Leoni matches sales forecast and reduces net debt

Preliminary 2009 figures substantiate recovery in the trend of business – growth outpacing market average targeted for 2010

Nuremberg – Leoni, the leading provider of cable systems to the automotive sector and other industries, has, according to provisional calculations, met its sales forecast for the 2009 financial year and lowered its net borrowing significantly. For 2010 the Company holds out the prospect of about 10 percent growth.

At a figure of EUR 2,159 million, consolidated external sales were within the projected range between EUR 2.1 and 2.2 billion (previous year: EUR 2.9 billion). Business picked up considerably from October to December, thus enabling the Company to record sales of EUR 606 million in this period (previous year: EUR 586 million). This equates to a 14 percent increase vis-à-vis the previous quarter and, for the first time again, a rise of 3 percent compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

Adjusted result positive in the 2nd half

The provisional figure for earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the year as a whole is clearly negative as expected with a loss of EUR 116 million (previous year: profit of EUR 56 million). EBIT for the final quarter came to about minus EUR 44 million (previous year: minus EUR 40 million); this includes restructuring expenses, the effect of revaluation in the context of allocating the cost of the key acquisitions and impairment charges in the amount of EUR 39 million.

The adjusted, 4th-quarter result before interest and taxes* comes to minus EUR 5 million; this figure still includes exceptional charges of about EUR 15 million. Following an adjusted EBIT*-level loss of EUR 41 million in the 1st half of 2009, Leoni generated a positive figure of EUR 6 million in the 2nd half, as forecast.

Net debt reduced by about EUR 110 million in Q4

Leoni succeeded in the final quarter of 2009 in trimming its net borrowing by about EUR 110 million to EUR 495 million at yearend. On an annualised basis this equates to a reduction of EUR 38 million.

According to preliminary calculations, the net consolidated loss comes to EUR 138 million following net income of EUR 5 million in the previous year.

Forecast: Further rise in sales and positive net earnings

For 2010 Leoni is planning a return to growth and to extend its leading market position as provider of cable systems. Propelled by the improvement of the economic setting as well as by the new orders won particularly in the automotive supply segment, the Group will probably increase its sales by approximately 10 percent and thereby outperform the market. In terms of net earnings, Leoni expects a figure that is in the black.

A comprehensive report with more detailed explanation will be provided upon presentation of the final fiscal 2009 figures at the balance sheet press conference on 24 May 2010 as well as the analyst and investor conference on 25 May 2010.

* Earnings excluding the effect of revaluation according to the purchase price of major acquisitions, restructuring expenses and impairment charges.