Electronics Production | November 15, 2007

Stronger growth for Epcos

Epcos’ sales rose both year on year and sequentially to EUR 376 million. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased further to EUR 25 million. In Q4 2007, the growth in sales of products for the automotive electronics industry made the major contribution to higher year-on-year sales.
During fiscal 2007 as a whole, EBIT thus improved consistently from quarter to quarter. As in each of the three preceding quarters, EBIT in Q4 2007 was sharply up year on year. All three business segments again made positive contributions to this performance.

Compared to the previous quarter, sales at Capacitors and Inductors increased to EUR 137 million in Q4 2007. Demand was especially strong for film capacitors used in energy-saving lamps and for power factor correction in power grids. Demand for inductors also rose, in particular, for industrial electronics applications.

The Ceramic Components segment posted sales of EUR 136 million, roughly at the same high level as in the previous quarter. Sales development was stable across all product groups.

Sales of Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Components rose to EUR 103 million. This double-digit sales growth was the strongest of all three business segments. Increased demand for SAW filters, SAW duplexers and front-end modules for high-end UMTS mobile phones was the main driver of this growth.

In Q4 2007, the growth in sales of products for the automotive electronics industry made the major contribution to higher year-on-year sales. Sales to this industry were up by more than 30 percent. Sales of components for industrial electronics applications rose by more than 10 percent. The main driver of this growth was business with manufacturers of power generation, electrical drives and lighting technology, a development which is profiting from the ongoing trend toward greater energy efficiency. Sales to distributors posted single-digit growth, while sales to consumer electronics manufacturers declined. Business with this industry segment suffered especially from the fact that both the US dollar and the yen were considerably weaker than in the previous fiscal year.

As in the previous quarter, strong growth in the automotive and industrial electronics sectors, above all in Germany (plus 20 percent) and Europe excluding Germany (plus 10 percent) had a positive impact on the regional distribution of sales in the quarter under review. Sales in Asia (minus 10 percent) declined primarily because one major customer relocated its order processing activities to Europe. Another key reason was the unfavorable impact of the weak US dollar. Despite that, the NAFTA region more or less achieved the same level of sales as in the previous year.

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