contract manufacturing owing to the 25% reduction in sales compared with Q4 2007
- increased costs with the expansion of automation activities in Estonia, Spain and Mexico. These facilities were started up in the course of 2008 to meet customer demand. In the general economic malaise they are not yet earning enough to cover their costs.

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