Development of business in 2010/11

Economy
Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung_Öko_Text
Revenues in EUR millions
In the reporting period the Zumtobel Group’s business was strongly affected by the technology shift to LEDs. This far-reaching transformation process offers the company global growth opportunities – particularly in view of the topic of energy efficiency – but it also implies major challenges and extensive structural changes. Thus the technology shift calls for parallel development efforts in the fields of LEDs and conventional lighting technology, as well as the development of a new generation of intelligent lighting controls, calling for substantially higher investments than were previously customary in the lighting industry. For example, total research and development expenditures have nearly doubled to EUR 69.8 million over the past five years. In the reporting year, the majority of these funds – around 70% – were spent on LED innovations. At EUR 183.2 million, equating to growth of 82.6%, the proportion of Group revenues accounted for by LED products rose from 8.2% to 14.3% in the space of a year. Along with these investments in new products, over the past two years the Group has also made targeted investments in the expansion of its sales activities and production capacities to create a basis for global growth. All of this led to a substantial rise in fixed costs.

In the reporting period, these high investments coupled with an unsettled market environment and a marked weakness in the Components Segment together led to the unsatisfactory development of revenues and earnings. While the Zumtobel Group posted sales of EUR 1,280.3 million, equating to 4.2% growth, the pace of growth slowed steadily in the course of the year. At the same time, developments differed widely by segment and region.

In the Lighting Segment the company recorded a sound 9.2% increase in revenues to EUR 949.2 million. The Zumtobel brand reported growth in Europe, as planned, and the Thorn brand made good progress in strengthening profitability and growth. Thanks to an innovative product portfolio, sales of LED luminaires developed much more dynamically than expected in this segment. Development of the Lighting Segment’s business in Asia and the USA, by contrast, was disappointing. Here, a wide range of measures are currently being undertaken, both at the product and process level, to strengthen the basis for future growth.

The biggest challenge in the reporting year was the Components Segment, for which the technology shift means far more extensive structural changes than in the Lighting Segment. Following strong revenue growth in the previous year, revenues fell by 6.7% in the reporting year to EUR 408.1 million. This disappointing performance was due in part to a challenging market environment but above all to a temporary weakness in the product portfolio.

All of this led to a marked decline in adjusted EBIT, which fell by EUR 43.8 million to EUR 34.6 million. Consequently, net profit for the year fell from EUR 51.3 million to EUR 16.0 million. Against this backdrop, the Management Board and Supervisory Board of Zumtobel AG will recommend to the annual general meeting on 27 July 2012 payment of a dividend of just EUR 0.20 (2010/11: EUR 0.50).

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