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PCB | November 13, 2009

Schweizer: 20% sales increase compared to the crisis quarters

The third quarter of 2009 was characterised by a very positive trend reversal for German PCB manufacturer Schweizer Electronic. After the previous three very difficult quarters, positive business results could again be achieved together with a brisk recovery in the order situation.

All of the company's important customer groups contributed to this trend reversal: in solar electronics, this was due to the seasonally strong summer months, and in the automobile sector it was the increased demand due to the greatly reduced inventories on hand in the first half of the year. Schweizer Electronic successfully concluded its restructuring programme parallel to driving the production volumes up. The closure of the Dunningen production location, as well as the cost reduction measures undertaken by the main factory at Schramberg, were implemented. Development of revenues in Q3 – better than expected In the third quarter of 2009, revenues amounted to EUR 18.8 mln which was 10% above the company's expectations. Compared to the prior quarter, this corresponds to an increase of 22% whereas the 3rd quarter in 2008 still showed revenues higher by 18%. The most important customer segments were the automobile industry with a share in sales of 58% (prior year quarter 51%) and industry with 39% (prior year quarter 44%). In the industrial segment, solar electronics had a share of 50%. The increased share of the automobile sector can be explained by the disproportionate sales reductions in the earlier quarters and the resulting particularly high catch-up effect in the third quarter of 2009. 69% of sales were achieved in high quality circuit board technologies. With this, the trend towards increasingly complex technologies continues. Profit situation – turnaround proved to be successful In all three months of the third quarter of 2009, Schweizer Electronic achieved positive business results. Although sales volumes were still 18% below that of the prior year quarter, an EBIT of EUR +1.4 mln was achieved which corresponds to an EBIT margin of 7.6% (prior year quarter: 8,0%). The EBITDA margin recorded at 14.0% (prior year quarter 15.4%). Since September 2008, we reduced the number of our employees by 20% to 610 employees. In addition, we employed 43 temporary workers as at balance sheet date. On account of the clearly improved capacity utilisation in production in the third quarter, Schweizer Electronic was able to abstain from making use of short-time work. Due to the positive order situation, we are expecting full employment in the next few months as well. Outlook “Schweizer reacted quickly and with foresight in an extremely challenging environment marked by the economic crisis. The package of extensive operating measures for cost reduction and flexibilisation took hold and will show further effects”, a statement continues Against this backdrop, the PCB manufacturer expects sales of between € 17 and 18 mln for the fourth quarter of 2009, contrary to the otherwise usual Schweizer downward trend at year end, and therefore approx. 20% more than in the previous year quarter. We can thus also expect a positive EBIT margin in the fourth quarter (prior year quarter: EBIT margin - minus 18%).
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