Fiscal year 2019
- Sales of CHF 371.6 million and EBITDA margin of 10.8% exceed expectations
- Net income of CHF 12.0 million in line with prior year
- Order backlog up 20% year over year
- Dividend proposal of CHF 1.00 per share
- Continuing demand growth expected in semiconductor segment
- Execution of the focus strategy and implementation of the Boost program to raise sales and efficiency are in high gear
Comet closed a demanding year 2019 with results that beat expectations. While the first three quarters were defined especially by the slowdown in the semiconductor market, demand rallied markedly in the fourth quarter. Comet was able to ramp up capacity again swiftly and serve the increased demand for plasma control modules for the fabrication of microchips. For the full year, the Group generated consolidated net sales of CHF 371.6 million, which was above the expected range of CHF 350-370 million (prior year: CHF 436.4 million).
Substantial cost savings realized by Comet, coupled with the improved capacity utilization and the absence of the previous year’s one-time costs, were positive for profitability. The EBITDA margin increased from 9.8% in the *prior year to 10.8% and thus significantly surpassed the expected range of 7.0% to 8.5%. At the same time, Comet kept up investment in forward-looking projects. Net income, at CHF 12.0 million, was in line with the prior year (CHF 12.3 million) and free cash flow grew to CHF 30.1 million (prior year: CHF 0.8 million).
Comet is on track with its focus strategy and will continue to drive forward the implementation of the Boost improvement initiatives. While the geopolitical developments and the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic remain difficult to predict, the signals from customers in the semiconductor market, combined with a high order backlog, point to an improvement for the current new fiscal year.
At the Annual Shareholder Meeting on April 23, 2020, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 1.00 per share (2019: CHF 1.20). This represents a dividend of 65% of the Group’s net income (2019: 75%).
Publication of the annual report
The audited 2019 consolidated financial statements of the Comet Group will be published on March 19, 2020 and presented in detail on the same day at the media and analyst conference in Zurich. In addition, a conference call in English will be held.
*2018 figures have been restated according to IFRS 16