Unterpremstaetten, Austria (27 April 2015) - ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide manufacturer of high performance sensor and analog solutions, reports first quarter 2015 revenues and profitability ahead of expectations with year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter growth in revenues and earnings. For the second quarter 2015, ams expects further sequential revenue growth together with another improvement in operating profitability.
First quarter group revenues were EUR 153.3 million, 78% higher than in the same quarter 2014 and 10% higher quarter-on-quarter. On a constant currency basis, first quarter revenues were 54% higher compared to the first quarter last year. Gross margin was 56%, excluding acquisition-related costs, and 54%, including acquisition-related costs, unchanged from 56%, excluding acquisition-related costs, and 54%, including acquisition-related costs, in the first quarter 2014.
The result from operations (EBIT) excluding acquisition-related costs for the first quarter reached EUR 42.1 million or 27% of revenues, compared to EUR 17.9 million in the first quarter 2014. The result from operations (EBIT) including acquisition-related costs for the first quarter was EUR 38.2 million or 25% of revenues, compared to EUR 15.4 million in the same period 2014. The first quarter net result was EUR 42.2 million compared to EUR 14.7 million in the same period 2014. Basic/diluted earnings per share were CHF 0.65/0.62 or EUR 0.62/0.59 based on 68,638,875/ 71,483,195 shares (basic/diluted; weighted average) compared to CHF 0.26/0.25 or EUR 0.22/0.21 based on 67,737,709/70,889,796 shares (basic/diluted; split-adjusted weighted average) in the first quarter 2014.
Operating cash flow for the first quarter was EUR 44.3 million, a substantial increase from EUR 14.3 million in the first quarter 2014. Total backlog, excluding consignment stock agreements, rose to EUR 150.7 million on March 31, 2015, compared to EUR 131.3 million on December 31, 2014 and EUR 85.5 million on March 31, 2014.
ams’ business showed a strong performance in the first quarter given continuing high demand in key end markets, the success of major customers worldwide, particularly in the company’s con-sumer business, and the strength of ams’ product portfolio.
In its consumer and communications business, ams began shipping its innovative gesture sensor solution into the recently launched next generation of a high volume global smartphone platform. The award-winning gesture module combines advanced gesture recognition with RGB color, proximity sensing and mobile coupon redemption in a minimized footprint. ams is also adding further Asian smartphone OEMs to the customer base for its gesture solution. Shipments of the company’s portfolio of intelligent light sensors, power management and other product lines to major smartphone and device vendors remained strong in the quarter and supported new device introductions. In audio, ams’ ANC noise cancellation has been included in a first smartphone bundled headset and the company is seeing further adoption of its low-power ANC technology for in-box accessories.
High volume shipments of ams’ patented NFC antenna booster solution continued in the first quarter driven by high smartphone demand and providing an important contribution to this quarter’s performance. The solution ensures dependable signal transmission in space-constrained device environments such as smartphones and wearables. In these devices, ams’ technology enables a compelling consumer experience for NFC mobile payments. ams also announced a first consumer application for its gas sensor technology measuring the concentration of potentially harmful sub-stances in the air. This market introduction for an innovative customer device underscores the breadth of ams’ consumer sensor technologies.
ams’ industrial, medical and automotive businesses also had a good start into the year recording positive results. Demand in the company’s industrial end-markets continues to be attractive benefit-ting its broad range of industrial product lines. ams’ high performance sensors and sensor inter-faces manage key tasks in diverse industrial applications for leading OEMs. In the emerging area of sensor-based LED lighting control for white light industrial and workspace applications ams announced the first products in the quarter. Sensor solutions for digital imaging, which includes advanced computed tomography (CT), mammography, and ultrasound, remain the centerpiece of the company’s high value medical business. In its automotive business, ams sees continuing healthy demand for its sensor and sensor interface solutions in 2015. Advanced driver assistance systems such as collision avoidance and critical functions including battery power management harness ams’ design expertise and sensor performance. ams offers higher safety and vehicle reliability through expanding applications in volume platforms.
ams is nearing completion of the second expansion step for its internal wafer manufacturing capacity. Together with expansion investments into its test facility in the Philippines ams is preparing the company to support a strong pipeline of design-ins and growth opportunities in the coming years.
In the quarter, ams’ U.S subsidiary won a significant first-instance court verdict in a U.S. IP infringement case involving light sensor technology and dating back to 2004. As part of the verdict, ams was awarded significant actual and punitive damages. While the decision is expected to be appealed ams is confident that it will ultimately prevail and receive compensation for the damages incurred. This resounding legal success demonstrates ams’ absolute commitment to vigorously defend its IP against any form of infringement and across all areas of its business. ams will continue to seek full compensation for any misappropriation of its IP and pursue claims to the full extent of the law.
For the second quarter 2015, ams expects another quarter of sequential and year-on-year revenue growth with revenues of EUR 165-170 million based on currently available information. This growth is expected to be driven in particular by large Consumer & Communications ramp-ups for new smartphone models. ams sees very good profitability continuing in the second quarter and looks for a further improvement in EBIT margin quarter-on-quarter. ams continues to expect a strong year-on-year increase in revenues and earnings for the current year and substantial mid-term growth supported by its full project pipeline reaching beyond 2016.
The company’s first quarter report 2015 including additional financial information is available on the company website for download. Concurrently, ams has published the Annual Report 2014 which is also available for download.