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2014 financial year: Further growth and improvement in results – Cicor names Dr. Jürg Dübendorfer as new Group CEO


Zurich, March 11, 2015 – Cicor (SIX Swiss Exchange: CICN), a leading, international high-tech industrial group in the field of printed circuit boards, microelectronics and electronic solutions based in Boudry (Switzerland), maintained its solid operating performance in 2014 and posted another year of profitable growth. Net revenue for 2014 was CHF 202.5 million (2013: CHF 190.5 million), an increase of 6.3 % year-on-year. At constant exchange rates, the Group recorded a 7.4 % increase in revenue. As in 2013, Cicor was able to grow its earning power at a faster pace than sales once again in 2014. EBITDA in 2014 rose by 12.6 % to CHF 19.8 million (2013: CHF 17.6 million), with the EBITDA margin increasing to 9.8 % of net sales (2013: 9.2 %). The operating result (EBIT) amounted to CHF 9.6 million or 4.7 % of net sales (2013: CHF 8.5 million / 4.5 %). Net profit was also sharply higher at CHF 6.2 million (2013: CHF 4.5 million). In 2014 free cash flow was CHF 8.0 million (2013: CHF -10.7 million). The financing agreement that was signed in December 2014 for CHF 65 million improved the Group's financial flexibility. Thanks to the solid financial position, the strong cash flow and the Group's competitiveness in 2014, the Board of Directors has decided to propose to the Annual General Meeting on April 23, 2015 an increase of 20 % in the profit distribution in the form of a tax-free dividend of CHF 0.36 per share. The Cicor Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jürg Dübendorfer as the new CEO. Dr. Dübendorfer will take up his new position on June 1, 2015.

2014 financial year

The changes in the Group structure that were put in place at the beginning of 2014 proved their value. Cicor Group proved its implementation skills in 2014 and achieved its annual target. The company posted solid sales growth and boosted its competitive position. In addition, important new customers were acquired and additional market share was gained. The integration of the Asia Division into the ES Division strengthened the cooperation, and the joint market presence of both divisions was re-ceived very positively by global customers. The technology road map of the AMS Division was re-vamped last year, with a sharper focus on the challenge presented by technology. The Cicor Group's proven ability to develop new products in close cooperation with the customer and to manufacture these products economically remains an important advantage for the Group.

The conditions in the Cicor Group's sales market were generally good throughout 2014, although there was a noticeable slowdown in the final quarter. Growth in the Automobile and Transport segment was particularly strong, with the share of sales rising from 9 % in 2013 to 11 % in 2014. With an increase in net sales in Swiss francs of 6.3 % to CHF 202.5 million (2013: CHF 190.5 million), the estimated growth rate for the market overall of estimated 3 % was exceeded by a wide margin. Net revenue for the ES Division grew by 10.8 % to CHF 145.7 million (2013: CHF 131.4 million). The Division benefit-ed from the on-going trend of outsourcing by OEM (original equipment manufacturers) companies. The EBITDA of the ES Division grew from CHF 12.0 million in the prior year to CHF 13.7 million in 2014, with a profitability of 9.4 % (2013: 9.1 %). The revenue generated by the AMS Division in 2014 was CHF 56.9 million, 3.7 % below the prior-year figure. Sales were sharply impacted by the expira-tion of a framework agreement with a major client in microelectronics. In the second half of the year the Division grew by 4.4 % over the first half of 2014 due to rising demand from nearly all market seg-ments. This resulted in an EBITDA of CHF 8.0 million, up modestly over the prior year, and a higher EBITDA profitability of 14.1% of sales (2013: CHF 7.7 million / 13.1 %). Thus the improvement in sales and results that was expected in the second half of the year versus the first half was achieved.

The successful acquisition of new international customers for the Cicor Group in 2014 confirms that the Group set the right priorities for the last two years. The new large order worth almost CHF 10 million that was received from the Kärcher Group in December 2014 is a sign of Cicor's new strength. The order intake in Swiss francs in 2014 of CHF 194.7 million (2013: 201.7 million) was 3.4 % below the figure for 2013 (2.5 % lower when adjusted for currencies). The drop in order intake was due pri-marily to a timing effect, as the new large order from Kärcher was not booked in the order intake for 2014. It will gradually be booked in the order intake and appear in the order backlog for 2015. At the end of 2014, Cicor had a good order backlog, with a delivery volume of CHF 115.2 million starting in 2015 (order backlog at the end of 2013: CHF 123.9 million).

