GretagMacbeth (Amazys) Reports Earnings, USA, Europe Sales Down, Asia Improves

Press release from the issuing company

The Amazys Group, the leading supplier of Color Management solutions, posted sales of CHF 62.6 million in the first half of 2001 (1st half of 2000 CHF 62.9 million). Although these results reflect flat year over year sales, they are favorable to the general trend in the indus-try. Operating income (EBITA) of CHF 6.4 million (10.3% of net sales) was below first half 2000 (CHF 7.8 million). Net income totaled CHF 2.6 million (CHF 3.5 million). The measures initiated by management at the beginning of the current financial year to safeguard profit in the long term and to bring about a sustained increase in profitability are beginning to show results. Compared with the second half of 2000 the gross margin has sharply increased and operating expenses are lower. In the first six months of the financial year 2001, 52.4% (53.5%) of the net sales of the Amazys Group were generated in Europe and 30.8% (32.1%) in America. Demand remained strong in Asia as sales reached CHF 10.6 million, representing a first half growth of 16.7% over the same period last year. Digital Imaging sales of CHF 23.2 million were heavily influenced by a slowdown in pur-chases from one key OEM account, resulting in an overall decline of 4.5% compared with the first half of 2000 (CHF 24.3 million). Adjusting for the impact of this account, Digital Imaging sales in-creased by 9% in the first half of 2001. Color Measurement sales of CHF 29.9 million (CHF 29.4 million) and Visual Evaluation sales of CHF 9.5 million (CHF 9.2 million) were up over the prior year by 1.6% and 2.8% respectively. The Digital Imaging product division accounted for 37.1% (38.6%) of sales, while Color Measurement contributed 47.8% (46.7%) and Visual Evaluation 15.2% (14.7%) of sales. As indicated in March at the presentation of the financial statement, the group does not expect to see any significant year over year growth in net sales in 2001. Based on the softness in demand in important markets, a marginal sales decline is expected. On the other hand, there is evidence that cost and spending actions are yielding positive results. Management is appropriately focused on achieving a year-on-year improvement in operating income (EBITA) and net income.