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PCB | January 27, 2009

AT&S's revenue decreased by 7,5% in 3Q

AT&S’s revenues in 3Q 2008/09 totalled €117.1m, down 7.5% on the same period last year. In the first three quarters of financial 2008/09 revenues amounted to €351.4m, 4.6% less than in the comparable period in 2007/08.
Gross profit for the 3Q of €20.0m was 15.7% less than a year ago, and the first three quarters’ gross profit of €59.2m was 12.5% down. The gross margin in the third quarter was 17.1% (2007/08: 18.8%), and in the first three quarters 16.8%, compared with 18.3% a year ago.

Largely as a result of the restructuring of the Leoben-Hinterberg facility and the writedown of goodwill at AT&S Korea, which have depressed operating results by €25.8m, the Group shows a negative EBIT of €18.2m for the third quarter. EBIT for the same period last year came to €11.6m, so that the EBIT margin declined from 9.2% last year to -15.6% in 2008/09. EBIT for the first nine months nonetheless reached €2.3m, compared with €33.8m for same period last year. The EBIT margin dropped to 0.7% (Q1–3 2007/08: 9.2%).

Pretax losses for the third quarter amounted to €21.0m, compared with profits of €13.2m for the same period last year.For the first three quarters, pretax losses were €0.6m, compared with pretax profits of €36.3m a year ago. The writeoff of loss carryforwards at AT&S Korea increased taxes on income by €1.4m in the quarter just ended. For the third quarter of the financial year there was a net loss (negative net income) of €23.5m, as against a net profit of €11.7m for Q3 2007/08. The net loss for the first nine months was €4.9m, compared with net profits of €33.3m a year ago.

AT&S’s net debt at 31 December 2008 amounted to €189.6m (€157.7m a year earlier), with net gearing at 78.8%. The increase in net borrowings of €33.3m since 31 March 2008 is largely attributable to capital investment in further extension of the Shanghai plants, the construction of the new plant in India, payment of dividends and the low level of factoring activities. In the first quarter of financial 2008/09 AT&S placed a five-year €80m bond, exchanging short-term for longer-term debt and improving its financial structure.

Outlook
For the printed circuit board industry worldwide, 2009 will be a challenging year – global sales are expected to fall by roughly 6.5%. In the light of the Group’s healthy finances and market positioning, AT&S’s Management expects the Group to emerge as a winner from the market shakedown precipitated by the change in economic climate. AT&S is not however currently prepared to give any guidance.

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