The free cash flow in 2014 was a strong CHF 8.0 million. In 2013 it was negative at CHF -10.7 million. This excellent performance is due to disciplined management of the net working capital and the reduc-tion in investment activity compared with the prior year. The net working capital at the end of 2014 was CHF 49.3 million, virtually unchanged versus the prior year (2013: CHF 49.4 million) despite the ex-pansion of the business. In 2014 total business investments were CHF 10.6 million (2013: CHF 15.3 million). In addition, over the last 12 months Cicor has reduced its net financial debt by 25 % or CHF 7.0 million from CHF 28.2 million to CHF 21.2 million at the end of 2014. With an equity ratio of 54.1% (2013: 55.6 %) and a gearing of approximately 17 % (2013: 22 %) the Cicor Group has a stable finan-cial base. In December 2014 Cicor signed a credit agreement in the amount of CHF 65 million to safe-guard the long-term financial flexibility and continuing growth of the Group.

Outlook: Challenges in 2015

2015 will be a challenging year for the Cicor Group due to the currency situation, as the strong Swiss franc is having a negative impact on various client groups and on Cicor itself. Cicor has been able to reduce its dependence on the Swiss franc thanks to the investments it has made in expanding produc-tion capacity abroad. Thus in 2014 the percentage of sales in Swiss francs was only about 25 %. In 2011 it was still approximately 51 %. The Group's costs in Swiss francs also fell in 2014 to approxi-mately 34 % of sales (2011: about 53 % of sales). Because of the foreign exchange situation it is diffi-cult to forecast sales and results for the Cicor Group in 2015. Cicor has already implemented some measures following the SNB's decision to end the Swiss franc's peg to the euro, such as increasing employee working hours (without raising pay) in various locations and no pay increases for Swiss managers and senior executives. Despite the strong headwinds coming from currencies, the target for 2015 is to generate a solid performance and to continue moving forward with the same positive trend of the last two years.

The Cicor Group names Dr. Jürg Dübendorfer as the new CEO

Dr. Dübendorfer (born in 1968, Swiss national) received his undergraduate degree from the ETH Zurich and his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg. In addition, he also obtained an MBA from the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA Program. He has 20 years of experience in the industry and has generated excellent results in various management positions. His professional career includes 12 years at Tecan, where in his last function he was the Executive Vice President of the Product De-velopment & Operations division until 2012. Dr. Dübendorfer is currently CEO of Sauser Manage-ment AG, a holding company that has interests in various firms, in particular in Bamotec AG, which operates in outsourcing and supply chain management of complex mechatronic structural compo-nents and equipment for the industrial and medical products sector.

The Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Heinrich J. Essing, commented: "The Board of Direc-tors is pleased that Dr. Dübendorfer is coming on board as the new CEO. Based on his vast expe-rience, he will guide Cicor through the next stage of its growth, together with the Group Manage-ment. The Board of Directors looks forward to working with him."

Patric Schoch, who has been the acting CEO of the Cicor Group since December 12, 2012, will return to his role as Group CFO on June 1, 2015. Patric Schoch has played a crucial role in boost-ing the Group's operating results during this transition phase. The entire Board of Directors would like to thank Patric Schoch for his dedication and his successful contribution. Patric Schoch is an excellent CFO, and he will play an important role in supporting the new CEO.


Antoine Kohler
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Phone +41 43 811 44 05
E-mail: <link - mail "Opens window for sending email"></link>

Patric Schoch
Acting CEO / CFO
Phone +41 43 811 44 05
E-mail: <link - mail "Opens window for sending email"></link>

Cicor Management AG
Leutschenbachstrasse 95
8050 Zurich

The complete Cicor Annual Report 2014 can be accessed at <link - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window"></link>.


Media and analysts‘ conference on the 2014 financial year
11 March 2015, 10 a.m. at SIX Swiss Exchange, ConventionPoint, Zurich

Annual Shareholders‘ Meeting
23 April 2015 in Boudry

Interim Report 2015
19 August 2015