ASPOCOMP GROUP Oyj STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE Oct 29, 2001 at8:30 1(7)
ASPOCOMP INTERIM REPORT JANUARY 1 – SEPTEMBER 30, 2001
Net sales for the first nine months of the year decreased 5.6%
totalling EUR 167.8 million (the figure of the corresponding period
the previous year is bracketed; here EUR 177.8 million), profit
before extraordinary items was EUR -14.0 million (EUR 16.1 million)
including the estimated cost of EUR 5.2 million of closing the Espoo
PWB factory. Earnings per share were EUR -1.21 (EUR 1.22).
GROUP NET SALES AND PROFITS
Aspocomp Group net sales totalled EUR 167.8 million for the period
from January 1 to September 30, 2001, compared with EUR 177.8 million
during the corresponding period the previous year. The new operations
in Asia generated net sales of EUR 20.6 million (EUR 0 million).
Other operating income totalled EUR 0.6 million (EUR 1.7 million).
The share of net sales of the company’s five biggest customers,
Nokia, Ericsson, SCI, Philips and Tellabs, was 60%. Direct export
from Finland totalled EUR 28.0 million (EUR 19.1 million) and
offshore net sales totalled EUR 52.6 million (EUR 51.8 million).
Earnings before depreciations (EBITDA) were EUR 14.4 million (EUR
35.3 million). Operating profit for the period totalled EUR -12.2
million or -7.3% of net sales (EUR 16.6 million; 9.3%). Net financial
costs totalled EUR 1.8 million (EUR 0.5 million). The mandatory
reserve related to the estimated cost of closing the Espoo PWB
factory is included in this interim report. The effect to the EBITDA
is EUR -4.2 million and to the EBIT (earnings before interests and
taxes) EUR -5.2 million.
Profit before extraordinary items was EUR -14.0 million (EUR 16.1
million). Profit before taxes was EUR -14.0 million (EUR 15.9
million) and net profit for the period was EUR -12.3 million (EUR
11.3 million). Earnings per share totalled EUR -1.21 (EUR 1.22).
FINANCING, INVESTMENTS AND EQUITY RATIO
The Group’s liquidity for the period remains solid. Investments in
the fixed assets were EUR 49.5 million. EUR 4.1 million were invested
in acquiring the majority of the company P.C.B. Center (Thailand)
Co., Ltd in March, 2001. Gross investments for the period totalled
EUR 51.5 million (EUR 48.9 million) or 30.8% of net sales (27.5%). In
addition the Group parent company raised the share capital of ACP
Electronics Co., Ltd. by EUR 35.6 million. Out of this EUR 28.6
million is still included in the Group liquid assests for investments
in fixed assets. Net financial costs as a percentage of net sales
totalled 1.1% (0.3%). The equity ratio was 56.5% (63.5%) at the
SHARES AND SHARE CAPITAL
As of September 30, 2001 the company’s share capital totalled
10,141,926 euros with a total 10,141,926 shares outstanding.
During the period extending from January 1 to September 30, 2001 a
total of 2,171,343 shares with a value of 34,366,063.18 euros were
traded on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The non-domestic share in the
ownership of the stock was 20.5%, as of the end of the period. The
share price reached a high of 30.00 euros and a low of 8.90 euros
between January 1 and September 30, 2001. The average price was 15.83
euros. The closing price on September 28, 2001 was 10.55 euros and
the market capitalization of the company was 107.0 million euros.
On March 23, 2001 the Annual General Meeting authorized the Board to
acquire own shares. The authorisation remains valid for one year from
the date of the Annual General Meeting.
On July 16, 2001 the Board of Directors decided to use the
authorization and acquire 100,000 own shares from the market. The
actual purchases were executed by Svenska Handelsbanken. The
acquisition program began on July 30, 2001 and was finished after the
period, on October 5, 2001, when the total of 100,000 own shares were
After the period end, on October 24, 2001, the Board of Directors of
Aspocomp Group Oyj has decided to further acquire a maximum of
100,000 Aspocomp shares through public trading in addition to the
already acquired 100,000 own shares. The shares will be used for the
purposes of developing the capital structure of the company, for
financing and implementing corporate acquisitions and other
transactions, other transfers or invalidation. The repurchases will
commence on October 31, 2001 at the earliest.
