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SUSS MicroTec sees sales hike of 2.5% for 2008

26 March 2009 | By Síle Mc Mahon | News > Lithography

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SUSS MicroTecIn a credit crunch-defying report for 2008 revenue, SUSS MicroTec AG has revealed that its sales have risen to €149.3 million for FY08, an increase of 2.5% on 2007’s figure of €145.6 million. The increase was chiefly due to the success of the company’s lithography division, which saw an 18% increase in sales year-on-year to €98.8 million.

Looking at the figures from a regional perspective, the strongest growth was generated in Asia (excluding Japan), which saw an increase of 15.9% in sales on the previous year. Europe sales grew by 4.1%, with a decline of 4.6% in North America. Sales figures for Japan saw a significant drop of 14% - the largest regional decline.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for 2008’s fiscal year saw extraordinary expenses of €18.3 million, mainly due to amortization of intangible assets. Having taken these expenses into account, the company still managed to reduce the effect on liquidity to €0.8 million.

Extensive restructuring and cost reduction measures have been put into effect since the end of 2008. A reduction of workforce from 709 in 2008 to 674 as of December 31, 2008 was implemented, which figure will be further reduced to approximately 644 as of March 31, 2009. The company also terminated contracts with 52 temporary workers worldwide as of December 31, 2008.

The outlook for SUSS MicroTec is, for the most part, quite positive. The company was granted a credit line of €6 million in December 2008 with an initial term through March 31, 2009 by a consortium of two banks. It also has approvals from three banks for a further credit line of €9 million through March 31, 2010. As a result of this available credit, and the company’s restructuring efforts, SUSS expects 2009 to carry some sales declines that may be offset by the relatively steady financial situation.

“However, 2009 will be a challenge for us and our sector,” said Michael Knopp, CFO of SUSS MicroTec AG. “We will have to deal with a considerable sales decline in the current fiscal year based on the economy and industry. On the other hand, we do expect the operating activities to generate sufficient free cash flow to the point that no additional liquidity should be needed for the further organic development of the core business.”

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