Market Overview

Saft Groupe SA Reports 2010 Fourth Quarter Sales and Full Year Sales and Earnings

Share:

PARIS, February 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Saft, leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-end batteries for industry and defence, announces its fourth quarter and annual sales along with its earnings for the period ending 31 December 2010.

    Sales and Results highlights

    - Q4 sales of EUR165.7 million, up 11.5% YoY at actual rates and 7.9% at
      constant exchange rates;

    - Full year 2010 sales of EUR591.1 million, up 5.7% at actual rates and
      2.9% YoY at constant exchange rates, ahead of revised guidance;

    - EBITDA increased by 8% to EUR108.4m representing 18.3% of sales
      compared with 17.9% in 2009;

    - EBIT increased by 13.8% to EUR78.3m, at 13.2% of sales compared with
      12.3% of sales in 2009;

    - Net income increased by 26.6% to EUR36.6 million, compared with
      EUR28.9m in 2009;

    - Earnings per share of EUR1.46 in 2010 compared with an earnings per
      share of EUR1.50 in 2009;

    - An increased dividend of EUR0.70 per share will be proposed at the
      Annual General Meeting.

    - Record level of investment of EUR110m to support future growth.

John Searle, Chairman of the Management Board, commented:

"I am pleased to say that we ended 2010 on a very positive note. Our sales in the fourth quarter grew strongly, showing an increase of almost 8% at constant exchange rates and our sales performance for the full year was ahead of the revised guidance, with 2.9% growth at constant exchange rates. This achievement reflects the fact that the majority of our markets are now performing well.

At 18.3% of sales, our EBITDA margin is ahead of guidance, showing a YoY increment of 40b.p. This performance reflects gross margin improvement in both IBG and SBG divisions with good control of costs.

As a result, our net income increased by more than 26% YoY, at EUR36.6 million, and Saft will be proposing an increased dividend of EUR0.70 per share to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in May."

Fourth quarter Sales

Q4 2010 sales of EUR165.7 million were up 11.5% as reported and up 7.9% at constant exchange rates, compared with Q4 2009.

                                                Variations in %

                  Q4 2010   Q4 2009         At actual       At constant
                                       exchange rates       exchange rates

    IBG              94.4      85.2          10.8%              8.1%
    SBG              71.3      63.4          12.4%              7.7%
    Total           165.7     148.6          11.5%              7.9%

Sales numbers are at actual exchange rates.

The average exchange rate in Q4 2010 was EUR1 to $1.36 (compared with EUR1 to $1.48 in Q4 2009).

    There was no change in perimeter between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010.
    Full year consolidated results

                                          Year ended 31 December

    (in euro million)                  2010                  2009  %Growth **
                               Restated * As reported As reported

    Sales                           591.1       591.1       559.3        2.9%
    Gross profit                    181.0       179.6       161.6       11.1%
    Gross margin (%)                 30.6%       30.4%       28.9%
    EBITDA ***                      109.9       108.4       100.4        8.0%
    EBITDA (%)                       18.6%       18.3%       17.9%
    EBIT ****                        79.8        78.3        68.8       13.8%
    EBIT (%)                         13.5%       13.2%       12.3%
    Operating profit                 80.2        78.7        68.1       15.6%
    Profit before income tax         46.1        44.6        36.3       22.9%
    Net income                       38.1        36.6        28.9       26.6%
    EPS (EUR per share)              1.53        1.46        1.50      (2.7)%

* Restated figures for 2010 exclude project costs of EUR1.5 million incurred by the Group in respect of the construction of the new production facility in Jacksonville, USA. Costs incurred related to this project totaled EUR0.7 million in 2009.

** Changes are measured at current exchange rates except for the change in sales, which is measured at constant exchange rates.

*** EBITDA is defined as operating profit before depreciation, amortization, restructuring costs and other operating income and expenses.

**** EBIT is defined as operating profit before restructuring costs and other operating income and expenses.

2010 Consolidated Financial Statements approved by the Saft Groupe SA Management Board have been reviewed by the Supervisory Board on February 11, 2011. These Consolidated Financial Statements have been certified by the Group's Auditors on February 14, 2011.

