Reading time ( words)
Schweizer Electronic AG reports that new orders in the first three quarters of 2021 were significantly higher than in the same period last year and in the first three quarters of 2019. The high growth in sales also continued in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year. The fourth quarter, on the other hand, is expected to see a slowdown in the economy and therefore lower sales momentum.
Sales in the first three quarters of 2021 amounted to 90.3 million (9M 2020: EUR 69.0 million). This corresponds to an increase of +30.9 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, which was heavily influenced by the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. Sales in the third quarter exceeded the second quarter by +2.9 percent and represent the highest sales quarter in the 2021 financial year to date. The plant in Schramberg and the new plant in China generated revenue from in-house production of EUR 66.0 million, which corresponds to an increase of +33.9 percent compared to the previous year. Sales of products via our Asian partner network rose by +23.4 percent to EUR 24.3 million compared to the same quarter last year. The share of sales from own production therefore increased to 73.1 percent (9M 2020: 71.4 percent).
Incoming orders in the first three quarters of 2021 increased by 3.3 times compared to the volume of the same period the previous year and amounted to EUR 128.6 million (9M 2020: EUR 38.7 million). This resulted in a book-to-bill ratio of 1.4 for the first three quarters (9M 2020: 0.6). At the end of the third quarter of 2021, the order book amounted to EUR 164.6 million and increased by +50.7 percent compared to the end of
2020 (31 December 2020: EUR 109.2 million). The semiconductor shortage influenced the order dynamics of our strongest customer group, the automotive industry, and contributed to a slightly lower order momentum in the third quarter.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to EUR -6.9 million (9M 2020: EUR -7.9 million), which corresponds to an improvement in the EBITDA ratio to -7.6 percent (previous year 2020: -11.5 percent). The Group excluding China achieved EBITDA of EUR +6.0 million. This corresponds to an operating profit improvement of EUR +6.2 million, excluding extraordinary expenses of EUR 1.8 million, which impacted earnings in the same period of the previous year.
Forecast / Outlook
The economic forecasts of the major institutions point to a progressive slowdown in the global economy in the fourth quarter as a result of supply bottlenecks for electronic components, among other things, and higher energy and raw material prices. The Executive Board therefore expects lower sales momentum in the fourth quarter. Due to the sales trend in the first nine months, the Executive Board nevertheless confirms the forecast for the financial year and expects a sales increase in the lower range of +20 to +30 percent.
Despite the expected weakening of sales, the higher than forecasted start-up losses of the plant in China and the continued expected price increases for materials, the Executive Board confirms the forecast for the EBITDA ratio of -5 to -10 percent. The ratio is likely to be in the middle of the range.
In Q4, start-up losses due to the longer schedule for technology transfer and qualifications by major customers as well as the material price increases at the China site will further burden the balance sheet figures. The Executive Board can confirm the previous forecast of the equity ratio between 10 and 15 percent for the Group if the sale of shares in the Chinese subsidiary to an investor can be carried out in this financial year. From today’s perspective of the status of negotiations, the conclusion of a corresponding transaction is considered more likely.