Increased sales at Pfeiffer

05.11.2002

Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG, a leading manufacturer of high-quality vacuum pumps, components, and complete vacuum systems, announces its results as of September 30, 2002. For the first time since the end of 2001, quarterly sales increased slightly by + 2.5 %. Nine months' profit margin was 12.9 % before tax.

Q 3 2002Q 2 2002Q 1 2002Q 4 2001Q 3 2001
Sales Revenues37.436.537.040.240.1
Gross Margin45.2 %44.8 %45.3 %46.7 %44.5 %
S, G & A Cost8.98.58.69.98.4
R & D Cost2.52.62.51.92.1
Operating Profit (EBIT)4.24.14.65.46.4
New Orders34.439.435.435.736.5

Results of the first 9 months (in EUR millions)

First 9 months 2002First 9 months 2001
Sales Revenues110.9130.0
Gross Margin45.1 %44.8 %
S, G & A Cost26.0 *)26.2
R & D Cost7.5 *) 6.2
Operating Profit (EBIT)12.922.8
Earnings p. Share0.99 EUR1.63 EUR
New Orders109.2122.9

*) incl. EUR 3.2 million for the DVD business acquired in January 2002.

The global recession in some of the most important sales markets in Europe, the US, and Asia is reflected by the sales figures. In the first 9 months of 2002, sales fell by 14.7 % to EUR 110.9 million. However, for the first time since the 4th quarter of 2001, sales figures rose slightly by 2.5 % compared to the previous quarter to EUR 37.4 million in the 3rd quarter of 2002. The most significant increase was recorded in Germany, where sales rose by 32.4 % from EUR 9.5 million to EUR 12.6 million. This increase is offset by a fall in sales of EUR 2.2 million in other countries. Despite prices being curbed, the gross margin increased slightly to a respectable 45.1 % thanks to strict cost management and leaner production.

In the first 9 months of 2002, sales and administrative expenses remained constant at EUR 26 million, while research and development expenses rose by 21 % from EUR 6.2 million to EUR 7.5 million. These include start-up costs for the newly acquired DVD Division. Significant sales have not yet been generated to cover these additional expenses. Excluding this new division, expenses in both sales and administrative, as well as research and development cost blocks were reduced by EUR 2.1 million in the first 9 months of the year.

The operating profit (EBIT), which is currently EUR 12.9 million corresponding to an 11.6 % EBIT margin, reinforces the company’s status as a top performer in German industry. Excluding the above-mentioned start-up costs for the DVD Division, the operating profit comes to EUR 16.1 million = 14.5 % EBIT margin.

Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Dondorf had this to say about the company’s results and its outlook: "Due to the greatly varied economic situations in individual countries, it is truly impossible to make a definitive prognosis in heterogeneous markets for the 2002 fiscal year as a whole. According to our current earnings, a sales volume of EUR 150 million seems feasible, especially taking into consideration the fact that the level of new orders for October 2002 have increased considerably. Strict cost management, lean production and organization, but also investments in the reinforcement and development our global marketing and service network have enabled us to react flexibly to market changes and to ensure solid double-digit returns in the future. The company’s strong cash reserve of EUR 64 million provides it with sufficient autonomy and enough of a corporate framework to expand the company into specific future markets.”

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