    Full year Results by product line

                Year ended December 31, 2010   Year ended December 31, 2009

                                       EBITDA*                      EBITDA*
             Sales Variations EBITDA*  margin    Sales   EBITDA*    margin
             (EURm)    (%)    (EURm)    (%)    (EURm)    (EURm)        (%)

    IBG      331.1   2.1%     54.2    16.4%    317.7       52.3      16.5%
    SBG      260.0   4.0%     59.2    22.8%    241.6       53.2      22.0%
    Other **     -      -     (3.5)    n.s       0.0       (4.5)      n.s.
    Total    591.1   2.9%    109.9    18.6%    559.3      101.0*     18.1%

Results by product line

All at actual exchange rates, except sales growth which is at constant exchange rates.

* Restated to exclude project costs related to the construction of the Li-ion production unit in Jacksonville, of EUR1.5 million in 2010 and EUR0.7million in 2009.

** The "Other" cost centre includes central functions such as IT, research, central management, finance and administration.

Industrial Battery Group (IBG)

IBG sales in Q4 reached EUR94.4m, showing a 10.8% increase at actual exchange rates and an 8.1% increase at constant rates, compared to 2009.

IBG sales for the full year of EUR331.1m registered a 2.1% growth at constant exchange rates and a 4.2% growth as reported.

In the stationary back-up power market, strong sales growth was recorded throughout the year in the telecommunication infrastructure activity, whilst the industrial stand-by back-up power business returned to growth in H2 with a strong Q4. Overall, the stationary back-up power market registered broadly flat sales in 2010.

Transportation sales have been similarly flat in 2010 with a contrasting performance between aviation, which recorded a strong growth throughout the year, and the rail market which has been weaker since the beginning of the year.

Finally, the small nickel battery activity (ex. RBS division) continued to grow strongly in Q4 and H2, recording a 16% increase in the year, a recovery from a very weak 2009.

Excluding project costs related to Jacksonville, the profitability of the division's activities remained almost stable, with an EBITDA margin of 16.4% for 2010 compared with a 16.5% margin in 2009.

This performance results from an improvement in the gross margin, despite some unfavourable raw material price trends.

Speciality Battery Group (SBG)

SBG achieved sales of EUR71.3m in Q4, showing an increase of 12.4% at actual exchange rates and 7.7% at constant exchange rates.

Driven by civil lithium markets, the division's revenue in 2010 reached EUR260.0 million, an increase of 7.6% at actual exchange rates and 4.0% at constant exchange rates.

Over 2010, the civil markets rose by almost 19%, mainly thanks to strong growth in the meters and smart metering systems market in the USA and Europe. The space market has been broadly flat in 2010 but registered record orders.

As expected at the beginning of last year, military markets were weaker in 2010. After recording growth of 18% in 2009, these markets contracted by 14% YoY.

Alongside its revenue growth, the SBG division has also improved its profitability. The division's EBITDA margin was 22.8% in 2010, compared with 22.0% in 2009. The improvement in profitability is largely due to the effectiveness of the division's cost control efforts, which had a positive impact on the gross margin.

Other financial highlights of the period

After net finance costs of EUR18.8m, compared with EUR18.5m in 2009, and the Group's share of the loss of associates of EUR(15.3)m, the Group's share of net income amounted to EUR36.4m compared with EUR28.5m in 2009, representing an increase of 27.7% over the previous year.

Earnings per share, calculated on the weighted average number of outstanding shares during the year (24,865,856 shares vs 18,974,281 shares in 2009), amount to EUR1.46 compared to EUR1.50 in 2009.

Thanks to strong cash generating activities, the group ended 2010 with a cash position of EUR194.6m versus EUR207.4m at the end of 2009 after taking into account the EUR110m invested in the company and Johnson Controls-Saft JV activities.

The Group's net debt stood at EUR135.4m compared with EUR108.5 million at the end of 2009.

Jacksonville and Michigan projects

Both projects are progressing on track with initial plans.

