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Meldungen 03.06.2011

ATS Automation Tooling Systems: Financial results

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ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. reported its financial results for the three and 12 months ended March 31, 2011.

Fourth Quarter Summary

    Consolidated revenue was $198.9 million compared to $192.5 million in the third quarter of the fiscal year and $138.8 million in the fourth quarter a year ago;

    Consolidated loss from operations was $14.4 million compared to a consolidated loss from operations of $8.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and a consolidated loss from operations of $26.0 million in the fourth quarter a year ago;

    Included in the fourth quarter loss from operations were expenses for the write-down of inventories at Photowatt France ("PWF") of $7.1 million, $2.3 million in incremental restructuring charges related to the finalization of the restructuring plan at PWF and a related $9.1 million asset impairment charge following the decision to outsource production of PWF modules;

    Per share loss was $0.18 (basic and diluted) compared to earnings per share of $0.03 (basic and diluted) a year ago;

    ASG recorded record Order Bookings of $206 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, reflecting contributions from acquired businesses and organic growth in ASG's other businesses;

    On January 5, 2011, the Company completed its acquisition of the majority of Assembly & Test Worldwide, Inc.'s U.S.-based and German automation and test systems businesses (collectively "ATW"); and

    Subsequent to the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, Photowatt Ontario ("PWO") signed two customer agreements for the manufacture and supply of customer branded modules. See "PWO Customer Agreements" below.

"Our Automation Systems Group ("ASG") performance remained strong through the fourth quarter," said Anthony Caputo, Chief Executive Officer. "We generated record Order Bookings, continued to grow ASG revenues, and delivered solid operating results. We significantly advanced the integration of Sortimat and drove much improved EBIT margins. We also initiated the integration of ATW. However, losses at Photowatt negatively impacted consolidated results. We are moving ahead with our separation plans via a spinoff of our Photowatt businesses, which we are targeting to complete before the end of the calendar year, unless an acceptable sale arrangement of Photowatt France is identified first."

Acquisition of ATW
Early in the fourth quarter, the Company completed its acquisition of ATW. ATW is a manufacturer of assembly and test systems, with capability in the transportation, life sciences and energy segments.

The Company benefits from ATW's significant experience, particularly in the transportation segment. ATW provides the scale required to further organize ASG's marketing and divisions into a group within the Company's ASG segment that is focused on transportation. The integration of ATW is in its early stages. To date, management has initiated the consolidation of ATW's Saginaw division into its Livonia and Dayton divisions. Additional incremental margin improvements are targeted through the application of best practices, command and control, program management and approach to market. Management expects the integration process to continue for a number of quarters. For additional information on the acquisition of ATW, refer to Note 3 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Proposed Spinoff of Photowatt
In fiscal 2011, the Company's Board of Directors approved a plan designed to implement the separation of Photowatt from ATS. The Company initiated a dual track process to effect the separation: a spinoff of the Company's combined solar businesses or a sale of PWF. The Company is engaged with a number of interested parties regarding the potential sale of PWF. If a favourable offer is made for PWF, the Company would give it full consideration. In the interim, the Company is advancing its separation strategy via the spinoff of the Photowatt businesses as a standalone public company to the existing shareholders of ATS.

Fiscal 2011 Annual Results Summary
Consolidated revenues were $704.6 million, a 22% year-over-year increase. Included in the fiscal 2011 increase is $83.0 million of revenues from businesses acquired during the fiscal year. Excluding revenues from the acquired businesses, there was a year-over-year increase in consolidated revenues of $43.8 million or 8%. Consolidated loss per share was $0.21 compared to earnings per share of $0.14 a year ago.

In fiscal 2011, ASG revenues increased 32% on incremental revenues from Sortimat and ATW and higher Order Bookings during the fiscal year compared to the prior year. At Photowatt, revenues increased 8% compared to fiscal 2010. This growth reflected $45.6 million of revenues generated primarily from the sale of raw materials inventory, which was sold for its approximate net book value. Excluding the revenues from raw material sales, Photowatt fiscal 2011 revenues were 15% lower than a year ago, primarily reflecting lower average selling prices. Low profitability also reflected actions taken by PWF employees, including work stoppages and slowdowns, in response to the restructuring project which negatively impacted production volumes and operating costs.

    Revenues were $153.8 million compared to $124.7 million in the third quarter of the fiscal year and $91.6 million in the fourth quarter a year ago;

    Fiscal 2011 fourth quarter EBITDA was $21.9 million compared to EBITDA of $16.8 million in the third quarter and $21.1 million a year ago;

    Earnings from operations were $19.4 million (operating margin of 13%), compared to $14.4 million (operating margin of 12%) in the third quarter of this fiscal year and $19.5 million (operating margin of 21%) in the fourth quarter a year ago when ASG benefited from the recognition of $6.1 million of previously unrecognized investment tax credits receivable;

    Period end Order Backlog was $296 million, an increase of 38% from $215 million in the third quarter of the fiscal year and up from $209 million a year ago;

    Order Bookings for the fourth quarter were $206 million compared to $133 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and $105 million in the fourth quarter a year ago;

    Order Bookings were $100 million during the first 8 weeks of the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

The increase in fourth quarter earnings from operations was driven by higher revenues in fiscal 2011, partially offset by lower profitability in Sortimat and ATW. A 68% year-over-year increase in revenues in the fourth quarter reflected incremental revenues of $21.9 million and $16.7 million earned by Sortimat and ATW respectively and an increase in Order Backlog entering the fourth quarter compared to a year ago.

