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Oerlikon's recovery gains momentum
22
Oct '10
Recovery at the Oerlikon Group continued and strengthened during the third quarter of 2010. Compared to the previous year, order intake for Q1-Q3 2010 rose 39 percent to CHF 3.2 billion. At the reporting date, orders on hand amounted to CHF 1.6 billion (September 30, 2009: CHF 1.1 billion). Despite of a negative impact by currency exchange rates of CHF 131 million (-5 percent), sales rose 14 percent to CHF 2.5 billion during the first nine months of 2010 compared to the same period of the previous year.

"Our efforts are beginning to have a broader impact. Results show that the majority of our segments are benefiting above average from the positive market development. The results for the first nine months of 2010 are considerably better than expected," says Oerlikon CEO Dr. Michael Buscher. "

As Oerlikon's recovery has gained ground, we are able to raise our forecast for the year as a whole. At the same time we are well aware that there are still challenging operational and strategic tasks ahead. These will be dealt with consistently," says Buscher.

The company now expects sales to grow slightly above 20 percent (previously: 15 percent) and to achieve an operational profit (EBIT prior to restructuring) for the year as a whole (previously: the company will reach break-even during the second half of 2010).

Order intake during the first nine months of 2010 rose 39 percent to 3.2 billion in a yearon- year comparison. In a quarter-on-quarter comparison, orders have eased from their peak in the second quarter (down 6 percent from Q2 2010 to Q3 2010), but remain at a high level. The ratio of orders to sales (book-to-bill ratio) of 1.3 for Q1-Q3 2010 and 1.2 for Q3 2010 underpins the Oerlikon Group's ongoing growth trend.

The Group's increase in sales during the first nine months of the year was mainly driven by Oerlikon Textile, where sales rose 56 percent to CHF 1.1 billion compared to the prior-year period. The segments Oerlikon Coating (+28 percent), Vacuum (+32 percent) and Advanced Technologies (+73 percent) also contributed to this positive trend. While Oerlikon Solar increased its sales to CHF 139 million during the third quarter, sales during the first nine months of 2010 were still at a low level. As expected, Oerlikon Drive Systems saw a slight improvement during the first nine months 2010 in a year-on-year comparison (+5 percent).

Strong growth in sales is the result of the ongoing recovery in most markets in which Oerlikon is active, particularly the textile and automotive industries but also the process industry and the semiconductor market. The strongest regional impetus came from Asia, which saw a growth from 31 percent in Q1-Q3 2009 to 43 percent in Q1-Q3 2010.

Another reason for this growth is that the high level of new orders during the first half of the year can now increasingly be transformed into sales. Due to longer project lead times at Oerlikon Textile and Oerlikon Drive Systems in particular, as well as the ramp up of production including deliveries in nearly every segment, it takes orders on average around six months to have an impact on sales figures.

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