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Highly profitable growth trend continues at Oerlikon

Order intake surges for the full year 2006 by 80.7% to CHF 2.6 billion (including Saurer)

Highly profitable growth trend continues at Oerlikon
  • Sales in 2006, including Saurer, increases by 42.7 percent to CHF 2.3 billion (2005: CHF 1.6 billion), particularly in Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Services, Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and Oerlikon Solar
  • EBIT for Oerlikon (excluding Saurer) grows from CHF 28.4 million* (2005) to CHF 298.5 million (2006), corresponding to a 17.6% EBIT margin
  • Integration of Saurer AG successfully launched, first-time consolidation of key figures for the months of November and December 2006
  • High levels of orders received and orders on hand boost expectations for a good result in 2007

Key figures for the Oerlikon Group as per December 31, 2006
(including Saurer for 11/12 2006)

 in CHF billion

 2005

 2006
(including Saurer)

 Variance

 2006
(excluding Saurer)

Variance adjusted

 Orders received

 1.45

 2.63

 80.7 %

 2.08

 42.9 %

 Orders on hand

 0.36

 1.67

 371.5 %

 0.73

 106.1 %

 Sales

 1.61

 2.29

 42.7 %

 1.70

 5.8 %

 EBIT (in CHF millions)

 28.4*

 

 

 298.5

 950.6 %

* In the annual report 2005, an EBIT of CHF -34 million was reported. This figure resulted after adjustments due to the selling of shareholdings in Inficon of CHF 62.4 million.

Pfäffikon, SZ, January 30, 2007 - The Oerlikon Group looks back on a successful business year 2006. This is evidenced by the key figures of both the fourth quarter and the entire year. The growth course continued with strongly enhanced levels of orders received and on hand, as well as vigorous growth rates. Particularly gratifying were the developments at Oerlikon Solar, Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Services and Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum, all of which posted growth clearly above the market average. In terms of EBIT, Oerlikon, without Saurer, achieved a value of CHF 298.5 million, which corresponds to an EBIT margin of 17.6 percent. The consolidated earnings figures will be announced at the annual media and analysts' conference on March 27, 2007.

Company sales in 2006 increased by 42.7 percent to CHF 2.3 billion (2005: CHF 1.6 billion). For the first time, this item contains CHF 592.9 million from the consolidation of the former Saurer AG for the months of November and December 2006. Adjusted to reflect acquisitions, Oerlikon achieved a 5.8 percent growth rate in 2006. Particularly noteworthy is the order intake, which, including Saurer, increased by 80.7 percent, from CHF 1.5 billion (2005) to CHF 2.6 billion (2006). "After years of decline and high losses Oerlikon is now reporting an excellent annual result for 2006. Our strategy of becoming an integrated industrial high-tech company has been fully vindicated. High order intakes show that we are generating sustained growth and can therefore look forward to an excellent 2007," says Thomas Limberger, CEO of Oerlikon.

Foremost contributors to the positive results were the Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Services and Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum business units, each of which clearly outperformed their respective markets. While the global coating market grew by single digits, Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Services reported a 11.7 percent boost in sales for 2006. Market share gains in 2006 for Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum were even more significant - 12.2 percent in 2006 against the market average of around 4 percent. One of Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum's highlights in the fourth quarter was the delivery of the world's largest vacuum chamber to a German research institute.

At Oerlikon Solar, the internal value chain was completed with the acquisition of the British laser specialist, Exitech. For the first time now, complete turnkey systems can be offered without the purchasing of external components. Oerlikon's globally unique positioning as the sole supplier for production solutions for thin film solar modules has already led to order intake worth hundreds of millions in this business field's first year of the operation. Some orders could not be completely converted into sales shipment in 2006, however, due to deferred customer requirements, these sales will now be realized in 2007. Together with the equally high level of orders on hand in the new segment, Oerlikon Saurer Textile, amounting to CHF 942.1 million, the total value of reported orders on hand for the Oerlikon Group has increased by 371.5 percent to CHF 1.7 billion for 2006.