Average number of employees Number of employees
2000 2000 2001
1.1.-30.9. 1.1.-31.12. 1.1.-30.9. 30.9.2001
Europe 2031 2007 1901 1846
Thailand — — 1145 1025
China — — 301 438
Total 2031 2007 3347 3309
Aspocomp Group Oyj and the Taiwanese listed company Chin-Poon
Industrial Co., Ltd. concluded on January 5, 2001 an agreement to
start a Joint Venture, ACP Electronics Co., Ltd. in Suzhou, China.
Aspocomp’s share of the total investment of 68 million euros is 35
million euros and the increase in the share capital related to the
financing has already been paid. Aspocomp’s 51% holding was acquired
by special issues. As a result of the investment Aspocomp is the
first European company producing PWBs in China.
Aspocomp Group Oyj increased its ownership in the Thai printed wiring
board company, P.C.B. Center (Thailand) Co., Ltd. to a majority of
51% by an agreement signed on March 1, 2001. The majority was
acquired partly by purchasing existing shares and partly by a special
issue. After the additional investment of 4.1 million euros the total
investment in shares is 5.1 million euros.
March 1, 2001 Pohjola Group Insurance Corporation Ltd notified that
its share in Aspocomp Group Oyj’s voting rights and share capital has
fallen below 5%.
On April 10, 2001 European Renaissance Fund notified that its share
in Aspocomp Group Oyj’s voting rights and share capital has increased
On May 23, 2001 a proposal related to personnel negotiations of the
possibility of closing down the Aspocomp Oy’s PWB factory in Espoo
for both production and financial reasons was given. The proposal
included all personnel groups, total of about 137 persons. The
negotiations ended on July 12, 2001 and on the same day the Board of
Directors of Aspocomp Group Oyj decided to close down the Espoo
factory. Among the reasons for the closing of the factory were the
continuous unprofitability of the factory, the price pressure in the
standard technology PWB market and the global overcapacity situation.
At the moment the total cost of the closing of the Espoo factory is
estimated to be about EUR 5.2 million.
Other Group factories have also adapted their operations to the
current demand situation.
After the period end, on October 18, 2001 personnel negotiations were
started at the Group’s PWB factory in Evreux, France in order to
adapt the capacity to the existing market demand. The negotiations
regarding possible personnel reductions concern about 210 employees.
Total number of personnel of the Evreux factory in the end of
September was 545.
The planned actions would take place by the end of the year 2001.
After the period, at its meeting of October 24, 2001, the Board of
Directors of Aspocomp Group Oyj has resolved to apply for listing of
all the A-warrants 1999 on the main list of the Helsinki Exchanges so
that the listing will commence approximately on November 23, 2001.
The total amount of A-warrants is 375,000. Each warrant entitles its
holder to subscribe for one (1) Aspocomp Group Oyj share. In the
aggregate, the warrants entitle holders to subscribe for 375,000
shares. The present share subscription price with warrants is EUR
24/share. The dividends payable annually shall be deducted from the
share subscription price.
CHANGE IN ORGANISATION AND IN DEPRECIATION PRINCIPLES
In relation to the consolidation of the new Asian companies the Group
organisation was changed by having the sales and production of
printed wiring boards as separate functions. This way the Group is
able to serve the global clientel optimally.
At the same time the depreciation schedules were updated in order to
have a uniform Group depreciation policy consistent with generally
followed international conservative practice. The depreciation
schedules for the high-tech production machines remained at five
years. The changes were the lengthening of the depreciation schedules
for the production buildings by five years to thirty years and for
the chemical lines by three years to eight years. The depreciation
schedules for other machinery were lengthened by two years to seven
years. The new depreciation schedules are adapted to all investments
from the beginning of the current fiscal year.
PROSPECTS FOR 2001
Our strategy is to be cost-effective and one of the leading
manufacturers of technologically advanced PWB’s globally. To reach
this objective we have invested significantly in R&D and new capacity
both in Europe and Asia at the same time sustaining our solid balance
sheet. We have reached a strong market position in Europe and as the
first European PWB company we will start HDI production in China in
December this year. Our customer base includes several major players
in the global telecommunication industry.
We believe our strategy will enable us to resume our profitable
secular growth. Based on our customers’ estimates the development
during the rest of the year compared to the third quarter should be
positive both in sales and profits.
Despite the continued capacity modifications and the cost cutting
program the EBIT-level result of the fourth quarter may still be
negative. The possible personnel reductions in Evreux may lead to an
extra one-time cost.
We are confident in our ability to retain our market share at least
on the current level and even to increase penetration in our
PRINTED WIRING BOARDS
The net sales for the PWB business unit decreased 6% compared to the
corresponding period in previous year and the profit was negative.
