Garbsen, 23.03.2023 - In the 2022 financial year, LPKF Laser & Electronics SE achieved a consolidated revenue of EUR 123.7 million (previous year: EUR 93.6 million) and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 6.8 million (previous year: EUR 0.1 million). The technology company is thus back on track for growth after two difficult financial years and despite continuing global challenges. The return on sales (EBIT margin) reached 5.5% despite increased raw material and logistics cost and continued high investments in new technologies. Overall, LPKF achieved the upper half of its forecast for the 2022 financial year in terms of both revenue and earnings. In the latest guidance, Group revenue was expected between EUR 117 million and EUR 127 million and the EBIT margin between 2 - 7%.
Growth was mainly driven by the established business segments, but also by new market areas. LPKF is receiving tailwind from global megatrends such as miniaturization, connectivity, CO2 reduction and demographic change. They are driving demand for the laser specialist's high-precision, clean and energy-efficient production technologies.
At EUR 124.3 million, order intake was 5.4% above the prior year. At year end, the order backlog reached EUR 63.1 million, 0.8% up from an already high level in 2021. LPKF closed the year with a net cash position of EUR 11.7 million and an equity ratio of 68%.
The company intends to use the current financial resources specifically for the development and commercialisation of future technologies. For this reason, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting on 17 May 2023 that no dividend be paid for the 2022 financial year.
2022 was Dr Klaus Fiedler's first year as CEO at the head of the technology company. Fiedler is enthusiastic about the company's innovative strength. "Our employees have the creativity, experience and courage to develop highly exciting, disruptive technologies. I strongly support that." Together with CFO Christian Witt, Fiedler has defined a clear strategic agenda for the LPKF Group: "The core business will be consistently focused on growth markets. At the same time, we are actively driving forward our disruptive technologies and are specifically addressing strongly growing markets such as semiconductors, displays and biotechnology".
Business development in the individual segments varied significantly in the 2022 financial year. "While we were able to achieve record figures in some business segments, others were not satisfactory in terms of revenue and earnings development, and we have initiated corresponding measures," says Christian Witt, LPKF's Chief Financial Officer since 2018. "In addition, we will drive scalability and the use of Group-wide synergies, thereby increasing profitability in the Group in the medium term," adds Witt.
In its core business, the solar sector is benefiting strongly from the global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and the energy crisis, both leading to a shift towards renewable energies. Overall, revenue in solar systems more than tripled to EUR 38 million in 2022. LPKF is well positioned in the market for thin-film solar technology, has expanded its customer base globally and has also won its first major orders for the next technology generation.
The LIDE technology for precision glass structuring is one of the company’s strategic growth initiatives. Although LIDE is still in an early phase of market penetration, renowned technology leaders are increasingly opting for this disruptive production process.
LPKF's ARRALYZE technology addresses the life science market and provides a complete solution to the need for scalable single cell screening for high-growth applications such as cancer therapies and personalized medicine. In the first half of 2023, the company is delivering systems to Beta customers in academia. From the second half of the year, the first ARRALYZE systems will be available for purchase.
In the medium term, given the strong capabilities of the company, the Management Board continues to aim at delivering an attractive average growth rate in the upper single-digit percentage range for the core business, a low three-digit million-euro revenue for the new business areas, and an attractive double digit EBIT margin for the Group.
Forecast for 2023
In the still uncertain environment, LPKF expects consolidated revenue of EUR 125 - 140 million and an EBIT margin of between 3 - 7 % for the 2023 financial year.
For the first quarter of 2023, the company expects revenue between EUR 20 - 22 million and EBIT in the range of EUR -7 to -5 million, because significant deliveries from the high order backlog will not affect revenue until the second half of 2023.
The annual report is available in German and English.
LPKF Laser & Electronics SE is a leading provider of laser-based solutions for the technology industry. Laser systems from LPKF are crucial for the production of printed circuit boards, microchips, automotive parts, solar modules and many other components. Founded in 1976, the company is headquartered in Garbsen near Hanover and is active worldwide through subsidiaries and agencies. LPKF Laser & Electronics SE shares are traded in the Prime Standard segment of Deutsche Börse (ISIN 0006450000).