Renewed double-digit sales growth and order intake at an outstanding level

Bronschhofen, March 14, 2019 – Cicor (SIX Swiss Exchange: CICN), a leading international technology company in the field of printed circuit boards and hybrid circuits, printed electronics, microelectronics as well as EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) with its head office located in Boudry (Switzerland), continued the rate of growth of the previous year. After an extremely strong second half-year, sales increased by 14.5 % to reach CHF 248.1 million (2017: CHF 216.7 million). Furthermore, new orders valued at an astonishing CHF 277.8 million (2017: CHF 235.5 million) were recorded. With a book-to-bill ratio (order intake in relation to sales) of 1.12, business is expected to remain good in 2019. EBIT in the year under report has grown by 45.0 % to CHF 15.2 million (2017: CHF 10.5 million). A net result of CHF 9.6 million was posted (2017: CHF 6.7 million). The Cicor Board of Directors will propose to the General Assembly that a distribution be made amounting to CHF 1.00 per share (2017: CHF 0.70 per share).

Rapid growth in the AMS Division

While in 2017 the Advanced Microelectronics and Substrates Division (AMS) was still at a turnaround stage, AMS was able to realize its full potential in 2018: technological leadership and professional market development activities have enabled sales growth by 18.9 % to CHF 63.0 million,  further increasing the share of Group sales to 25.4 percent (2017: 24.4 percent). The operating profit at EBIT level has grown by 81.8 % to CHF 7.6 million (2017: CHF 4.2 m), brought about by improvements in production processes and increased factory capacity utilization. The EBIT margin increased to 12.1 % (2017: 7.9 %) which clearly demonstrates the margin potential of these hi-tech businesses.

ES Division – fit for the future

After a significant acceleration in the second half-year, ES increased sales in the reporting year by 13.0 % to CHF 185.2 million (2017: CHF 163.9 million). This was helped by the company’s ability to continue shipments to customers during the factory move in Arad (Romania) with hardly any changes to delivery volumes and also by the acceleration of business in Asia in the second half -year. As for the operating profit at EBIT level, the decline in the first half-year was more than compensated for. An increase by 10.3 % to CHF 9.9 million was achieved (2017: CHF 9.0 million). The EBIT margin declined because of lower-than-expected project costs for the move to the new building in Arad (Romania), only by 0.1 percentage points to 5.4 % (2017: 5.5 %).

Further growth in strategic core markets

In the strategic target markets of industrial electronics and medical technology, as well as aerospace and defence technology, a disproportionately high sales growth of 18.7 % was achieved, whereby the share of these markets in total sales increased to 77.0 % (2017: 74.4 %).

Further operational and technological advances in 2018

Customers clearly recognize the progress made by Cicor in recent years. Today, Cicor is being recognized in a dynamic market environment as an agile and customer-orientated supplier of top-level technology and maximum quality. Operating performance was still improved further. Sales  per employee has grown in the reporting year by a further 10 %, which represents a cumulative production progress in the last three years of 35 %. Cicor’s status as a leader in technology is being acknowledged for the future as a material differentiating characteristic when compared with  the competition. As the first service provider in Europe and one of the first in the world, Cicor in Bronschhofen (Switzerland) is establishing an application laboratory for aerosol jet printing (AJP), which will be ready for operation in just a few weeks.

Solid balance sheet despite major investments

Net working capital (NWC) has grown in 2018 to CHF 68.8 million (2017: CHF 57.8 million), which was essentially because of a rise in receivables from customers after the extremely strong final quarter and as a result of higher stock levels to ensure supply capability in a market affected by  component shortages. Because of this, it was not possible to finance the very high new investments of CHF 19.4 million (2017: CHF 8.4 million) including the new building in Arad (Romania) fully from operational cash flow. A negative free cash flow of CHF –6.6 million (2017: CHF +2.7  million) was the result. Even so, net debt in relation to the operating profit at EBITDA level was kept to the low figure of 1.1 – practically unchanged from the previous year (2017: 1.0). Cicor Group equity has grown by 9 % to CHF 75.1 million (2017: CHF 68.7 million). The balance sheet total  has grown by 15 percent to CHF 194.2 million (2017: CHF 169.0 million). This led to a slight reduction in the equity ratio to 38.7 % (2017: 40.7 %).

Profit distribution

Based on the very positive results, the Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Assembly of April 16, 2019 a tax- free distribution of CHF 1.00 per share from the capital reserve, corresponding to 30 % of the Cicor Group's net profit.

Positive outlook despite weaker global economy

Cicor made a good start in the new business year. Because of the high level of orders at the beginning of the year, the Group  xpects sales to grow slightly in 2019, even though the global economy is slowing significantly. In the medium term, Cicor aims to achieve annual sales growth in excess of the growth in global electronics production. The long-term EBIT margin target of the Cicor Group lies in the 6–8  % bandwidth, as already stated. In 2019, an increase in the EBIT margin achieved in the 2018 reporting year is expected.

 

Contact

Alexander Hagemann                                       Patric Schoch
CEO                                                                 CFO
Phone +41 71 913 73 00                                  Phone +41 71 913 73 00

Email: media@cicor.com                                 Email: media@cicor.com

 

Cicor Management AG
Gebenloostrasse 15
9552 Bronschhofen
Switzerland

 

The financial statement 2018 can be downloaded from the website at: https://annualreport.cicor.com/?L=0

Media and analysts’ conference for the 2018 financial year
March 14, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville, Poststrasse 12 (Am Paradeplatz), 8001 Zurich

General Assembly
April 16, 2019 at the company's head office in Boudry

Interim report 2019
August 15, 2019