The net sales of the European factories decreased 16%, which could
not be compensated by the consolidation of the Asian companies. The
strongest decrease in net sales was experienced in Evreux, France,
where the demand of the key customers dropped drastically, especially
during the second quarter.
The net sales of the Mobile segment decreased by 15%. The net sales
development for the key customer of the Mobile segment met estimates,
but another important customer’s demand collapsed as a consequence of
the re-organisation of its sourcing.
The net sales decrease of the Telecom segment was 19%. The segment
was affected by the high year-end inventory levels of certain
customers as a result of the too optimistic demand expectations at
the end of 2000. In addition, the demand in mobile networks did not
fully recover in the third quarter. This lead to a low capacity
utilization rate during the first nine months of the year and the
sales target was not reached.
The net sales growth for the Auto & Industry segment was 52%, mainly
generated from the consolidation of the Asian companies in the Group
ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING SERVICES (EMS)
The net sales of the EMS business unit decreased by 6%. The profit
was satisfactory, although high inventory levels of certain customers
of the Telecom segment lead to lower than expected demand and
capacity utilization rate.
ASPOCOMP GROUP INCOME STATEMENT
1-9/01 1-9/00 1-12/00
MEUR % MEUR % MEUR %
NET SALES 167.8 100.0 177.8 100.0 239.8 100.0
income 0.6 0.4 1.6 0.9 3.0 1.2
write-downs 26.6 15.8 18.7 10.5 26.2 10.9
AFTER DEPRECIATION -12.2 -7.3 16.6 9.3 21.6 9.0
and expenses -1.8 -1.1 -0.5 -0.3 -0.4 -0.2
PROFIT BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY
ITEMS AND TAXES -14.0 -8.3 16.1 9.0 21.2 8.8
Extraordinary income 0.0 0.0 0.0
Extraordinary expences 0.0 0.0 -0.2 -0.1 -0.9 -0.4
PROFIT BEFORE TAXES -14.0 -8.4 15.9 8.9 22.0 9.2
MINORITY INTEREST 1.0 0.6
PROFIT FOR THE PERIOD -12.3 -7.3 11.3 6.4 16.2 6.7
EARNINGS/SHARE, EUR -1.21 1.22 1.59
Accrued taxes for this interim period have been calculated in
accordance with the corporate tax rate in force during the period
under review and include taxes brought forward from earlier periods.
The calculation of earnings/share excludes taxes on extraordinary
ASPOCOMP GROUP BALANCE SHEET
9/01 9/00 Change 12/00
MEUR MEUR % MEUR
Fixed and other long-
term assets 202.5 126.8 59.7 138.0
Inventories 37.2 27.9 33.3 29.3
Receivables 50.8 46.1 10.2 49.4
Investments 17.0 31.0 -45,2 29.1
Cash and bank deposits 12.6 15.6 -19.2 4.7
TOTAL ASSETS 320.1 247.3 29.4 250.5
Shareholders’ equity 145.6 157.0 -7.3 161.9
Minority interest 35.8 0.0 0.0
Mandatory reserves 9.4 0.8 5.5
Long-term liabilities 54.4 35.8 51.9 35.3
Short-term liabilities 74.9 53.7 39.3 47.8
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND
SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY 320.1 247.3 29.4 250.5
EQUITY / SHARE, EUR 14.39 15.48 15.96
EQUITY RATIO, % 56.5 63.5 64.6
Accumulated excess depreciation and voluntary reserves totalling EUR
14.1 million have been divided among shareholders’ equity and nominal
CONTINGENT LIABILITIES 9/01 12/00
Securities on Group liabilities 1.8 1.8
Operational leasing liabilities 0.2 0.2
Other liabilities 0.3 –
TOTAL 2.3 2.0
All figures are unaudited.
Statements in this stock exchange release relating to matters that
are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. All forward-
looking statements, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties
and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performances
or achievements of Aspocomp Group to be materially different from any
future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by
such forward-looking statements. Such factors include general
economic and business conditions; increases in PWB industry capacity
and competition; the ability of the company to implement its
investment program and to continue to expand its business outside the
Helsinki, October 29, 2001
ASPOCOMP GROUP Oyj
Board of Directors
For more information, please contact CEO Jarmo Niemi
at +358 9 759 70711.
ASPOCOMP GROUP Oyj
President and CEO
Press and Media