STRATEC remains on track in first quarter of 2015

STRATEC Biomedical AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results/Interim Report

2015-04-29 / 07:32

STRATEC remains on track in first quarter of 2015

- Sales of EUR 34.5 million in 3M/2015 (+0.5%; 3M/2014: EUR 34.4 million)
- EBIT of EUR 5.8 million in 3M/2015 (+9.7%; 3M/2014: EUR 5.3 million*)
- EBIT margin of 16.9% in 3M/2015 (+140 basis points; 3M/2014: 15.5%*)
- Earnings per share of EUR 0.40 in 3M/2015 (+8.1%; 3M/2014: EUR 0.37*)
- Ongoing strong cash flow performance / free cash flow up 17.3% on previous year
- Major middleware software contract concluded
- Proposed dividend of EUR 0.70 per share for 2014 (distribution in previous year: EUR 0.60)

Birkenfeld, April 29, 2015

STRATEC Biomedical AG, Birkenfeld, Germany (Frankfurt: SBS; Prime Standard, TecDAX) today announced its results for the period from January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015 upon the publication of its Interim Report as of March 31, 2015.

Key figures (EUR 000s) 01.01.- 03.31.2015 01.01.- 03.31.2014 Change
Sales 34,547 34,370 +0.5%
EBIT 5,840 5,326 * +9.7%
EBIT margin (%) 16.9 15.5 * +140 bps
Consolidated net income 4,739 4,372 * +8.4%
Earnings per share (EUR) 0.40 0.37 * +8.1%

bps = basis points

* 2014 figure adjusted to exclude a one-off negative item resulting from the recognition in the first quarter of expenses for the remaining years of the term of a management board contract for a retired member of the Board of Management. Unadjusted results for the first quarter 2014 EBIT amounted to EUR 4.4 million; the corresponding EBIT margin amounted to 12.7%, consolidated net income to EUR 3.7 million and earnings per share to EUR 0.31. The actual amount of the aforementioned expense item may differ at the time of payment from the amounts presented here.

Financial performance
First-quarter sales increased year-on-year by 0.5% to EUR 34.5 million. Profitability improved significantly compared with the previous year. The EBIT margin rose to 16.9%, up from 15.5% in the previous year (unadjusted 2014 figure: 12.7%). Year-on-year, EBIT grew by 9.7% to EUR 5.8 million, consolidated net income by 8.4% to EUR 4.7 million, and earnings per share by 8.1% to EUR 0.40. The first-quarter tax rate in 2015 amounted to 19.8%.

The ongoing positive trend in the free cash flow, which grew from EUR 7.6 million in the first quarter of the previous year to EUR 9.0 million in Q1 2015, led cash and cash equivalents to rise to EUR 58.6 million at the reporting date on March 31, 2015.

Dividend proposal
Given STRATEC's positive business performance in 2014 and its ongoing strong long-term prospects, the Board of Management and Supervisory Board of STRATEC Biomedical AG will propose the distribution of a dividend of EUR 0.70 per share with dividend rights for the 2014 financial year for approval by the Annual General Meeting on May 22, 2015 (distribution in previous year: EUR 0.60). Subject to approval by the Annual General Meeting, shareholders can thus expect to benefit from the eleventh consecutive dividend increase since payment of the first dividend in 2004. We thus intend to uphold our continuity-based dividend policy, which involves a distribution quota of 40 to 60 percent. STRATEC will continue to focus on external and internal growth opportunities, which may result in temporary deviations from this distribution quota. These opportunities may take the form of acquisitions or potential up-front financing for major projects.

Development in personnel
The STRATEC Group had a total of 546 employees as of March 31, 2015. This total, which includes personnel hired from a temporary employment agency and trainees, remains unchanged compared to the figure at the previous year's reporting date. Savings generated from enhancing efficiency and focusing production depth were offset by higher staff totals in the development division in particular.

Given ongoing demand for a combination of analyzer system deliveries and our research and development services, we continue to seek well-qualified personnel, especially in the development division.

Projects and other developments
The data management business has signed a major contract with a leading global diagnostics company for the development of a middleware software solution.

STRATEC is continuing to focus on achieving further key development milestones, further market launches, and finalizing negotiations for new development and production contracts through this year.

The spare parts and services business has continued to perform very solidly. The expansion in production and development capacities is set to play a major role in the coming quarters. STRATEC plans, for example, to construct a proprietary development building at its site in Romania. The groundbreaking ceremony is due to take place in the coming days.

The shell construction for the extension to production areas at the Beringen location in Switzerland, which will boost the STRATEC Group's production capacities by around 20%, will be complete by the beginning of 2016.

Financial forecast remains valid
In line with our expectations, the performance apparent to date in the second quarter of 2015 is consistent with that seen in the first three months and we expect to see slight sales growth in the second half of the year. For the 2015 financial year as a whole, we expect slight sales growth compared with 2014 and a slight increase in the EBIT margin.

The targets set out in our financial forecast first communicated in July 2013, which provides for average annual sales growth of eight to twelve percent through to 2017 accompanied by increasing profitability, remain valid. The results are expected to fall below or exceed this range in individual years, as most recently reported for the 2014 financial year.

As well as pursuing the opportunities offered by organic growth, STRATEC is increasingly also reviewing inorganic opportunities, which would enable the company to generate faster growth in key areas or to access new niche markets. All activities will serve to broaden the share of the value chain we can offer to our customers. However, a key priority in our evaluation of such prospects will be to avoid entering into any competitive situation with existing or potential partners.

Interim Report as of March 31, 2015
Further details can be found in our Interim Report as of March 31, 2015, which has been published today on the company's homepage at

Forthcoming dates
The Annual General Meeting of STRATEC Biomedical AG will be held in Pforzheim on May 22, 2015. The invitation to the Annual General Meeting will be forwarded to STRATEC shareholders via their depositing banks in good time ahead of the Annual General Meeting.

STRATEC Biomedical AG ( designs and manufactures fully automated analyzer systems for its partners in the fields of clinical diagnostics and biotechnology. These partners market such systems, in general together with their own reagents, as system solutions to laboratories, blood banks and research institutes around the world. The company develops its products on the basis of its own patented technologies.
Shares in the company (ISIN: DE0007289001) are traded in the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and are listed in the TecDAX select index of the German Stock Exchange.

Further information can be obtained from:
STRATEC Biomedical AG
André Loy, Investor Relations
Gewerbestr. 37, 75217 Birkenfeld
Tel: +49 7082 7916-190
Fax: +49 7082 7916-999

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