SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG: EBIT on last year's level despite revenue decrease

SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG / Final Results

25.03.2010 08:01

Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by
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- Sales and earnings consistent with figures already released
- Gross profit and gross margin significantly improved despite revenue     decrease

- Sales increase of 5 percent over last year in civilian markets     (leisure, industry, and mobility)

- Order Backlog on December 31, 2009 increased by almost 100% over previous year - shipments in Q1/10 consistently above Q1/09
Brunnthal/Munich, Germany, March 25, 2010 - The final figures in the audited consolidated financial statements of SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG, technology and market leader in mobile and remote power solutions based on fuel cells, have confirmed the preliminary figures released on January 28, 2010. As announced, as a consequence of the economic crisis, total sales 2009 of EUR 11,687k were 19.7 percent below last year (2008: EUR 14,554k). This development was due to shifts in the European and U.S. defense programs and to the ongoing consumer reticence in the leisure markets. Thanks to strong growth in the industrial and mobility markets, however, sales in the civilian markets in total more than compensated the leisure sales decrease. In the civilian markets, the Company achieved a sales growth of 5.0 percent over 2008.

In 2009 4,241 A-series fuel cell units (EFOY, EMILY, and FC 250) were sold. This was 11.6 percent less than last year (2008: 4,795 units). Revenues in this category, however, increased by 4.0 percent to EUR 9,355k (2008: EUR 8,994k). This success is the result of consistent price policy implementation, clear orientation of the model mix strategy towards meeting user requirements, and the sales start of the EMILY and the FC 250 fuel cell systems for defense applications.

The Company pursued a prudent spending policy and achieved significant savings on the product and organization side. Consequently, gross profit 2009 increased by 18.8 percent to EUR 3,194k (2008: EUR 2,689k). The 2009 gross margin rose by 8.8 percent to 27.3 percent of sales despite reduced revenues (2008: 18.5 percent).

As announced, SFC's 2009 EBIT of minus EUR 4,507k was at previous year's level (2008: minus EUR 4,501k). This result clearly proves the effectiveness of the Company's extensive cost reduction and efficiency enhancement programs. Result after taxes in 2009 decreased by 60.7 percent to minus EUR 3,785k (2008: minus EUR 2,355k). The difference compared to last year is caused almost exclusively by lower interest rates in 2009.
Cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2009, came to EUR 40,544k (December 31, 2008: EUR 45,568k). Net cash flow used in operating activities, in particular, was again significantly reduced by means of spending discipline and consistent working capital management.
Order backlog at December 31, 2009, was EUR 3,412k, this is an increase of 98.8 percent over last (EUR 1,716k).

As of December 31, 2009, SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG had 91 permanent employees (December 31, 2008: 98 permanent employees).

The Group anticipates sales in the Leisure segment in financial year 2010 to remain at their 2009 level, given the continued challenging market environment. In contrast, the Group expects noticeable overall growth in sales in its civilian markets. An important strategic goal remains to make SFC less vulnerable to seasonable and economic fluctuations in the leisure market and the continued unpredictability of the defence market by drawing on a more diversified base. It is difficult at this time to assess the trend in the Defence segment, but decisions about important projects are pending, and awards in favour of SFC are still to be anticipated during the first half of the year. The aim of continuous improvements to product margins, in conjunction with sales growth, is to improve operating profit (EBIT) in 2010, even with the anticipated special effects (expansion of the U.S. organization and the move to the new Company location). However, because of the continuing uncertain state of the economy, we believe that our sales forecasts are still subject to considerable uncertainty.
The 2009 annual report of SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG is available for download at www.sfc.com.

SFC Investor Relations:
Barbara von Frankenberg 
Head of IR and PR
SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG
Eugen-Sänger-Ring 4
D-85649 Brunnthal 
Tel. +49 89 673 592-378
Fax. +49 89 673 592-169
Email: [email protected]

25.03.2010 Ad hoc announcement, Financial News and Media Release distributed by DGAP. Media archive at www.dgap-medientreff.de and www.dgap.de

Language:     English
Company:      SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG
              Eugen-Saenger-Ring 4
              85649 Brunnthal
Phone:        +49 (89) 673 592 - 100
Fax:          +49 (89) 673 592 - 169
E-mail:       [email protected]
Internet:     www.sfc.com
ISIN:         DE0007568578
WKN:          756857
Listed: Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Berlin, München, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart  
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