INFICON Reports Significantly Lower Sales in First Quarter 2009

  • USD 3.4 million loss from operations includes one-time expenses of USD 2.6 million for cost reduction programs, inventory and accounts receivables adjustments
  • INFICON expects an improved second quarter while visibility for full FY09 remains limited

Bad Ragaz/Switzerland, April 17, 2009. INFICON (SIX Swiss Exchange: IFCN), experienced a 44.7% sales decline to USD 38.1 million in 1Q2009 compared to the same period a year ago. At constant USD rates, the decline amounted to 42.4%. INFICON reports a negative income from operations of USD 3.4 million and a net loss of USD 2.2 million for the first quarter. While there is still limited visibility for the full fiscal year 2009, INFICON believes that the second quarter of 2009 will show improvements in sales and operating income compared to the first quarter.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2009 totaled USD 38.1 million after USD 68.9 million recorded in the excellent first quarter of 2008, representing a 44.7% decrease. On a sequential basis, sales in the first three months of 2009 were 31.6% lower than the revenues recorded in the last quarter of 2008. In January 2009, INFICON had taken rapid measures to reduce its cost structure. Due to one-time expenses for these cost reduction programs, inventory and accounts receivables adjustments and the lower business volume, INFICON recorded in the first quarter of 2009 a loss from operations of USD 3.4 million, a net loss of USD 2.2 million or USD 1.02 per fully diluted share. This compares with income from operations of USD 10 million, a net income of USD 7.3 million or earnings per share of USD 3.37 in the first quarter of 2008.

Sales decline in all markets
"INFICON was severely hit by the global recession in all markets, resulting in a very low sales level," commented Lukas Winkler. "Although the new year started at a very low business level, we have seen increasing order activity during the first quarter and realized a book-to-bill ratio greater than one."

"The Semiconductor & Vacuum Coating market strongly declined in the first quarter of 2009 to less than half of the previous year's first quarter. While we see continued uncertainty in the semiconductor market, we expect the solar panel industry will benefit from various economic stimulus programs. Refrigeration & Air Conditioning seems to have reached its low and we are cautiously optimistic for the coming months. We saw a drastic decline in the General Vacuum market, where we sell components to a wide range of industrial applications. While regional sales in North America are beginning to stabilize, markets in Asia and Europe remain weak. No large shipments were due in the first quarter, therefore we also recorded a substantial decline in our Emergency Response & Safety markets, but we expect to see solid production capacity utilization for the remainder of the year, given the current order situation."

Continuously strong balance sheet
As a result of the lower business activity, coupled with traditionally higher cash needs at the beginning of the year, INFICON used USD 3.2 million cash in operations in the first quarter of 2009. The company closed the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of USD 38.2 million compared with USD 45.8 million at the end of December 2008. Net working capital was reduced from USD 51.4 million at the end of December 2008 to USD 42.5 million. The equity ratio at the end of March 2009 stood at 81.8%, up from 76.6% end of year 2008.

No full year guidance due to limited visibility
"We have reduced our cost base and we are prepared to make further adjustments if necessary," explained Lukas Winkler. "We have cut back our costs in almost all areas. Yet we continued to invest in research and development in order to be well-positioned when markets recover. While we are confident that the second quarter will be better than the first, there is still limited visibility beyond the second quarter. Therefore we have decided not to provide financial guidance for the full year."

Analyst/Media conference call and webcast
INFICON will discuss its first quarter results today in a conference call scheduled for 09:30 a.m. CEST. The local dial-in numbers are as follows: Continental Europe: +41 (0)43 456 93 68; UK: +44 (0)207 153 89 42; USA (Toll free): +1 (1) 866 796 15 69. All participants should dial in at least 10 minutes prior to the call. There is no pin required to access the call. A live webcast of the conference call and the presentation visuals are available in the Investor Relations section of the INFICON Website where the webcast will also be archived and available on demand approximately 1 hour after the end of the conference.

E-mail Alerts
To automatically receive notification via e-mail of the latest financial information from INFICON, sign up for E-mail Alert in the Investor Relations section of the INFICON website.

INFICON is a leading provider of innovative instrumentation, critical sensor technologies, and advanced process control software that enhance the productivity and quality of sophisticated vacuum processes in highly specialized markets. These analysis, measurement and control products are essential for gas leak detection in air conditioning/refrigeration/automotive manufacturing. They are vital to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users in the complex fabrication of semiconductors and thin film coatings for flat panel displays, solar cells, magnetic and optical storage media, scientific and consumer optics, and architectural glass coatings. Other industrial users of our vacuum technology include the life sciences, research, aerospace, food packaging, heat treating, sterilization, and laser cutting. We also leverage our expertise in vacuum technology to provide unique, toxic chemical analysis products for emergency response, security, and environmental monitoring. INFICON has world-class manufacturing facilities in Europe, the United States, and China and subsidiaries in China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. INFICON registered shares (IFCN) are listed on the SIX Swiss Stock 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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