• Order bookings rose 15 percent to SEK 5,882 M (5,102). Based on unchanged exchange rates order bookings rose 21 percent. Order bookings for the fourth quarter rose 40 percent to SEK 2,181 M (1,563), which is a record for a single quarter. Order backlog April 30, 2008 was also at a record level of SEK 5,069 (4,247) M. • Net sales rose 12 percent to SEK 5,081 M (4,525). Based on unchanged exchange rates net sales rose 18 percent. • Operating profit rose 28 percent to SEK 650 M (509) and operating margin was 13 percent (11). • Profit after taxes was SEK 406 M (346). Profit per share after dilution was SEK 4.44 (3.70). • Cash flow from operating activities improved by SEK 169 M to positive SEK 319 M (pos. 150). Cash flow after investments was negative SEK 280 M (neg. 107). Acquisitions were included with SEK 553 M (144). • In fiscal year 2008/09, net sales are expected to grow by over 15 percent in local currency. Operating profit is expected to grow by more than 15 percent. • The Board proposes a 75 percent increase of dividend of SEK 1.75 (1.00) per share, corresponding to around SEK 160 M and 39 percent of net profit.
President & CEO Tomas Puusepp comments:
”In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007/08, we saw a continued strong demand. Order intake for the full year increased by 21 percent in local currency, driven primarily by a continued success in radiation therapy in North America, a stronger interest in Leksell Gamma Knife® in Europe and a strong recovery on the Chinese market. Order bookings for the fourth quarter in isolation, shows very strong growth, primarily driven by success on the North American market, where we gain new customers based primarily on our technology for image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) in combination with our software solutions. It is also positive that Elekta continues to gain market share in China.
As expected during the fourth quarter, we saw high delivery volumes in all product areas and we could also finalize a large number of software installations.
A milestone in the development of Elekta is the acquisition of CMS and I am very pleased that we could complete the acquisition process and initiate the integration according to plan. Short term it means a stronger and more comprehensive product portfolio. In a longer perspective, it significantly strengthens our ability to develop advanced software systems for cancer care. The addition of CMS also allows us to improve workflow efficiency by the integration of radiation therapy planning and oncology information management systems.
We have now taken the company from being an equipment supplier to a solution provider, and now through the acquisition of CMS, taken a strategic position in cancer care management.
On the market for radiosurgical treatment of brain disorders, Leksell Gamma Knife is retain-ing a strong position. Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ is a significant improvement to its users both in terms of number of treatable patients as efficiency in the treatment process. At the recent 14:th meeting with the Leksell Gamma Knife Society with over 500 participants in Quebec, Canada, many of the now over 30 users of Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion testified that the new system has made operations more efficient and allowing more patients to benefit from Gamma Knife® surgery. In fiscal year 2007/08, the number of delivered Leksell Gamma Knife units increased by over 25 percent and a large majority of these deliveries were Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion. The recently issued regulatory approval in Japan opens a new significant market for Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion.
I am very pleased with the continued improvement of Elekta’s profitability during the fiscal year 2007/08. Operating profit for the full year improved by 28 percent despite continued significant negative currency developments. The operating profit improvement is primarily driven by higher volumes, a slightly changed product mix and cost control.
If we look ahead towards fiscal year 2008/09 and further, we can conclude that Elekta is well positioned for a continued strong growth. Our clinical solutions are highly competitive and more customers are thoroughly evaluating all options available on the market, which not least is manifested in the recent strong order bookings.
CMS, acquired in March 2008, adds further to net sales growth, but will only contribute marginally to operating profit for the Group during 2008/09 due primarily to amortization of intangible assets from the acquisition.
The strong and broad product portfolio also opens significant opportunities for Elekta. In 2008/09, we will therefore strengthen our direct market presence in selective growth markets and thereby accelerate our growth in regions where the need for expanded care capacity is very high.
We continue our significant investments in R&D, with the aim of improving quality and cost-efficiency in cancer care and management of brain disorders.
In summary, I expect that Elekta in 2008/09 will grow net sales by over 15 percent in local currency and that also operating profit will grow by more than 15 percent, given today’s currency environment. Also in 2008/09, net sales and operating profit will be significantly higher in the second half of the year, compared with the first.