The Jacksonville factory building will be completed and equipment for the first production line installed during Q1 2011. Equipment commissioning will be completed during Q2. Product qualification and start of production will take place in Q3 and first sales from the line recorded in Q4. Hiring of the production team to commission the equipment began in Q1.

The Johnson Controls-Saft Michigan facility is also on schedule to begin cell production in H2. The battery assembly workshop has been operational since September 2010, meeting the current needs of Azure Dynamics and Ford.

Outlook for 2011

Based on the recovery experienced during 2010, the Group anticipates continued growth in its traditional activities and markets as well as the first sales contribution from Jacksonville. Overall, sales in 2011 should grow at a minimum of 5% at constant foreign exchange rates.

In terms of profitability, Saft is expecting an EBITDA margin in the range of 17-17.5% after estimated costs related to the Jacksonville project and production start-up of $10 million. This equates to an EBITDA margin of 18-18.5%, stripping out the impact of Jacksonville.

John Searle, Chairman of the Management Board, concluded as follows: "2010 was a year of real recovery in our traditional businesses whose profitability enables us to finance our projects and increase our investments in research and development. In 2011, Saft should benefit from the first sales linked to the investments we made in 2009 and 2010."

    Financial calendar for 2011

    2011 Q1 turnover                                            28 April 2011
    Annual General Meeting                                         4 May 2011
    2011 Q2 turnover and half year                               27 July 2011
    2011 Q3 turnover                                          27 October 2011

An investor and analysts' presentation is available on http://www.saftbatteries.com

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION AND CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS

Certain statements contained herein are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predictions of or indicate future events, trends, plans, objectives or results of operation. Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and can be affected by other factors that could cause actual results and Saft's plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward looking statements.

About Saft

Saft (Euronext: Saft) is a world specialist in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry. Saft batteries are used in high performance applications, such as industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, space and defence. Saft is the world's leading manufacturer of nickel batteries for industrial applications and of primary lithium batteries for a wide range of end markets. The group is also the European leader for specialised advanced technologies for the defence and space industries and world leader in lithium-ion satellite batteries. Saft is also delivering its lithium-ion technology to new applications in clean vehicles and renewable energy storage. With approximately 4,000 employees worldwide, Saft is present in 19 countries. Its 15 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network enable the group to serve its customers worldwide. Saft is listed in the SBF 120 index on the Paris Stock Market.

    For more information, visit Saft at http://www.saftbatteries.com
    APPENDICES
    Consolidated Income Statement

    (in EUR million)                                        2010        2009

    Revenues                                               591.1       559.3
    Cost of sales                                         (411.5)     (397.7)
    Gross profit                                           179.6       161.6
    Distribution and sales costs                           (35.7)      (32.3)
    Administrative expenses                                (44.2)      (42.4)
    Research and development expenses                      (21.4)      (18.1)
    Restructuring costs                                     (0.7)       (2.8)
    Other operating income and expenses                      1.1         2.1
    Operating profit                                        78.7        68.1
    Finance costs-net                                      (18.8)      (18.5)
    Share of profit / (loss) of associates                 (15.3)      (13.3)
    Profit before income tax                                44.6        36.3
    Income tax expense                                      (8.0)       (7.4)
    Profit for the period                                   36.6        28.9
    Attributable to:
    Equity holders of the company                           36.4        28.5
    Minority interest                                        0.2         0.4
    Earnings per share (in EUR per share): basic            1.46        1.50
    Earnings per share (in EUR per share): diluted          1.45        1.50


    Consolidated statement of comprehensive income

    (in EUR million)                                         2010       2009

    Profit for the period                                    36.6       28.9
    Other comprehensive income
    Fair value gains / (losses) on cash flow hedge            0.5        5.6
    Fair value gains / (losses), net on investment          (13.0)      (0.3)
    hedge
    Actuarial gains and losses recognised against            (1.6)       0.3
    Statement of Comprehensive Income
    Currency translation adjustments                         13.2        4.1
    Tax effect on income / (expenses) recognised              4.4       (1.9)
    directly in equity
    Total other comprehensive income for the period,          3.5        7.8
    net of tax
    Total comprehensive income for the period                40.1       36.7
    Attributable to:
    Equity holders of the company                            39.7       36.3
    Minority interest                                         0.4        0.4


