COMET GROUP DELIVERS ROBUST 2015 RESULTS IN A CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT

The COMET Group held its own well in the demanding environment of 2015, achieving the second highest sales in its history.

The EBITDA margin of 12.7% (2014:13.8%) was heavily affected by the exchange rate trends and the purchase of PCT Engineered Systems LLC. Excluding currency effects (+1.0%) and the acquisition (-1.9%), this margin came to 13.6%, almost matching the prior-year level. Net income decreased to CHF 17.1 million (2014: CHF 26.3 million). The non-recurrence of positive prior-year tax effects of CHF 6.1 million, in combination with 2015 one-time currency translation losses of CHF 2.4 million and one-off acquisition-related costs of CHF 3.5 million, outweighed a non-recurring tax credit of CHF 1.5 million in 2015.

Despite high investment in the ebeam business, the Group successfully continued to generate a return on capital employed in excess of capital costs and fully eliminated the net debt thanks to a strong operating cash flow of 12.6% of sales (2014: 10.6%). With an equity ratio of 63.4%, the COMET Group also possesses a strong balance sheet.
 
  • Sales of CHF 282.3 million
  • Net income of CHF 17.1 million due to one-time effects
  • Strong operating cash flow of 12.6% of sales, net debt eliminated
  • Strong balance sheet with equity ratio of 63.4%

Strategy on track – important foundation laid for the future
 The COMET Group has been on a strong growth trajectory since 2012. The Group, in constant-currency terms, achieved its objective (set in 2012) of growing 40% by 2015 to sales of CHF 300 million. New customers were won and existing customer relationships deepened. Strong partners for further potential growth were gained in the technology group Bühler and metrology vendor Hexagon. The investment in the marketing of the COMET Group's innovative products and technologies bore fruit: The gross margins at IXS and PCT were improved, new products launched and markets developed with greater focus. Key advances were made in the ebeam business, which, in view of its growing importance, has been split off from the XET segment effective January 2016 and converted into its own segment, ebeam Technologies (EBT).

To ensure the continuing ability to generate strong growth going forward, COMET will expand its manufacturing capacity at headquarters in Flamatt. The building permit has been secured and project preparations in advance of the official groundbreaking in September are underway. COMET, which expects to move into the new space in the middle of 2018, plans to finance the estimated CHF 60 million expansion with a bond issue.

The complete press release is available on: www.comet-group.com/media.