Fribourg, Switzerland, 31 January 2020 – LEM (SIX: LEHN), a leading global company in electrical measurement for industry and automotive applications, announces 9 months results for 2019/20 (April-December) compared to 2018/19:
- Sales decreased by 3.8% to CHF 235.8 million (CHF 245.1 million); at constant exchange rates, sales decreased by 1.9%
- The global spread of sales reflects a better performance in Rest of the World:
- China CHF 80.2m (34.0% of total)
- Europe CHF 71.3m (30.2% of total)
- North America CHF 27.8m (11.8% of total)
- Rest of World CHF 56.5m (24.0% of total)
- R&D up by 7.9% to CHF 21.9 million or 9.3% of sales (CHF 20.3 million or 8.3% of sales), driving new product portfolio
- EBIT decreased by 8.6% to CHF 46.4 million (CHF 50.8 million); the EBIT margin declined to 19.7% (20.7%)
- Net profit for the period was up by 33.5% at CHF 52.0 million (CHF 39.0 million), thanks to a non-recurring positive tax impact of CHF 14.0 million
Frank Rehfeld, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our sales in Q3 itself slightly increased compared to last year, and with these 9 months results we are on track with our full year outlook. Our recent announcement about changes to our Geneva organization, the investments in a new Geneva headquarters and a new manufacturing facility in Malaysia, demonstrate how LEM is anticipating and adapting to changes in our markets. We have the strength of a diversified global footprint and are making the organization more agile to capture growth opportunities.”
Andrea Borla, Chief Financial Officer, added: “Despite the drop in sales, our business remains strong and profitable, with improving gross margin, stable SG&A and continued growth in R&D investments. We reiterate our full year guidance for sales around CHF 310 million and underlying EBIT margin close to 20%, excluding a one-off restructuring charge for changes to our Geneva organization.”
Industry segment: encouraging sales for renewables and traction
9 months sales in the Industry segment totaled CHF 182.1 million, down 4.1%. At constant exchange rates, sales decreased by 1.9%. The H1 decline has flattened out during Q3. However, global economic uncertainty persists with customers reluctant to invest, and this is particularly felt in our drives business. Sales increased by 1.0% in China, but decreased by 7.1% in Europe, by 9.2% in North America and by 2.9% in Rest of World.
in CHF millions
• Global reluctance to invest in production such as welding and robotics linked to auto sector
• China, Japan, W. Europe sluggish demand
• Strongest in China, India & Japan
• Driven by solar
• Investments helped by government policies
• Major deliveries in China, India & Asia
• Market fundamentals remain good
• Adoption of new products subject to investment confidence
Automotive segment: continued transformation to green car technology in all markets
9 months sales in the Automotive segment totaled CHF 53.6 million, a decline of 2.9%. At constant exchange rates, sales decreased by 2.0%. The H1 decline has flattened out during Q3. Sales in our green car business now accounts for 75.4% of Automotive sales, up from 68.3% a year ago. Sales in China continued to decline due to the overall economic environment and recent changes in government policies, but in the long run we remain confident about the world’s largest market for green cars. In Europe the transformation to new electric or hybrid vehicles is gathering momentum. Moreover, demand from European manufacturers is driving sales of motor control and battery management in Korea and Japan. The US transition to new technology is becoming more evident. Sales dropped by 18.7% in China and by 25.2% in North America, while they performed strongly both in Europe and Rest of World, up by 32.3% and 37.5% respectively.
in CHF millions
• China influenced by policies, weaker economy, and insourcing by Tier 1 suppliers
• New motor control, battery management and charging system products developed
• Continued switch to new technologies
• US market led by green start-ups and the major OEMs are starting to electrify SUVs and pick-ups
Profitability remains steady
Gross profit for the 9 months fell by 2.5% to CHF 110.9 million, although the gross margin reached 47.0%, which is 60 basis points higher than the same period last year, thanks to various efficiency programs.
We remain vigilant with overheads, and maintained SG&A (CHF 42.7 million) at the same level as last year (CHF 42.8 million). We continue with our long-term investment in future applications and increased R&D investments by 7.9% to CHF 21.9 million (CHF 20.3 million), or 9.3% of sales (8.3%). EBIT dropped by 8.6% to CHF 46.4 million (CHF 50.8 million), due to the decline in revenues partially offset by the increase in gross margin. Our EBIT margin was down at 19.7% (20.7%).
We posted a net profit for the nine months of CHF 52.0 million, up 33.5% from CHF 39.0 million last year. This reflects a non-recurring positive tax impact of CHF 14.0 million from the sale of technical IP from LEM Intellectual Property SA based in Fribourg to LEM International SA based in Geneva and to LEM China. The net profit margin thereby increased to 22.1% compared with 15.9%. Excluding this tax impact, net profit would have slightly reduced to CHF 38.0 million, while the net profit margin would have improved to 16.1%.
The economic environment remains challenging and will continue to impact LEM’s top line sales performance for the coming months. We confirm our expectation for the second half of 2019/20 to be in line with our sales performance in the same period of last year, although there may be some impact in Q4 due to the coronavirus.
For the full financial year 2019/20, the company reiterates its guidance for sales of around CHF 310 million compared with CHF 321.6 million for last year, and for its underlying EBIT margin to remain close to 20%. This excludes a one-off charge of CHF 1.5 million for restructuring at the Geneva HQ, which was announced on 23 January 2020.
Webcast and conference call
Frank Rehfeld, CEO, and Andrea Borla, CFO, will provide a detailed presentation of the 9 months 2019/20 results today at 10:00 am CET at a media and investor community webcast and conference call.
Listen to live webcast
The webcast slides are available in the Investor Relations section of the LEM website (www.lem.com/en/investors), where the webcast will later also be archived.
Switzerland & Europe: +41 (0) 58 310 50 00
UK: +44 (0) 207 107 06 13
USA: +1 (1) 631 570 56 13
Other countries: https://media.choruscall.ch/documents/Attended_DI_numbers.pdf
The financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March
19 May 2020
9 June 2020
16 June 2020
18 June 2020
29 July 2020
3 November 2020
Full year results 2019/20
Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for the financial year 2019/20
Dividend payment date
First quarter results 2020/21
Half year results 2020/21
LEM – Life Energy Motion
A leading company in electrical measurement, LEM engineers the best solutions for energy and mobility, ensuring that our customers’ systems are optimized, reliable and safe.
Our 1,500 people in over 15 countries transform technology potential into powerful answers. We develop and recruit the best global talent, working at the forefront of mega trends such as renewable energy, mobility, automation and digitization.
With innovative electrical solutions, we are helping our customers and society accelerate the transition to a sustainable future.
Listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 1986, the company’s ticker symbol is LEHN.
Contact: Investment community
Andrea Borla, Chief Financial Officer
Phone: +41 22 706 1250
Cabinet Privé de Conseils s.a. (CPC)
Nick Miles, firstname.lastname@example.org, direct +41 22 552 46 26, mobile +41 79 678 76 26
Michael Füglister, email@example.com, direct +41 22 552 46 29, mobile +41 78 839 07 62