By industrial market, life sciences revenues increased 30% year over year as a result of the incremental revenues earned by Sortimat. Revenues from computer-electronics remained consistent while revenues from energy markets increased 96% reflecting higher Order Bookings in the first three quarters of the fiscal year. Transportation revenues increased 217% year over year primarily as a result of incremental revenues earned by ATW. "Other" revenues increased by 107% due primarily to higher consumer products revenues.

Photowatt Fourth Quarter Results

    Revenues were $49.3 million, a 32% decrease from fiscal 2011 third quarter revenues of $73.0 million, but slightly higher compared to $48.6 million in the fourth quarter a year ago;

    EBITDA was negative $27.2 million compared to EBITDA of negative $12.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and EBITDA of negative $38.3 million a year ago;

    Loss from operations was $31.3 million compared to loss from operations of $16.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and loss from operations of $42.4 million in the fourth quarter a year ago;

    Total megawatts (MWs) sold decreased 39% to 10.0 MWs from 16.4 MWs in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, and were 21% lower than the 12.7 MWs sold in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

Photowatt's fiscal 2011 fourth quarter loss from operations reflected low volumes due to difficult market conditions in the global solar industry, particularly in France where a government imposed moratorium on new solar installations over three kilowatts caused a reduction in demand and average selling prices during the fourth quarter. Low profitability also reflected increased operating costs due to actions taken by PWF employees, including work stoppages and slowdowns in response to the restructuring project which negatively impacted production volumes and operating costs. In the quarter, a number of charges were incurred related to the restructuring project implemented by management and poor market conditions. Specific items impacting the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 included:

    $9.1 million of non-cash fixed asset impairment charges related to the decision to outsource production of PWF modules;

    $7.1 million of non-cash charges related to the write-down of inventory to its net realizable value, following decreases to average selling prices in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 due to low demand in the French and wider European solar markets;

    $2.3 million of incremental restructuring charges related to the finalization of the restructuring plan at PWF, accrual for contract related costs and related professional fees; and

    Incremental warranty costs, and bad debt write-offs related to customer claims, disputes and customer bankruptcies, caused in part by the moratorium imposed by the French government on the solar industry during the fiscal fourth quarter.

Photowatt's fiscal 2011 fourth quarter loss from operations also reflected higher operating losses of approximately $2.3 million at PWO, as it ramped up production on its 100MW module line in the last month of the fiscal period. The Company also began to incur costs related to preparations for the spinoff of Photowatt.

In response to the difficult market conditions and to assist in recovering competitiveness, PWF management has initiated a restructuring plan intended to: (i) focus on growing system sales in France and other emerging European solar markets with attractive FIT regimes for systems sales; (ii) reduce manufacturing costs; and (iii) improve its global supply chain, including subcontracting the assembly of solar modules to third parties. The restructuring project will result in the reduction of approximately 35% of PWF's workforce, including 166 full-time positions, partially offset by the creation of approximately 44 new positions. In addition, approximately 50 PWF positions will be re-deployed to the 25 MW PV Alliance cell manufacturing line. PWF will also discontinue 136 temporary positions. The total MW capacity available for sale by PWF is expected to remain generally the same. Management expects that the restructuring project will be fully implemented in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. While local management believes that the contemplated actions are appropriate and would allow PWF to recover competitiveness, there is ultimately no guarantee that the restructuring project and potential future actions will offset all competitive challenges. PWF continues to monitor market conditions and intends to take appropriate actions in relation to such conditions.

PWO Customer Agreements
Subsequent to the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, PWO signed two customer agreements for the manufacture and supply of customer branded modules. The first agreement (announced on May 5, 2011) is for the supply of a minimum of 24 MWs over fiscal 2012 and 2013 and allows for the potential to increase volumes by an additional 24 MWs over the term of the agreement. The second agreement (announced today on June 1, 2011) is for the supply of a minimum of 160 MWs over 4 years, with shipments expected to begin in October 2011. The second agreement allows for the potential to increase volumes by an additional 160 MWs over the term of the agreement. Under the first agreement, PWO will recognize revenue on the full value of the modules being manufactured. Under the second agreement, PWO will recognize revenue for module manufacturing services and module materials other than solar cells, which will be provided by the customer.

Annual Results Materials
ATS's annual Consolidated Financial Statements, Management's Discussion and Analysis, and Annual Information Form for the year ended March 31, 2011, are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.

Quarterly Conference Call
ATS's quarterly conference call begins at 10 am eastern tomorrow, June 2 and can be accessed live at www.atsautomation.com or on the phone by dialing 416 644 3416 five minutes prior.

About ATS
ATS Automation provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems needs of multinational customers in industries such as life sciences, computer/electronics, energy, transportation and consumer products. It also leverages its many years of experience and skills to fulfill the specialized automation product manufacturing requirements of customers. Through Photowatt, ATS participates in the growing solar energy industry. ATS employs approximately 3,000 people at 21 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.

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