ELEKTA REPORTS AN OPERATING MARGIN OF 9 PERCENT FOR THE THIRD QUARTER – OPERATING MARGIN OF ABOUT 10 PERCENT EXPECTED FOR FULL YEAR
Stockholm, Sweden, February 28, 2006
The Elekta medical-technology group reports an operating margin for the third quarter of the split financial year of 9 percent, which deviates negatively from the forecast presented earlier of an operating margin of 11-13 percent, primarily as a result of delays of planned deliveries which instead will be realized in the current quarter. Compared with the year-earlier period, net sales during the quarter rose by 50 percent to SEK 1,097 M and operating profit (EBIT) increased by 38 percent to SEK 99 M. Order bookings in the quarter rose by 24 percent to SEK 1,165 M.
Operating profit for the quarter deviates negatively by about SEK 40 M compared with the earlier forecast. About SEK 30 M of this amount is attributable to delivery delays outside Elekta’s control and SEK 10 M to capacity expansion, mainly with regard to adaptation and installation to meet the strong order bookings for software systems outside the US.“Demand for Elekta’s clinical solutions and IT systems remains strong,” comments Tomas Puusepp President & CEO of Elekta. “Among other indications, we are noting a favorable recovery in the order intake for neurosurgery during the third quarter and growing demand in the software segment for cancer care.”“We are dependent upon our customers being prepared to receive the contracted deliveries. This involves building work being completed and inspected, that personnel are in place and that the equipment we are often replacing is dismantled and removed. During the quarter we experienced unexpected delivery delays of this type, which has affected the operating margin in the quarter adversely.”Elekta’s acquisition of IMPAC Medical Systems in April 2005, continues to develop favorably. Among other effects, the integration of IMPAC has resulted in a rapid and sharp increase in order volumes for software systems outside the US. These systems require adaptation and translation to local languages and conditions. As a result, Elekta has decided to carry out investments earlier than planned to build up such capacity as well as capacity for installation in the US of systems in the rapidly growing area of medical oncology.“As we have announced earlier, we expect a strong fourth quarter, in terms of order bookings as well as sales and earnings. The operating margin for the full year is affected by lower delivery volumes than expected in neurosurgery. At the same time, we always face the risk of delivery delays outside our control. Combined with the costs increases required for continued growth, this means that we now expect that the operating margin for the full year will be about 10 percent, compared with the estimate of 11-13 percent made at the beginning of the year. Our goal of achieving an operating margin of 14-16 percent for the 2007/08 financial year remains unchanged,” concludes Tomas Puusepp.Further comments will be provided when Elekta publishes its nine-month interim report for the 2005/06 financial year on March 8, at 1:00 p.m., followed by a teleconference at 3:00 p.m. on the same day, in accordance with the earlier announcement.******