Pfeiffer Vacuum Benefits From Strong Semiconductor Business in Q3 2020

Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG,a leading manufacturer of vacuum solutions, reports consolidated financial results for the third quarter and nine months period ending September 30, 2020.
Pfeiffer Vacuum Benefits From Strong Semiconductor Business in Q3 2020

Overview of key figures (Image source: Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG)

Pfeiffer Vacuum sales for the first nine months 2020 declined by 2.9% to EUR 453.9 million compared to the previous year (9 months 2019: EUR 467.3 million), primarily driven by lower sales in the market segments coating, analytics, industry and R&D offset by a strong performance in the semiconductor market. Sales in the semiconductor and coating market combined increased by 7.1% to EUR 233.5 million (9 months 2019: 218.0 million) whereas sales in the industry, analytics and R&D market segments decreased by 11.6% to EUR 220.4 million (9 months 2019: 249.3 million).

The gross profit for the first nine months was EUR 158.0 million (9 months 2019: EUR 161.4 million). The year-over-year decline is due to negative economies of scale related to sales declines and productivity impact in the context of COVID-19 measures implemented by Pfeiffer Vacuum, offset in Q3 2020 by favorable sales mix within the markets. In the first nine months 2020, the gross profit margin improved to 34.8% (9M 2019: 34.5%) driven by the strong gross profit margin in Q3 2020 of 36.4% (Q3 2019: 33.6%)

The operating result (EBIT) for the first nine months 2020 of EUR 35.7 million represents a decrease by 27.0% compared to the previous year (9 months 2019: EUR 48.9 million). The EBIT margin reached 7.9% which was lower than in the previous year (9 months 2019: 10.5%) but higher than in the first half of 2020 (H1 2020: 6.5%). This was driven by an improved EBIT margin of 10.6% in Q3 2020, mainly as a result of the favorable product mix.

The year-over-year decline in EBIT in the 9-months periods was primarily a result of the decrease in sales, productivity losses through COVID-19 and increased expenses to drive market share growth and to improve the EBIT margin to 20% by 2025.

Net income declined to EUR 24.8 million (9 months 2019: EUR 34.7 million), representing earnings per share of EUR 2.51 (9 months 2019: EUR 3.52). The book-to-bill ratio, the ratio of order intake to sales, was at 1.02 for the nine months ending September 30, 2020. Despite of COVID-19, the order intake reached EUR 461.3 million, up 2.5% compared to first nine months of 2019. At the end of the third quarter 2020, Pfeiffer Vacuum had an order backlog of EUR 118.2 million, down 7.4% compared to the previous year (September 30, 2019: EUR 127.6 million).

“Market indicators in the semiconductor market continued to be positive while our other markets were impacted primarily due to the economic slow-down related to the COVID-19 pandemic” says Dr. Eric Taberlet, CEO of Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG. “EBIT margins during the third quarter 2020 were the strongest of the year 2020 due to a very favorable sales mix within our different market segments.”

In sales by region, which describes sales according to the location of the customers in their corresponding region, Pfeiffer Vacuum achieved a year-over-year increase in sales by 1.7% to EUR 170.5 million for the first nine months of 2020 (9 months 2019: EUR 167.6 million) in Asia. This was mainly related to higher sales with our customers in the semiconductor market. Europe sales decreased by 6.4% to EUR 162.7 million (9 months 2019: EUR 173.9 million), mainly because of the market conditions in the industry, analytics and R&D segments. Sales in the Americas declined by 4.1% to EUR 120.7 million (9 months 2019: EUR 125.8 million), primarily due to the weaker US Dollar.

Balance sheet and cash-flow
As of September 30, 2020, Pfeiffer Vacuum maintained its solid financial position. Total assets at the end of the third quarter 2020 were EUR 659.1 million, slightly less than at the end of 2019 (December 31, 2019: EUR 659.6 million). Cash and cash equivalents were EUR 112.2 million (December 31, 2019: EUR 112.0 million) and the Company remains net debt free. The equity ratio was at 60.1%, slightly up from the year-end 2019 (December 31, 2019: 59.6%).

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and further pressures due to the arrival of the second wave of increased infections, Pfeiffer Vacuum is currently not able to make a reliable forecast concerning the further business development. Critical semiconductor customers currently remain committed to their expansion. However, economic activity in other markets served could come under increased pressure. The Company currently expects sales in the fourth quarter 2020 to be similar to third quarter 2020 levels, while the EBIT margin for the full year 2020 is expected to be around 7 percent.

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