    Consolidated cash flow statement

    (in EUR million)                                           2010     2009

    Net profit for the period                                  36.6     28.9
    Adjustments :
    Share of profit/(loss) of associates (net of dividends)    16.2     13.8
    Income tax expense                                          8.0      7.4
    Property, plant and equipment and intangible assets        30.1     31.6
    amortisation and depreciation
    Finance costs-net                                          18.8     18.5
    Net movements in provisions                                (4.4)    (1.2)
    Other                                                       0.1      1.5
                                                              105.4    100.5
    Change in inventories                                      (9.1)    15.9
    Change in trade and other receivables                     (13.3)     6.3
    Change in trade and other payables                         10.9    (10.2)
    Changes in working capital                                (11.5)    12.0
    Cash flows generated from operations before interest       93.9    112.5
    and tax
    Interest paid                                             (14.1)   (14.5)
    Income tax paid                                            (5.0)    (4.6)
    Net cash provided by operating activities                  74.8     93.4
    Cash flows from investing activities
    Acquisition of subsidiaries, net of cash acquired         (35.9)   (25.6)
    Purchase of property, plant and equipment                 (69.6)   (16.7)
    Purchase of intangible assets                              (6.7)    (4.8)
    Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment         1.7      0.1
    Variation of other non-current financial assets and         0.1      0.2
    liabilities
    Net cash used in investing activities                    (110.4)   (46.8)
    Cash flows from financing activities
    Proceeds from issuance of ordinary shares                   0.7    120.9
    Purchase / Sale of treasury shares - liquidity contract    (0.4)     0.8
    New debt                                                    0.0    315.3
    Debt repayments                                             0.0   (349.6)
    Grants related to assets                                   24.5      0.0
    Increase/(decrease) in other long-term liabilities         (0.8)     4.4
    Dividends paid to company shareholders                     (7.4)    (7.0)
    Net cash generated by/(used) in financing activities       16.6     84.8
    Net increase/(decrease) in cash                           (19.0)   131.4
    Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period          207.4     68.8
    Exchange gain / (loss) on cash and cash equivalents         6.2      7.2
    Cash and cash equivalents at end of period                194.6    207.4


    Consolidated balance sheet
    Assets

    (in EUR million)                                31/12/2010     31/12/2009
    Non-current assets
    Intangible assets, net                               222.2          228.2
    Goodwill                                             110.3          104.8
    Property, plant and equipment, net                   166.8          109.9
    Investment properties                                  0.1            0.2
    Investments in joint undertakings                     49.6           30,0
    Deferred income tax assets                             6.6           10.1
    Other non current financial assets                     0.8            0.9
                                                         556.4          484.1
    Current assets
    Inventories                                           76.5           63.1
    Trade and other receivables                          153.7          141.1
    Derivative financial instruments                       2.1            2.2
    Cash and cash equivalents                            194.6          207.4
                                                         426.9          413.8
    Total assets                                         983.3          897.9


    Liabilities and equity

    (in EUR million)                                   31/12/2010  31/12/2009
    Shareholders' equity
    Ordinary shares                                         25.1        24.7
    Share premium                                          102.1        92.5
    Treasury shares                                         (0.7)       (0.3)
    Cumulative translation adjustments                      24.9        11.8
    Fair value and other reserves                            3.1        12.8
    Group consolidated reserves                            185.3       164.3
    Minority interest in equity                              1.4         1.0
    Total shareholders' equity                             341.2       306.8
    Liabilities
    Non-current liabilities
    Debt                                                   327.7       312.7
    Other non-current financial liabilities                  6.1         8.1
    Deferred grants related to assets                       25.5         0.0
    Deferred income tax liabilities                         60.0        69.0
    Pensions and other long-term employee benefits           9.9         8.5
    Provisions for other liabilities and charges            35.0        33.3
                                                           464.2       431.6
    Current liabilities
    Trade and other payables                               156.2       136.4
    Taxes payable                                            8.1         5.3
    Debt                                                     2.3         3.2
    Derivative instruments                                   1.8         2.1
    Pensions and other long-term employee benefits           1.0         1.0
    Provisions for other liabilities and charges             8.5        11.5
                                                           177.9       159.5
    Total liabilities and equity                           983.3       897.9


