Total sales for FY 2017, which had been preliminarily announced and have meanwhile been audited, amounted to EUR 587.0 million. This represents a significant increase of 23.8 % (previous year: EUR 474.2 million).
Operating profit (EBIT) came to EUR 71.4 million (previous year: EUR 68.0 million), somewhat lower than preliminarily announced, due to regular cut-off and valuation procedures in year-end closing. Thus, another record high in the history of Pfeiffer Vacuum was achieved. However, EBIT increased 5.0 %, due to the one-offs PPA and increased consulting cost. EBIT margin for FY 2017 came to 12.2 % and was thus 2.1 %age points lower than previous year s 14.3 %. Adjusted by the aforementioned one-offs, EBIT was at EUR 80.9 million with a corresponding margin of 13.8 %.
Source: Pfeiffer Vacuum
Pfeiffer Vacuum s order intake for FY 2017 amounted to EUR 642.1 million (previous year: EUR 481.9 million). The book-to-bill ratio – the ratio of order intake to sales – was 1.09 in 2017 (previous year: 1.02). Year-end order backlog amounted to EUR 127.4 million (previous year: EUR 72.3 million).
The Management and Supervisory Board propose a dividend of EUR 2.00 per share (previous year: EUR 3.60). The payout ratio would thus amount to around 37 % of consolidated net income.
On March 7, 2018, the Management and Supervisory Boards announced a CAPEX plan with a total volume of EUR 150 million by 2020. Key areas of this investment plan are: expansion and modernization of production capacity, intensification of research & development, acceleration of industry 4.0-efforts and expansion of our global footprint in Asia, with a particular focus on China.
Dr. Eric Taberlet, CEO of Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG, comments, “We at Pfeiffer Vacuum had a very eventful year behind us. Despite all the challenges we are facing, 2017 has been a record year when it comes to sales and EBIT, which attest to the Group’s stable growth. Pfeiffer Vacuum will strengthen its excellent market position to further expanding the Group’s leadership in vacuum technology. And our figures show that we are already off to a good start.”
In terms of sales broken down by regions, Europe posted a pleasing increase of 17.8 % to EUR 222.5 million (previous year: EUR 188.9 million). Sales in Asia rose significantly by 26.2 % to EUR 220.3 million (previous year: EUR 174.6 million). In the Americas, sales showed extraordinary growth of 30.1 % to EUR 143.8 million (previous year: EUR 110.5 million), not least due to additional volumes from the companies acquired during the year.
Sales of turbo pumps are once again strong compared with previous year’s growth rates and showed an increase of 20.0 % to EUR 173.4 million (previous year: EUR 144.5 million). Business with instruments and components outpaced the rest at first glance with an increase of 52.2 %, however, it must be acknowledged that more than 20 % of the total amount of EUR 160.6 million (previous year: EUR 105.5 million) attributes to acquisitions. Sales of backing pumps increased by 15.5 % to EUR 132.8 million (previous year: EUR 115.0 million). Service revenues rose by 8.1 % to EUR 107.8 million (previous year: EUR 99.7 million). Systems sales amounted to EUR 12.4 million after EUR 9.5 million in the previous year.
All of Pfeiffer Vacuum’s five market segments exhibited growth in the past fiscal year. The Semiconductor and Coating markets, representing more than 50 % of total sales volume, recorded an increase in sales by 45.6 and 33.9 % to EUR 225.4 and 74.2 million (previous year: EUR 154.7 and 55.4 million), respectively. In Analytics, sales were up 8.7 %, increasing to EUR 100.1 million (previous year: EUR 92.1 million). In the heterogeneous market segment Industry, sales increased by 11.4 % to EUR 129.1 million (previous year: EUR 115.9 million). Market segment Research & Development sales volume rose by 3.7 % to EUR 58.2 million (previous year: EUR 56.1 million). Gross profit for the reporting period amounted to EUR 210.0 million (previous year: EUR 180.5 million). The gross profit margin in the past year decreased by 2.3 %age points to 35.8 % (previous year: 38.1 %). Operating income (EBIT) amounted to EUR 71.4 million, 5.0 % above the previous year s figure of EUR 68.0 million and resulted in an EBIT margin of 12.2 %. Adjusted for one-offs, EBIT amounts to EUR 80.9 million, which is an increase of EUR 12.9 million or 18.9 % compared to 2017. This corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 13.8 % (previous year: 14.3 %).
The financial result amounted to EUR -0.4 million (previous year: EUR -0.4 million). The tax ratio markedly decreased to 24.2 % (previous year: 30.4 %), mainly influenced by the U.S. tax reform, which led to a devaluation of deferred tax liabilities. Net income totaled EUR 53.8 million (previous year: EUR 47.0 million) which corresponds to a net return on sales of 9.2 % compared to 9.9 % in the previous year. Earnings per share amounted to EUR 5.46, representing an increase of EUR 0.69 (previous year: EUR 4.77).
Despite an increase in operating cash flow from EUR 63.6 million in 2016 to EUR 71.4 million in 2017, the dividend, acquisitions and associated repayments of financial liabilities led to a net decrease in the cash position to EUR 97.4 million as of December 31, 2017 (previous year: EUR 110.0 million). The equity ratio decreased to 58.0 % (previous year: 68.7 %).
Pfeiffer Vacuum is very satisfied with the first months of the year. We expect sales to grow noticeably, however, the growth rate will be probably below that of 2017, which was influenced by additional volumes of acquisitions. For 2018, we expect PPA effects of approx. EUR 6.1 million and impacts from foreign exchange rates. Due to the limited visibility of orders based on sales over two to three months, we will provide our guidance for fiscal year 2018 traditionally at the Annual General Meeting in May.