corporate news

secunet in the first quarter of 2008: Strong growth in sales and earnings

[Essen, 8 May 2008] secunet Security Networks AG, leading European provider of IT security and high security solutions and products, has begun the business year of 2008 with an outstanding first quarter: There were pleasing increases in sales and earnings. With a high level of capacity utilisation, the volume of orders has risen significantly in comparison with the end of 2007: All the indicators are pointing to positive developments for the year as a whole.

In comparison with the previous year, the secunet group has achieved a significant growth in sales in the first quarter of 2008. With group sales of Euro 10.4m secunet has exceeded the record sales of the first quarter of 2007 by 28 percent. All the main segments have contributed to the growth. The business unit of High Security, with over 50 percent of sales, was again responsible for the largest proportion of turnover with products and services associated with all aspects of the SINA range of products. Sales to customers based abroad have also increased further.

The main cost items have changed to varying degrees in comparison with the first quarter of the previous year. In spite of an increase in the number of employees (up by 9 percent to 247 employees), personnel expenses have risen only slightly by 2.3 percent. However, other operating costs, driven by higher expenditure on sales support and distribution together with higher rental levels, have increased by 22 percent. Materials costs have almost doubled due to a higher volume of goods supplied in association with SINA projects. Depreciation is lower. In total and after costs, the figure for earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was Euro 0.4m in comparison with Euro 0.1m for the previous year. The main contribution to this came from the Business Security unit, a unit in which there was a lower level of investment in infrastructure in comparison with the High Security and Government units. After tax the figure for the quarterly profit for the secunet group was Euro 0.4m. In comparison with the previous year profits have risen more than four-fold. Earnings per share for the first three months of the year have risen accordingly from Euro 0.01 to 0.06.

The improved earnings situation is indeed reflected in the cash flow. However, the payment of the variable components of salaries in the first quarter and changes in current assets produced a negative cash flow figure for the period from January to March 2008 of Euro -3.4m in comparison with Euro -2.4m in the previous year. Accordingly the level of liquid assets was down from Euro 10.9m as of 31 December 2007 to Euro 7.6m for the 31 March 2008.

The volume of orders continues at a high level. At Euro 19.2m at the end of the first quarter it is significantly higher than at the end of 2007 (Euro 16.8m). Due to the pleasingly high level of capacity utilisation the volume of orders as for the 31 March 2007 (Euro 21.5m) was not exceeded. The constant high level of demand for secunet’s products and services, together with a market environment promising continued growth, suggest an optimistic outlook for the current business year.

“We are well placed and are recognised and in demand in the market as a specialist,” commented Dr Rainer Baumgart, the Chairman of the Executive Board. “To the advantage of our customers we are getting better all the time. And together with this we are anticipating growth in the current year, which could definitely be of the same order as for last year.”