PCB | November 13, 2008
Aspocomp returns to profit
After the divesture of the loss making Thai subsidiary, Finland based PCB producer Aspocomp presented a small profit durig this years’ first nine months.
Continuing operations refer to the structure of the Aspocomp Group after restructuring, including the divestment of a majority holding in the company's former subsidiary in Thailand, announced in October. Continuing operations now comprise Aspocomp Oulu Oy and Aspocomp Group Oyj's headquarter operations. These businesses form one business segment. In addition, the assets and liabilities of the Thai company have been presented as available-for-sale assets and related liabilities. Net sales was EUR 16.3 million compared to EUR 19.7 million 1-9/2007. Operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) was EUR 1.7 million compared to -9.6 the same period one year ago. Operating profit was EUR 0.5 million compared to -10.8 the same period one year ago. Investments in continuing operations with EUR 1.0 million compared to 0.3 during the same period one year ago. Aspocomp's main priority in 2008 is the restructuring of the Group. The transaction with Meadville Holdings Limited strengthened the financial position of the Aspocomp Group, but further actions are needed to maintain liquidity. The Aspocomp Group is expected to have full-year net sales of over EUR 20 million in 2008 and positive operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) due to higher operational efficiency, the leaner cost structure and the decrease in its holding in the Thai company. "During the first nine months of the year, Aspocomp forged ahead with the restructuring started up in late 2007 and risk management measures. The Thai transaction on October 16, 2008 released Aspocomp from a parent company guarantee amounting to THB 212 million, which represented a substantial risk to the Group's operations and the Group's structure is now in line with the first objective. Central functions have been rescaled as planned, the subsidiary in Oulu operates independently and the CAD planning department at the Oulu plant has been closed. The operations of the Oulu plant were profitable during the entire report period and its operating profit was positive. Once the Group was no longer burdened by the losses of the Thai plant, consolidated operating profit for continuing operations became positive. The Thai arrangement had a substantial effect on the Aspocomp Group. The Group's interest-bearing liabilities declined by about EUR 14 million and the equity ratio rose to about 18 percent. Aspocomp is now at the end of the project related to the restructuring of the business and debts completed at the end of last year. Following the Thai solution, new alternatives are being sought to ensure the viability of the company in the years ahead." During the review period, the Aspocomp Group had an average of 147 employees (169). The personnel count on September 30, 2008 was 126 (153). Of them, 83 (89) were non-salaried and 43 (64) salaried employees.