Jenoptik: 2015 Was Best Recent Fiscal Year

The Jenoptik Group returned to its path of profitable growth in 2015, ending the fiscal year with record figures for revenue, earnings and cash flow. Revenue grew more than 13 percent to 668.8 million euros (prior year 590.2 million euros). Products from all three segments, including laser machines and metrology systems for the automotive industry and optoelectronic systems, helped to generate this increase, as did the settlement of a major order in the Defense & Civil Systems segment. The contribution to revenue made by Vysionics, the company acquired in 2014, and foreign currency exchange effects also boosted revenue.

“We achieved our targets and have taken a major step forward in the strategic development of the company. Operational excellence, innovation and further internationalization remain the cornerstones of our approach. In 2015, for example, we generated first major revenues with new products in communications technology, a market we previously have not served, and secured new customers from the life science industry outside Europe. More than two thirds of our revenue came from abroad in 2015,” says Jenoptik President & CEO Michael Mertin, summing up the past fiscal year.

In regional terms, North America and Europe showed the greatest growth, but revenue also increased in Asia. The revenue boost in Europe was in part due to the first-time inclusion of Vysionics, the specialist for traffic safety technology from the United Kingdom that was acquired in late 2014.

With 18.7 percent, the group EBIT showed considerably stronger growth than revenue, and came to 61.2 million euros (prior year 51.6 million euros). The EBIT margin greatly improved to 9.2 percent (prior year 8.7 percent). This growth was in part due to a changed revenue mix and the contribution to earnings from Vysionics. Group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (group EBITDA) also increased at a faster rate than revenue, by 16.7 percent to 88.8 million euros (prior year 76.1 million euros). In 2015, Jenoptik generated earnings after tax of 49.9 million Euros (prior year 41.6 million euros). Earnings per share rose to 0.87 euros (prior year 0.73 euros).

The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Jenoptik AG will propose a higher dividend for the 2015 fiscal year at the Annual General Meeting on June 8, 2016, amounting to 0.22 euros per share (prior year 0.20 euros). The payout ratio would therefore be 25.4 percent (prior year 27.5 percent).

In 2015, Jenoptik expanded its financing framework to create additional leeway for future organic growth and acquisitions. The total volume of the debenture loans issued in April 2015, including existing loans, increased from 90 to 125 million euros. March 2015 also saw the conclusion of a new syndicated loan agreement for 230 million euros (previously 120 million euros).

“We took advantage of favorable conditions on the financial markets to secure financial flexibility at short notice in the future,” says CFO Hans-Dieter Schumacher. In conjunction with a further rise in the equity ratio and strong cash flows, Schumacher sees this as a very good footing on which to finance scheduled future growth and new business opportunities.

The number of employees (incl. trainees) at Jenoptik fell slightly in 2015, to 3,512 (31/12/2014: 3,553). The annual average number of employees (not that at December 31) rose to 3,421 (prior year 3,375). In the course of the internationalization strategy the number of employees abroad increased to 629 (31/12/2014: 617) or 17.9 percent of the entire workforce.

The medium-term planning remains unchanged: “By 2018, we aim to increase annual revenue to around 800 million euros – including smaller acquisitions – and achieve an average EBIT margin of around nine to ten percent over the market cycles. The share of revenue in our focus regions of the Americas and Asia/Pacific combined should then grow to over 40 percent of group revenue,” adds Michael Mertin. (Source: Jenoptik)

Links: Jenoptik AG, Jena, Germany

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