BALZERS / BAD RAGAZ – Inficon Holding AG achieved sales of 122.2 million dollars in the third quarter, which is very close to the previous record of 126.3 million from the previous quarter. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the group increased sales by 32.8 percent. Excluding currency effects (+1.8 percentage points) and acquisitions (+0.3 percentage points), the organic plus was 30.7 percent, writes Inficon in a press release.
In practically all areas, production is running at the limits of capacity. Inficon continues to invest in production (systems, clean rooms, calibration capacities), processes and personnel in all major areas in order to be able to meet the increasing demand better and without restrictions. In addition, increasing bottlenecks on the procurement markets and disruptions in logistics with Asia would have hindered even more rapid growth and generated additional costs in the third quarter.
In view of the well-filled order books, Inficon is adjusting its sales forecast for the 2021 financial year from 480 to 500 million dollars to 490 to 510 million dollars. The expected operating profit margin is also 18 to 20 percent. According to the announcement, the semiconductor business in the Semi & Vacuum Coating market (59.2 million dollars; +39.6 percent over the previous year) contributed to the strong sales development. However, the challenges mentioned above would have resulted in a decrease of 6.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.
OEM and end customer business is flourishing
Both the OEM and end customer business continued to flourish, particularly in Asia and especially in China. The coatings business, on the other hand, is stagnating at a solid level. Sales in the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Automotive market ($ 24.2 million; +27.4 percent year-on-year; -8.3 percent compared to the second quarter) also showed strong year-on-year growth. According to the broadcast, the refrigeration and air conditioning business is developing “positively”. In the automotive sector, some customers have had production stops due to material shortages, which could also affect demand for Inficon products.
The area of e-mobility continues to grow. In the general vacuum market, Inficon achieved a record high turnover of 33.5 million dollars (+29.3 percent compared to the previous year; +10.6 percent compared to the second quarter). On the one hand, the mainly European private label business and sales to China increased. Sales in the security & energy business, which is heavily dependent on government contracts, remained rather modest at 3.5 million dollars, but recorded a year-on-year increase of 12.8 percent; compared to the previous quarter, sales fell by 14.5 percent.
Bottlenecks in global logistics and on the procurement markets, as well as costly new recruits due to the general situation on the labor market and also as a result of the corona pandemic, could remain limited to margins. These costs and investments in additional space, facilities and capacities of around $ 5.8 million in the third quarter alone remained high. In addition, according to its own information, Inficon invested $ 24.4 million in research and development. The remaining costs are tightly managed, so that an operating profit of 22 million dollars or an operating profit margin of 18 percent, practically unchanged from the previous quarter, resulted from 11.4 percent a year ago.
Outlook: Procurement and logistics remain tense
The situation on the world markets in procurement and logistics remains tense; the pandemic also remains a risk factor. In view of the high capacity utilization and the good order situation, Inficon is optimistic about the prospects for the current year. The sales expectation for the entire fiscal year will be raised from previously 480 to 500 million dollars to 490 to 510 million. The expected operating profit margin is between 18 and 20 percent.