Schaffner in the first-half of fiscal 2014/15 Rapid reaction to challenges

Media Release

Schaffner in the first-half of fiscal 2014/15

Rapid reaction to challenges

At CHF 102.5 million (H1 2013/14: CHF 102.6 million), the Schaffner Group kept its net sales in the first half of fiscal 2014/15 (as at 31 March) constant despite shifts in its core markets and currency turbulence. Growth in local currencies was 1.4%. Measures taken to enhance the effi­ciency of processes will lead to cost reduction as early as in the second half of the year, which will lower the negative impact on results brought about by the massive appreciation of the CHF against the EUR.

Sales growth of core markets and in the USA

Sales reported in Schaffner's core markets exceeded those of the previous year by 2%. The automo­tive electronics sector reported the strongest growth, with sales rising 25%. Growth in the core market of railway technology was also up by 16% due to strong demand in the USA and China, with the decline in demand in Europe the only factor preventing even better results. Sales with components for energy-efficient drive systems were also up a solid 10%, driven primarily by the market success of power quality solutions. Renewable energy was the only sector to register a decline in sales, which fell by 40% as a result of the cost-driven substitution of EMC filters in solar inverters for installations in China and a drop in demand from the European photovoltaic sector. Following the previous year's acquisition of the US company Trenco, the share of sales contributed by North America in­creased to 21% (16%). This resulted in a slight reduction in Asia's contribution to sales to 35% (37%), while that of Europe declined to 44% (47%), which was also currency-related.

Performance of the divisions

Sales of the EMC division declined by 13% to CHF 46.7 million (CHF 53.7 million). This was largely the result of the decline in value of the EUR and the fall in demand from the Chinese photovoltaic industry. The share of sales contributed by the EMC division fell to 46% (52%). The segment result declined to CHF 3.5 million (CHF 7.2 million) due to lower volumes and  exchange rate reasons. The segment operating margin came to 7.4% (13.5%). The EMC division reported new orders worth CHF 49.0 million (CHF 55.1 million) in the first half of fiscal 2014/15, which was mainly thanks to the success of power quality solutions, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 1.05 (1.03).

The Power Magnetic division (PM) increased sales by 8% to CHF 33.2 million (CHF 30.8 million) in the first half of fiscal 2014/15, contributing 32% (30%) to the Group's net sales. Growth stemmed from the integration of the US company Trenco, which was acquired at the end of March 2014. In organic terms, segment sales remained below those of the previous year as a consequence of the deprecia­tion of the euro and yen (JPY) and the suspension of rail technology orders from Russia to a European customer of Schaffner. The seg­ment result amounted to CHF 1.3 million (CHF 1.7 million) and the profit margin to 3.9% (5.6%). New orders totaled CHF 31.5 million (CHF 35.5 million), resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 0.95 (1.15).

The Automotive division (AM) increased sales by 25% to CHF 22.6 million (CHF 18.1 million) and its share of sales to 22% (18%). The segment result multiplied to CHF 2.8 million (CHF 0.6 million). In the first half of fiscal 2014/15, AM generated a record high operating margin of 12.3% (3.3%),  while new orders totaled CHF 21.0 million (CHF 18.2 million), resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 0.93 (1.0).

Sound financing structure

As at the reporting date of 31 March 2015, Schaffner held total assets of CHF 148.6 million (30 Sep­tember 2014: CHF 154.5 million), net working capital of CHF 33.5 million (CHF 30.6 million), net debt of CHF 21.7 million (CHF 16.6 million) and a gearing ratio (ratio of net debt to shareholders' equity) of 37% (25%). Free cash flow amounted to CHF -2.8 million (CHF -2.2 million). With shareholders' equity of CHF 59.2 million (CHF 66.6 million), at 40% (43%) the equity ratio is within the target range even after the dividend payout, a negative reassessment of Schaffner's pension obligations and the nega­tive influence of currency turbulence. Shareholders' equity per share totaled CHF 93.16 (CHF 104.80).

Outlook

The Board of Directors and management are continuing to consistently implement the growth strategy of the Schaffner Group. The focus will be on Power Quality applications, the expansion of Power Mag­netics' market position, and the regional expansion in the North American market while continuously reviewing and adaptating structures and processes. Schaffner is targeting sequential growth in sales and operating profits in each division in the second half of fiscal 2014/15 compared with the first half-year. In the absence of any major change in the economies or currencies of its relevant markets Schaffner continues to expect to report for the current fiscal year consolidated net sales that are roughly in line with those of the previous year and an EBIT margin of around 5%.

The full 2014/15 Half-Year Report is available at:
schaffner.com/en/investor-relations/reports.html

The webcast presentation of the first-half results for fiscal 2014/15 will be available from 10.00 a.m. on 12 May 2015 at the following link:
78449.choruscall.com/dataconf/productusers/schaffner/mediaframe/11668/indexr.html

Conference Call on 12 May 2015 at 10.00 a.m.

Dial the following number 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the conference call:

Europe +41 (0)58 310 50 00 / UK +44 (0)203 059 58 62 / USA +1 (1)631 570 5613

Luterbach, 12 May 2015

Key figures

in CHF   '000

H1 2014/15

H1 2013/14

Net sales

102,469

102,615

Net sales EMC division

46,650

53,686

Segment profit EMC division

3,456

7,240

Net sales Power Magnetics division

33,196

30,781

Segment profit/(loss) Power Magnetics division

1,308

1,711

Net sales Automotive division

22,623

18,148

Segment profit/(loss) Automotive division

2,776

594

Operating profit (EBIT)

3,703

4,885

in % of net sales

3.6

4.8

Net profit

1,910

3,212

in % of net sales

1.9

3.1

Earnings per share in CHF

3.02

5.08

Free Cash flow

-2,824

-2,202

31.3.2015

30.9.2014

Total assets

148,594

154,452

Net working capital

33,481

30,585

Net dept

21,695

16,631

Gearing in %

37

25

Equity ratio in %

39.9

43.1

Shareholders' equity  per share in CHF

93.16

104.80

Calendar

8 December 2015

Publication of Annual Report 2014/15 (full-year results)

12 January 2016

20th Annual General Meeting

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