    Statement of changes in equity

                                   Number of    Attributable to equity
                                      shares    holders of the company
                                   making up
                                         the
                                     capital
    (in EUR million)                           Share   Share Consolidated
                                             Capital Premium reserves and
                                                                 retained
                                                                 earnings

    Balance at December 31, 2007  18,514,086    18.5   (15.1)       122.7
    Employee stock option schemes                0.0     0.0          1.7
    (value of employee services)
    Dividend paid                                0.0   (12.6)         0.0
    Buyback of treasury shares                   0.0     0.0         (0.3)
    Total comprehensive income                   0.0     0.0         38.3
    Balance at December 31, 2008  18,514,086    18.5   (27.7)       162.4
    Employee stock option schemes                0.0     0.0          1.6
    (value of employee services)
    Capital increase with          5,696,328     6.0   114.4         (5.5)
    maintenance of preferential
    subscription rights of
    December 2, 2009
    Capital increase by exercise     231,864     0.2     5.8          0.0
    of stock options
    Dividend paid                    241,815     0.0     0.0         (7.0)
    Buyback of treasury shares                   0.0     0.0          0.8
    Total comprehensive income                   0.0     0.0         36.3
    Balance at December 31, 2009  24,684,093    24.7    92.5        188.6
    Employee stock option schemes                0.0     0.0          1.4
    (value of employees'
    services)
    Payment of dividend in shares    410,647     0.4     8.9         (9.3)
    Capital increase by exercise      31,100     0.0     0.7          0.0
    of stock options
    Dividend paid                                0.0     0.0         (7.4)
    Purchase/Sale of treasury                    0.0     0.0         (0.4)
    shares
    Total comprehensive income                   0.0     0.0         39.7
    Balance at December 31, 2010  25,125,840    25.1   102.1        212.6

    Table Continued Below

                                      Minority interest       Shareholders'
                                                                     equity
    (in EUR million)
    Balance at December 31, 2007                    0.8               126.9
    Employee stock option schemes                   0.0                 1.7
    (value of employee services)
    Dividend paid                                   0.0               (12.6)
    Buyback of treasury shares                      0.0                (0.3)
    Total comprehensive income                     (0.2)               38.1
    Balance at December 31, 2008                    0.6               153.8
    Employee stock option schemes                   0.0                 1.6
    (value of employee services)
    Capital increase with                           0.0               114.9
    maintenance of preferential
    subscription rights of
    December 2, 2009
    Capital increase by exercise                    0.0                 6.0
    of stock options
    Dividend paid                                   0.0                (7.0)
    Buyback of treasury shares                      0.0                 0.8
    Total comprehensive income                      0.4                36.7
    Balance at December 31, 2009                    1.0               306.8
    Employee stock option schemes                   0.0                 1.4
    (value of employees'
    services)
    Payment of dividend in shares                   0.0                 0.0
    Capital increase by exercise                    0.0                 0.7
    of stock options
    Dividend paid                                   0.0                (7.4)
    Purchase/Sale of treasury                       0.0                (0.4)
    shares
    Total comprehensive income                      0.4                40.1
    Balance at December 31, 2010                    1.4               341.2


    SAFT

    Jill Ledger, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Director
    Tel: +33-1-49-93-17-77, jill.ledger@saftbatteries.com

    FINANCIAL DYNAMICS

    Stephanie BIA, Tel: +33-1-47-03-68-16, stephanie.bia@fd.com
    Yannick DUVERGE, Tel: +33-1-47-03-68-10, yannick.duverge@fd.com
    Clement BENETREAU, Tel: +33-1-47-03-68-12, clement.benetreau@fd.com

SOURCE Saft Groupe

View Comments and Join the Discussion!