Customer inventory reductions dragged down the sales of passive component manufacturer Epcos AG in its fiscal 2007 first quarter. In a year-over-year comparison, however, the company could significantly raise sales and profit.
In the first quarter, Epcos achieved sales of 334 million ($434 million), 10 percent more than in its first quarter of 2006, but 4 percent below the sales figures of the prior quarter.
Earnings before interests and taxes (ebit) stagnated at the Q4 level of 17 million, but in comparison with the same quarter a year ago, the company achieved a very significant increase of 470 percent - in Q1/2006 the company had booked an ebit of only 3 million.
Sales were stable in Germany while in the European countries it was up 5 percent. North America and Asia declined both by more than 10 percent.
Order entry climbed to 368 million, up 10 percent year-over-year and 9 percent compared to the prior quarter.
By product groups, demand for ceramic components climbed fastest. In comparison with the first quarter 2006, sales were up 14 percent. Capacitors and inductors rose 11 percent while surface wave components for RF devices only rose 3 percent. However, ebit for the latter group rose 14.7 percent, while profitability of the other groups shrunk.
For the second quarter, the company expects flat sales, with a slowdown in products used in mobile handsets and consumer devices. Automotive sales, however, are expected to rise.