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PCB | August 27, 2010

Cicor back to operating profit

Cicor Technologies, with its head office in Boudry (Switzerland), considerably improved net result and operating profit in the 1H/2010. The net result increased by 10.3% to CHF 88.4 million (1H/2009: CHF 80.2 million).
Operating profit before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to CHF 4.9 million and was considerably higher than the previous year's level of CHF 1.2 million. At CHF 0.9 million, operating profit (EBIT) again reached break-even (1st half of 2009: CHF -3.5 million).

EBITDA and EBIT include restructuring costs of CHF 1.4 million. The inflow of orders was at CHF 92.9 million, which is a rise of 20% compared to the previous year (1st half of 2009: CHF 77.4 million). With its consistent steps to centralize management at the divisional level, and with the streamlining of operational processes and the introduction of uniform branding, the board of directors and group management established favourable conditions to consolidate the currently discernable upward trend in the second half of the year, and to continue the path of growth.



The Group’s inflow of orders in the first half of 2010 was CHF 92.9 million; an improvement of 20% compared to the previous year (1st half of 2009: CHF 77.4 million). The strength of the Swiss franc against the euro and the other major currencies had a negative effect on financial results.

Because of its strong contingent of production facilities in the euro area and in Asia, and by consistently adapting the flow of goods to the currency areas, the Group was successful in preventing further negative effects stemming from currency fluctuations. Both the EBITDA as well as the EBIT include the restructuring costs of CHF 1.4 million associated with the shifting of production and changing the orientation of Systel SA. With an equity ratio of 58.1% as of 30 June 2010, the condition of the Group’s finances is strong.

Positive development in the divisions
Compared to the previous year, the PCB (Printed Circuit Boards) Division increased its net proceeds during the report period by 27.3% to CHF 17.8 million (1st half of 2009: CHF 14.0 million). At -0.2 million, operating profit (EBIT) improved considerably compared to the previous year (1st half of 2009: CHF -3.8 million). Favourable developments were seen particularly in the areas of medical technology, automotive, semiconductors, telecommunications, aerospace, and the watch industry.

The ME (Microelectronics) Division was exposed to a demanding market in the first half of 2010. The Division generated net proceeds of CHF 15.2 million (1st half of 2009: CHF 16.9 million) and achieved an operating profit (EBIT) of CHF 0.9 million (1st half of 2009: CHF 1.8 million). In the area of classic thin layer technology, planned armament and defence orders were postponed to a later date.

On the other hand, encouraging trends were evident in the sectors of optoelectronics (equipping of laser and LED applications), avionics (Power Supply Module) and industrial electronics' components (special electronics for nuclear power plants).

During the report period, the ES Division (Electronic Solutions, formerly EMS Division) achieved net proceeds of CHF 44.8 million (1st half of 2009: CHF 41.5 million). Operating profit (EBIT) was CHF 0.4 million (1st half of 2009: CHF -0.8 million) and included restructuring costs of CHF 1.4 million connected with the shifting of production and the change of orientation of Systel SA.

This focus of production in Europe on the two sites at Bronschhofen (Switzerland) and Arad (Romania) made possible the optimization of processes and the expansion of existing capacity there, and represents a decisive improvement in competitiveness.

Creation of a new Asia Division
With the creation of the Asia Division, Cicor underscores the strategic importance of the dynamically growing Asian markets. The positive development of business in the first half of 2010 confirms the decision. The Asia Division achieved net proceeds of CHF 11.0 million, which is a rise of 38.2% compared to the previous year’s level of CHF 8.0 million. Operating profit (EBIT) was CHF 0.9 million (1st half of 2009: CHF 0.1 million).

Expansion of market penetration
The Cicor Group is currently benefiting from the friendlier climate in most of the sales markets and the continuing trend towards outsourcing of the production of electronic components. In the medium term, Cicor anticipates there will be increased demand first of all in the areas of industry, medical technology, military and automotive, where the highest rates of growth are expected in Asia. For 2010, the board of directors and the group management are confident about consolidating the welcome improvement in operating profitability, and achieving sustained positive operating results.

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