Inhalt - Mikron returns to sales growth and break-even results

  • marzo 11, 2011

Mikron returns to sales growth and break-even results

Results of the Mikron Group for the 2010 financial year

Biel, March 11, 2011, 7:00 a.m. Mikron generated small positive net earnings of CHF 0.4 million in the 2010 financial year (prior year: CHF - 32.8 million) and an EBIT of CHF 1.5 million (prior year: CHF - 31.8 million). As a result Mikron was able to benefit from the clear upturn in the mechanical engineering and systems manufacturing industries. Both of Mikron's divisions achieved a positive EBIT. Order intake and net sales were both significantly above year-back levels at CHF 219.8 million (+69.5%) and CHF 182.5 million (+21.6%) respectively on the back of good sales successes.

The healthy order backlog of CHF 84.2 million (+ 64.5%) and persistently good demand for Mikron’s products and solutions will ensure good capacity utilization in the new financial year. The Mikron Group expects to generate net sales of around CHF 200 million in 2011. Further improving profitability is a major priority. With lean structures in place and assuming an average euro exchange rate of 1.30, the Group is aiming to achieve an EBIT margin of 3 to 4%. Any deterioration in the euro exchange rate would put this EBIT target in jeopardy.

EBIT came to CHF 1.5 million, climbing back into the black for the first time since 2007 and displaying a significant improvement over the prior year’s figure of CHF - 31.8 million. The biggest contributor was Mikron Machining, with an EBIT of CHF 3.2 million – a figure that contrasts sharply with the CHF - 24.8 million posted in 2009. The positive result was due to a substantial increase in net sales, an advantageous product mix and appreciable productivity gains. Mikron Automation also made a positive contribution to EBIT, reporting an operating profit of CHF 1.3 million (CHF - 3.0 million in 2009). At the corporate level, a reduction in personnel costs was the primary contributor to a 24.4% fall in costs to CHF 2.9 million.

Net earnings
Net earnings improved from a loss of CHF - 32.8 million in 2009 to a small profit of CHF 0.4 million.

Cash flow
Cash flow from operating activities before changes in net working capital climbed from
CHF -18.9 million to a positive CHF 8.1 million as a result of operational improvements. Good downpayments from customers for ongoing projects helped to reduce working capital by
CHF 6.8 million despite a substantial increase in net sales.

Operating investments totalled CHF 1.9 million net (CHF 2.0 million in 2009), while short-term financial investments came to CHF 23.1 million (divestment of CHF 4.0 million in 2009). Free cash flow without financial investments was thus CHF 13.0 million (CHF - 0.6 million in 2009).

Balance sheet as at 31 December 2010
Mikron has a sound balance sheet and is essentially free of debt, with cash and cash equivalents or short-term financial investments of CHF 51.2 million and interest-bearing liabilities of CHF 13.5 million. The equity ratio rose slightly on the previous year to 68.2%.

Mikron Machining
Mikron Machining is a leading supplier of high-productivity machining solutions (machines and cutting tools) for the manufacturing of complex, high precision parts made of metal. The automotive supply industry and writing instruments industry account for a significant part of its business volume.
The proportion of Mikron Machining's sales accounted for by the European automotive industry rose to 36% on the back of the segment's recovery. The year under review also witnessed implementation of initial projects with Chinese automotive suppliers. Business with machines for the writing instruments industry benefited substantially from growth in Asia during 2010, accounting for 31% of sales. A large number of new customers from other industries were acquired.

Mikron Machining returned to a positive EBIT of CHF 2.3 million in 2010 after recording major losses in 2009. The basis for this pleasing development was provided by the 53.6% upturn in net sales, the advantageous product mix, extensive measures aimed at streamlining structures and the reduction of the cost base.


Mikron Machining has kicked off the new financial year with a good order backlog. We expect continued good demand from Asia, particularly China. Demand in Europe is expected to remain stable provided the situation with the strong Swiss franc does not get any worse. The rise in demand is being met by carefully expanding capacity.

Further increases in sales and margins are anticipated for 2011 owing to the high level of work in hand and the improvements that have been achieved. In particular, activities in Asia are being further stepped up in addition to the cultivation of existing markets. Programmes designed to bring about a sustainable improvement in profitability and to expand the service business have a high priority.

Mikron Automation
The Mikron Automation division is a leading supplier of customer-specific, high-performance automation solutions (installations and systems) for the high-precision assembly of up to hand-sized products. Customers in the pharmaceutical and medical industries account for the largest share of net sales (69%).
Investment activity in the pharmaceutical and medical industries remains at a good level. In all other sectors, customers’ willingness to invest rose once again, particularly in the European automotive supply industry.

Mikron Automation returned to a positive EBIT of CHF 1.3 million in 2010 after recording a loss in 2009.

Mikron Automation has kicked off the new financial year with a good order backlog. Order volume is unlikely to change in Europe. The newly developed Mikron EcoLine™ product platform brings simpler, lower-cost solutions to Mikron Automation's range and opens up new market potential and applications in Asia and Europe.

Demand in the US is expected to remain stable. Capacity utilization is currently good there. Continued strong growth is anticipated in Asia, and the expansion of the still relatively small sites there will be pursued at an accelerated pace. The strong growth in Asia has so far had limited influence on net sales and profitability owing to its relatively small share in overall net sales, and this will not change in 2011.

The division’s results are expected to further improve in 2011. Nevertheless, the euro-Swiss franc exchange rate is heavily impacting on earnings growth at our Boudry site.

Change in information policy
Mikron Holding AG is changing over to a system of half-yearly reporting for the Mikron Group's financial results and business performance. This will improve the information value and comprehensibility of reporting and bring it more closely into line with the rhythm of long-term project business. Appropriate topicality and transparency will also continue to be guaranteed. Information on events relevant to the share price will be published in accordance with SIX Swiss Exchange regulations regarding ad hoc publicity.

Key figures for the Mikron Group in 2010

Divisional financial figures before consolidation
CHF million

Order intake219.8
Net sales
Order backlog
Number of employees
Net earnings
Operating cash flow
Balance sheet total
Shareholders' equity

Media release english PDF (80 KB)
Medienmitteilung deutsch PDF (80 KB)
Communiqué de press français PDF (80 KB)
Comunicato stampa italiano PDF (80 KB)

Please find the Annual Report 2010 as interactive version and as pdf download in the section Reports.

Annual Media Conference
Today, 11 March 2011, 10:00, SIX Swiss Exchange, ConventionPoint, Selnaustrasse 30, CH-8021 Zürich

Additional information
Please contact Corporate Communications
Patrick Brisset, Telephone: +41 32 843 12 64

Except for the historical information contained herein, the statements in this media release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.

Mikron® is a trademark of Mikron Holding AG, Biel (Switzerland)