STRATEC reports on first three months of 2016 (news with additional features)

DGAP-News: STRATEC Biomedical AG / Key word(s): Quarterly / Interim Statement/Quarter Results

2016-04-26 / 07:36
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

STRATEC reports on first three months of 2016

Birkenfeld, April 26, 2016

STRATEC Biomedical AG, Birkenfeld, Germany (Frankfurt: SBS; Prime Standard, TecDAX) today comments on its business performance and major events in the period from January 1, 2016 through to March 31, 2016 with the publication of its Quarterly Statement Q1|2016.

In the first quarter of 2016, STRATEC laid important foundations for its future. With the acquisition of the hematology specialist Diatron as of March 31, 2016, STRATEC has substantially boosted its ranges of in-vitro diagnostics products and services and expects to benefit from development, production, and procurement synergies, while also generating notable growth momentum in a market segment the company had previously not occupied. Before announcing this acquisition, STRATEC reported in March that the most recent customer forecasts received gave reason to expect a very weak first quarter of 2016 and also adjusted its medium-term company forecast to annual organic growth averaging 6% through to 2017. An updated forecast, extended to include future sales and earnings at Diatron, is expected to be published with the half-yearly financial report 2016 and will account for the impact of STRATEC's acquisition activities. Diatron was acquired as of March 31, 2016. Its sales for the months of April to December 2016 will therefore be included in STRATEC's group figures for the 2016 financial year. The STRATEC Group's profitability prior to integration costs is expected to remain virtually unchanged on the previous year.

STRATEC generated total sales of EUR 31.2 million in the first three months of 2016 (previous year: EUR 34.5 million). The company achieved EBIT of EUR 4.5 million (previous year: EUR 5.8 million) and consolidated net income of EUR 3.4 million (previous year: EUR 4.7 million).

Given its positive growth outlook, STRATEC expanded its workforce to 595 employees in the first quarter of 2016, up by 48 employees compared with the previous year (excluding impact of Diatron takeover).

In view of the record results achieved in the 2015 financial year and given the company's ongoing strong business prospects, the Board of Management and Supervisory Board decided to propose the company's twelfth consecutive dividend increase, in this case to EUR 0.75, for approval by the Annual General Meeting on June 9, 2016 (previous year: EUR 0.70).

Major key figures

EUR thousands 01.01.- 03.31.2016 01.01.- 03.31.2015 Change
Sales 31,218 34,547 -9.6%
EBIT 4,530 5,840 -22.4%
Consolidated net income 3,424 4,739 -27.7%
Earnings per share (EUR) 0.29 0.40 -28.1%
EBIT margin (%) 14,5 16,9 -240 bps

Business performance
STRATEC expects its organic sales to grow to between EUR 150 million and EUR 154 million in the current 2016 financial year. Consistent with expectations, however, sales during the first quarter showed a year-on-year reduction of 9.6% to EUR 31.2 million. As already communicated on March 15, 2016, this was due to a weaker performance in the instrumentation business, and in particular to the Asian business at one of the company's partners falling short of expectations. Sales in other areas showed stable developments.

Given a stable share of sales generated with service parts and a slight decline in the number of analyzer systems supplied, the consistently high level of development expenses resulting from the company's full development pipeline had a corresponding impact on the EBIT margin, which amounted to 14.5% at the end of the first three months of 2016 (previous year: 16.9%). This resulted in consolidated net income of EUR 3.4 million (-27.7%; previous year: EUR 4.7 million). Earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.29 (-28.1%; previous year: EUR 0.40).

Acquisition of Diatron
On April 1, 2016, STRATEC announced the completion of Diatron, a Budapest, Hungary based company that designs and produces system solutions for the fields of hematology and clinical chemistry in particular, as well as associated consumables. Diatron was founded more than 25 years ago and supplies analyzer systems and complementary products, such as consumables and services, for application in human and veterinary diagnostics to more than 100 countries. Its customers include prestigious global life science players. In the past 2015 financial year, Diatron generated sales equivalent to around EUR 34 million with profitability comparable to the STRATEC Group's. The acquisition is expected to result in a positive earnings contribution in the current year already. Diatron has around 200 employees, mainly working in development, production, and sales, at locations in Hungary and the US. The company's development and production of systems and solutions in Budapest, Hungary, meet all regulatory requirements for all major markets. STRATEC expects to generate synergies, particularly in the development and production of consumables, modules for complete analyzer systems, and smaller systems. Diatron's platform-based development method and its OEM partnership-based market access structure are both similar to STRATEC's approach. The systems offered by Diatron are especially suited for countries whose healthcare systems are highly decentralized in terms of their organization, as is often the case in emerging and developing economies.

Development in personnel
The total number of employees at the STRATEC Group, including personnel hired from a temporary employment agency and trainees, grew year-on-year by 9.0% from 546 to 595 as of March 31, 2016. Given ongoing demand from our partners for our research and development services and for analyzer systems, we continue to seek for well-qualified personnel, especially in the development division.

Projects and other developments
STRATEC is focusing on achieving key development milestones, upcoming market launches, and finalizing negotiations for new development and production contracts. Another key focus is on developing proprietary platform solutions that will contribute to the company's further growth from 2017 onwards.

Expanding production and development capacities is also an important factor in the company's plans for its future growth. The move to new premises at STRATEC's site in Romania is scheduled to take place by the middle of the year. The new building section expanding production capacities at the location in Beringen, Switzerland, was officially opened in the first quarter and is already in use.

Current financial forecast and outlook
Even though at the beginning of the year STRATEC's partners in individual cases submitted skeptical reports about market developments, especially in Asia, the company has now received several more optimistic assessments. The development pipeline and market launches by STRATEC's partners in the coming quarter, together with test volumes in the diagnostics industry gives grounds to continue to expect a positive business performance. Consistent with the current financial forecast for the financial years from 2014 to 2017, the company expects to generate annual average sales growth of around 6%. For the current 2016 financial year, STRATEC expects its sales to grow to between EUR 150 million and EUR 154 million. The EBIT margin, which due to the product mix has recently risen faster than originally planned, should be maintained in the current year at around the level achieved in 2015. This forecast has not yet been updated to account for the Diatron acquisition executed as of March 31, 2016. This new subsidiary will be consolidated as of the acquisition date on March 31, 2016. An updated financial forecast accounting for the impact of acquisition activities is expected to be issued upon publication of the half-yearly financial report on July 21, 2016.

2016 Annual General Meeting
At their meeting on April 11, 2016, the Board of Management and Supervisory Board of STRATEC Biomedical AG decided to propose the payment of a dividend of EUR 0.75 per share for the 2015 financial year for approval by the Annual General Meeting on June 9, 2016 (distribution in previous year: EUR 0.70 per share). Based on the current total of 11,846,280 shares with dividend entitlement, the proposal corresponds to a 7.7% increase in the distribution total to EUR 8.9 million (previous year: EUR 8.2 million). STRATEC has a continuity-based dividend policy. If approved, this year's dividend would be the twelfth consecutive increase in the distribution to shareholders since dividends were first paid in 2004.

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: DE000STRA555) 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, Corporate Communications
Gewerbestr. 37, 75217 Birkenfeld
Tel: +49 7082 7916-190
Fax: +49 7082 7916-999

Additional features:

Document title: STRATEC Quarterly Statement Q1|2016

2016-04-26 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Media archive at and