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PCB | November 12, 2009

Aspocomp sales slump 45% Y-o-Y for first 9 months

The Finnish PCB manufacturer Aspocomp reported net sales of €8.9 million of the first 9 months of this year. This result is down 45% down from the same period last year, when Aspocomp reported net sales of €16.3 million.

Sami Holopainen, President & CEO of Aspocomp: "The market still remained challenging. Oulu plant's result stayed on red, but improved from the second quarter of the year. The market is estimated to slightly improve and the operating result of the forth quarter is expected to be positive. However, the full year 2009 EBITDA will be negative. The Suzhou, China plant (MAS) of the joint venture Meadville Aspocomp (BVI) Holdings Ltd. still runs at a low capacity utilization level. It is expected that there will be gradual improvement of both export and local sales in the later part of year 2009. The India plant project remains on hold until further notice." Personnel During the period, Aspocomp had an average of 108 employees (147). The personnel count on September 30, 2009 was 101 (126). Of them, 69 (83) were non-salaried and 32 (43) salaried employees. The reference numbers are for continuing operations. Litigations In 2007, the French Supreme Court ordered the company to pay approximately EUR 11 million, including annual interest of about 7%, to 388 former employees of Aspocomp S.A.S. In January 2009, the Labor Court of Evreux, France ruled that the company has to pay approximately EUR 0.5 million in compensation, with interest, to a further 13 former employees. Aspocomp has appealed the decision to the next instance in France. The aforementioned compensations do not have a profit impact during 2009. The claims are related to the notice time salaries of the closed, heavily loss-making Evreux plant. The closure took place in 2002. There is a risk that the remaining approximately 100 employees may also institute proceedings. In France, the statute of limitations for filing a suit is 30 years. Outlook for the Future Aspocomp's financial position is satisfactory. The lean cost structure and the outlook for operations in Oulu enable the continuity of operations. Net sales in 2009 will decline due to the difficult market situation and solutions implemented to reduce risks. The market is estimated to slightly improve during the last quarter compared to the previous quarters. Group's forth quarter operating result is expected to be positive, but the full year operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) will remain negative. In addition to developing the continuing operations of the company, the Board of Directors is looking into various structural development solutions, including carrying out company reorganization in the future.
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