After an Encouraging Fourth Quarter, INFICON Ends the Recession Year 2009 Profitably

  • 4Q 2009 sales up 5.7% to 58.9 million compared with Q4 2008 and up 28.1% over Q3 2009; income from operations rises 28.6% to USD 8.1 million compared with previous year
  • FY 2009 sales down 29.2% to USD 181.7 million compared with previous year; income from operations of USD 5.1 million, 84.7% below previous year's figure
  • Proposed dividend of CHF 4.00 per share for FY 2009
  • Changes to the Board of Directors

Bad Ragaz/Switzerland, March 4, 2010. INFICON Holding AG (SIX Swiss Exchange: IFCN), ended 2009, after a stronger-than-expected Q4 2009, with overall 29.2% lower annual sales, income from operations of USD 5.1 million and a net income of USD 2.3 million. In 2009, INFICON generated a cash flow of USD 11.6 million. The Board of Directors intends to propose a cash dividend of CHF 4.00 per share for 2009 at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on May 10, 2010.

Fourth quarter 2009: clearly improving sales momentum
Sales for the fourth quarter 2009 totaled USD 58.9 million, up 28.1% from the third quarter of 2009. The sales increase was mainly driven by the vacuum process industry markets. Compared with the fourth quarter 2008, sales increased by 5.7% (currency adjusted 0.4%). Income from operations for the last quarter of 2009 rose by 28.6% to USD 8.1 million from USD 6.3 million recorded in the same quarter of 2008. Net income for the fourth quarter 2009 improved 4.0% from 4.0 million to USD 4.1 million. On a per diluted share basis, net income was up 3.8% to USD 1.91 compared with USD 1.84 reported for the previous year's fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter 2009, the businesses in Specific Vacuum Processes Industries, especially in the semiconductor market, have developed positively after a downward phase of one and a half years. Demand volumes increased impressively from General Vacuum Processes customers who are mainly located in Europe as well as from Asian Refrigeration & Air Conditioning customers.

Full year 2009: positive income from operations and net income despite 29.2% lower sales
For the full year 2009, sales amounted to USD 181.7 million, down 29.2% compared with the previous year. In the first half of the year, sales generated in the vacuum process industry markets decreased more than the revenues in Refrigeration & Air Conditioning and Emergency Response & Security. Despite one-off costs of USD 4.6 million for restructuring measures incurred in the first half year, INFICON ended the recession year 2009 with a positive income from operations and a positive net income. For the full fiscal 2009, income from operations decreased, however, to USD 5.1 million from USD 33.3 million in the prior year, and net income decreased to USD 2.3 million from USD 24.3 million in 2008. On a per diluted share basis, net income amounted to USD 1.06 compared with USD 11.26 in 2008.

Positive cash flow and sound balance sheet
Cash generated by operating activities in the fourth quarter was USD 8.6 million after USD 11.3 million in the same quarter of last year. Operating cash flow for the full year 2009 totaled USD 11.6 million compared with USD 31.3 million recorded for 2008. INFICON closed the year with liquid assets of USD 32.3 million, down from USD 45.8 million in the previous year. Net working capital was reduced to less than 20% of sales. INFICON closed the year 2009 with an improved equity ratio of 79.4%, up from 76.6% the year before.

Dividend recommendation
The company's Board of Directors intends to propose a cash dividend of CHF 4.00 per share for 2009 at the May 10, 2010 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

Despite the difficult assessment of the long-term market development, INFICON is cautiously optimistic for the coming months. It remains to be seen how sustainable the current recovery is and how much of the increased demand is the result of previously excessive stock level reductions across the value chain and postponed capital expenditure. The company expects the solid consumer demand for consumer electronics and the increasing market interest in LED lighting to have a positive impact in 2010. In Asia, the market for Refrigeration & Air Conditioning is developing favorably. The General Vacuum Processes market is also showing signs of economic recovery and INFICON is confident about the Emergency Response & Security market. For full year 2010 INFICON expects to achieve sales in the range of USD 200 to 230 million and income from operations in the range of USD 20 to 26 million.

Changes to the Board of Directors
INFICON's Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting of May 10, 2010 the election of Beat Siegrist (1960, Swiss citizen) as a new member of the Board of Directors. Beat Siegrist holds a degree in engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (El. Ing. ETH), MBA INSEAD and has many years of experience as CEO of various companies. He also serves on the Boards of Schweiter Technologies and Phoenix Mecano.

After serving on INFICON's Board for seven years, Mario Fontana has decided to resign as Board member for personal reasons and will not be available for re-election. Gustav Wirz, Chairman of INFICON Holding AG, explains: "We regret the resignation of Mario Fontana and thank him for his excellent work and for his continued commitment to INFICON over so many years. We wish him all the best for the future. My colleagues and I are very pleased that Beat Siegrist has accepted his nomination. Thanks to his long-standing and broad experience he will superbly complement the Board after the resignation of Mario Fontana."

Analyst/media conference
INFICON will discuss its fourth quarter and full year results today at 09:30 a.m. CET at an analyst and media conference in Zurich, Haus zum Rüden, Limmatquai 42, 8001 Zurich. Management presentations, which will be held in German, will be posted to the Investors section of the INFICON website at 07:00 a.m. CET.

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INFICON is a leading provider of innovative instrumentation, critical sensor technologies, and advanced process control software that enhance productivity and quality in sophisticated industrial vacuum processes. These analysis, measurement and control products are essential for gas leak detection in air conditioning/refrigeration, and automotive manufacturing. They are vital to equipment manufacturers and end-users in the complex fabrication of semiconductors and thin film coatings for optics, flat panel displays, solar cells and industrial vacuum coating applications. Other users of vacuum based processes include the life sciences, research, aerospace, packaging, heat treatment, laser cutting and many other industrial processes. We also leverage our expertise in vacuum technology to provide unique, toxic chemical analysis products for emergency response, security, and environmental monitoring. INFICON is headquartered in Switzerland and has world-class manufacturing facilities in Europe, the United States and China, as well as subsidiaries in China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. INFICON registered shares (IFCN) are listed on SIX Swiss Exchange. For more information about INFICON and its products, please visit

This press release and oral statements or other written statements made, or to be made, by us contain forward-looking statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts. These forward-looking statements are based on the current plans and expectations of our management and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could significantly affect our current plans and expectations, as well as future results of operations and financial condition. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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