In 2006, with the consolidation of the formerly eight Unaxis business units into three Oerlikon segments, the restructuring process was concluded as part of a comprehensive transformation process. Oerlikon is thus ideally prepared to make acquisitions, and on this basis, can efficiently integrate Saurer AG. The Oerlikon Group is now organized as follows:

Oerlikon assumed the operational management of Saurer AG on January 1, 2007. All management functions were defined within the new Oerlikon segments. Growth and synergy potentials will now be realized with a new transformation program that is applicable for the entire group.

Outlook

The Oerlikon Group is starting the 2007 business year in a buoyant mood. Its state-of-the-art products and comprehensive services will fuel a strong growth course in 2007. All the markets for its major sales generators - Oerlikon Saurer Textile, Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Services and Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum - all are in very good shape. Oerlikon Solar expects to boost sales in 2007 and acquire additional large orders. At the same time, Oerlikon is continuing to expand its global presence and customer proximity, especially in Asia, America and Eastern Europe. High order levels received and steady levels of orders on hand ensure continued steady growth in the current business year. "This affords us the ideal conditions to swiftly and successfully complete integration of the former Saurer business units and to drive the development of Oerlikon as a whole," says CEO Thomas Limberger.

Development within the segments

Oerlikon Balzers Coating

Order intake for the Oerlikon Balzers Coating segment climbed steeply to CHF 1.2 billion, an 86.2 percent increase. Orders on hand increased even more vigorously, by 376.7 percent to CHF 477.5 million, an increase of CHF 100.2 million. This development was driven by the Oerlikon Solar business unit, which gained several new major orders. Overall, sales for the segment grew by 1.2 percent to CHF 815.7 million.

Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Services continued strong growth, which at 11.7 percent was significantly higher than the market average. This increase resulted in part from planned geographic expansion - six additional coating centers were opened in the fourth quarter, including Japan, China, Korea, India, Czech Republic and in the USA. In addition, new applications, such as in the automotive sector, led to higher sales. Against the backdrop of very ambitious objectives, production for the coating of piston pins was ratcheted up to the customer's complete satisfaction; part of this production will be shifted to Brazil in the coming year after the establishment of a customized coating center there. The market introduction of the pioneering "P3e" coating technology is also successfully continuing with Oerlikon Balzers Coating's unique technological selling point enabling it to tap into the billion-dollar chemical vapor disposition market. The first coating plants (Innova) have already been delivered.

Oerlikon Solar is rapidly developing into a one of the primary revenue pillars within the Oerlikon Group. The integration of further procedural steps enables it to offer complete solutions for the entire manufacturing process from untreated glass to finished solar modules, all using in-house technology. Demand continues to be very high, so that strong growth can again be anticipated for 2007. The next generation of products is about to be released and will prove both product quality and high value.

Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Systems, consisting of the former Wafer Processing and Data Storage business units, is excellently positioned in terms of technology. Oerlikon offers leading products in its market segments: storage media, hard drives, photomask etching systems and wafer coatings. The markets, however, are currently in a transitional phase, particularly the optical storage media market, as they move towards new higher performance formats, such as Blu-Ray, which means that business is marked by reluctance to invest among users. However, we are optimistic that demand will increase in 2007 and that Oerlikon will profit substantially from the growth.

Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum

The course of business within the Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum segment exceeded the previous year's figures. Turnover increased by 12.2 percent to CHF 429.9 million and thus clearly trumped general market growth. Order intake grew by 14.1 percent to CHF 444.4 million, and orders on hand even grew by 31.6 percent to CHF 59 million. The "Screwline" oilless pump series continues to be one of the most sought-after products, successfully tapping in new fields of application, particularly in the process industry, and gaining substantial market share primarily in Asia and in the USA. We are also developing the rapidly growing solar market as an additional area of opportunity. An important milestone in this context was the first major order placed by a California based company for 22 vacuum pumps. The delivery of the world's large vacuum chamber to a German research institute for the conducting of physical fundamental experiments represented a further highlight in the fourth quarter.

