Lower sales and additional investments limit growth and profitability. Positive momentum expected for market and sales in the second half of the year


  • Sales of € 311.1 million 8.0% lower than in the previous year
  • EBIT amounted to € 32.8 million
  • EBIT margin reached 10.6 %
  • Order intake amounted to € 293.7 million
  • Outlook confirmed: sales of € 640 to 660 million and EBIT margin of 11% to 14%

Pfeiffer Vacuum, a leading global manufacturer of vacuum solutions, was not able to reach the previous year’s record sales in the first half of 2019. Sales decreased by 8.0% to € 311.1 million. The main reason for this was sustained weakness in demand, particularly in the semiconductor and coating market segments. However, the analytics, industry, and research & development (R&D) market segments exhibited continued growth momentum.

The gross profit declined by 9.6% to € 109.0 million. The gross margin reached 35.0. EBIT of € 32.8 million in the first half of the year was 31.2 below the previous year´s figure. Diminishing economies of scale from manufacturing costs through weaker sales and an expanded cost basis due to additional investments to implement the Group’s growth strategy limited the EBIT margin to 10.6. Foreign currency effects were another negative factor. At € 293.7 million, order intake was down 20.2 compared to the first half of the previous year (€ 368.0 million). The book-to-bill ratio – the ratio of order intake to sales – came to 0.94 (previous year: 1.09).

Nathalie Benedikt, CFO of Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG, comments on the results: “The first half of the year went largely as expected, whereby the EBIT margin was exposed to further pressure from the implementation of our growth strategy. We are proceeding with our investments as planned. Volumes of more than € 50 million have been approved for 2019, most of which will be realized in the second half of the year.”

Sales development remained subdued in all regions. In Europe, sales declined by 4.2% to € 114.9 million. Sales in Asia decreased by 14.8% to € 113.4 million. In North and South America, sales decreased by 2.8% to € 82.7 million.

Turbopumps and service show positive development
Sales of turbopumps could be further increased to € 96.1 million. Turbopumps were once again a key product, contributing a 30.9% share of total sales. Sales from services rose to € 55.7 million. This increased the share of the service business in total sales to 17.9. In the project-oriented systems business, sales increased by 5.4 from the previous year to € 8.9 million. Sales of instruments and components decreased by 12.9% to € 87.2 million. With a sales volume of € 63.2 million, backing pumps recorded a decline of 21.6% compared to the previous year.

Growth in industry, analytics and R&D
Sales in the industry market segment, with customers from the automotive and pharmaceutical industries, increased by 16.0% to € 70.9 million. With a share of 22.8, industry is the second-largest customer market. In the analytics market, sales increased by 5.7 to € 61.0 million. With a share of 19.6% in total sales, the analytics business has once again gained importance. Sales in the research & development market segment rose by 8.2% to € 31.9 million which increased its share of total sales to 10.2. With a volume of € 103.8 million, the semiconductor market recorded a decline of 23.7 as a result of weak demand. The market’s 33.4% share of total sales declined by 6.8-points. Sales in the coating market fell by 19.2 to € 43.5 million so that the share of total sales declined to 14.0%.

Dr. Eric Taberlet, CEO of Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG, is looking optimistically toward the second half of 2019: “For the coming months I assume an increase in demand, confirming our expectation for sales growth in the second half of the year. The strategic cooperation with the Busch Group creates additional momentum. Working groups consisting of specialists from both companies are currently developing measures for the best possible realization of synergies. The results will be presented to the Group Business Committee, an advisory and decision-making body consisting of the Management Board members of both companies, this year.”

Pfeiffer Vacuum expects demand to increase in the second half of the year. The Management Board confirms the outlook for sales that was specified in mid-July of € 640 to 660 million, and an EBIT margin of 11% to 14% for 2019 as a whole.

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