We anticipate further positive business development in the current year. Increased focus upon the Solution & Services business is reaping excellent results. This branch has recently received several first-class evaluations in customer audits of its service quality and support. Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum has also concluded new contracts with well-known customers. A wide ranging product offensive was also launched in the fourth quarter, central to which is an entirely newly developed platform of turbomolecular pumps which have already obtained broad approval in initial customer tests.

Oerlikon Components

The Oerlikon Components segment, including Assembly Equipment (AE), achieved sales amounting to CHF 449.9 million, which corresponds to an 8.2 percent growth rate.

Business picked up at Oerlikon Space towards year-end with increased deliveries of payload fairings. In contrast, Oerlikon Optics reported a declining market for projection systems. In order to open up mid- and long-term perspectives for Oerlikon Optics, know-how in the laser technology field was expanded with the acquisition of the UK-based company, Exitech, which was organizationally integrated into this business unit. Oerlikon Optics is also making this expertise available to other business units such as Oerlikon Solar. Along with the participation in Novalux (USA), which is developing innovative projection systems based on lasers, a new field of laser expertise is growing within Oerlikon. Development of the next generation of laser-based projection systems is proceeding according to plans.

The Oerlikon Solutions business field has achieved excellent results. Production capacities are booked well into the future both with internal corporate orders, such as those from Oerlikon Solar, and with orders from external customers.
The strong growth of Oerlikon Assembly Equipment in the first nine months of 2006 weakened in the fourth quarter as anticipated. Overall, Oerlikon Assembly Equipment managed to gain a significant market share in 2006, with growth exceeding 20 percent. The development is attributable to the success of the "Die Bonder 2008 hsPlus" platform, which was introduced in the previous year and enables up to 40 percent greater productivity. The "Wire Bonder 3100", which was launched in mid-2006, has also been received positively in the market.

Oerlikon Saurer Textile

In November and December 2006, the first two months in which Oerlikon Saurer Textile was consolidated, the business unit reported sales of CHF 438.5 million. Orders received amounted to CHF 395.8 million, while there was CHF 942.1 million worth of orders on hand. Overall, Saurer AG achieved 11 percent sales growth in 2006 for the textile business, amounting to CHF 2.1 billion, as well as a 35 percent increase in order intake, totaling CHF 2.3 billion.

From a full-year perspective, business greatly improved towards the end of the year for Oerlikon Saurer Textile. Longer throughput times for complete systems, bottlenecks in stainless steel supply and components for filament plants and delays in the specification and financing of rotor spin plants had in the course of the year all led to sales falling short of expectations. These orders on hand were ultimately delivered at year-end. The high level of orders on hand at the start of the year, the steady, good state of the leading textile markets with the announced extension of state subsidies for investments in India and Turkey, as well as the increasing effect of the Saurer growth program lead us to anticipate significantly enhanced sales in 2007.

Oerlikon Graziano Drive Systems

The consolidated key figures for Oerlikon Graziano Drive Systems post sales for the months of November and December 2006 amounting to CHF 154.4 million as well as orders received of CHF 154.4 million. The figures for the full year published by Saurer AG report growth of 49 percent to CHF 951.9 million in 2006.

Oerlikon Graziano Drive Systems reported remarkable progress in the development of orders in the last quarter of 2006. For example, production for the transmission of the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage was begun, while the manufacturing of the transmissions (manual and automatic transmissions) for the new AUDI R8, as well as the rear differentials for the Maserati Quattroporte Automatica were started. At the same time, significant long-term orders were received from well-known companies such as Club Car (Ingersoll Rand), JCB, General Electric and SPX.

Fairfield's course of business developed according to expectations. The integration of the two business units is progressing well and initial customers have already been acquired with a joint market appearance. The expanded plant in Delhi, India, commenced operation in August and will make an essential contribution to growth in the Asian region. Expansion of the production in Saurer's former textile plant in the Czech Republic is proceeding apace thanks to the transfer of well-trained employees.

This media release is based on information currently available to management. The forward-looking statements contained herein could be substantially impacted by risks and influences that are not foreseeable at present, so that actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, expected or projected. Rounding-off differences may lead to apparent discrepancies in the published figures.

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