• Order bookings rose 18* percent. Order backlog at an all time high level of SEK 7,267 M.
• Net sales amounted to SEK 6,689 M, an increase by 18* percent.
• Operating profit rose 28 percent to SEK 830 M (650).
• Net profit amounted to SEK 546 M (406).
• Earnings per share increased by 35 percent to SEK 6.00 (4.44).
• Cash flow from operating activities improved to SEK 740 M (319). Cash flow after investments was positive SEK 580 M (neg. 280).
• The Board proposes an increase of the dividend to SEK 2.00 (1.75) per share, corresponding to around SEK 184 M and 33 percent of net profit.
• In fiscal year 2009/10, net sales are expected to grow by more than 8 percent in local currency. Operating profit in SEK is expected to grow by more than 35 percent.
* Compared to last fiscal year at unchanged exchange rates.
President and CEO Tomas Puusepp comments
I am pleased with our performance during the fiscal year 2008/09 considering a challenging environment and global recession. Earnings per share grew by 35 percent and net sales and operating profit increased in line with our guidance. As expected delivery volumes were high during the fourth quarter. Cash flow from operating activities improved significantly reaching SEK 740 M for the year where the main drivers were higher operating profit and broadly unchanged working capital. Days Sales Outstanding, DSO were reduced to 76 days. As a consequence of these improvements, we reduced the net debt to equity ratio to 0.31. Our balance sheet remains strong.
Order bookings in the fourth quarter were strong and for the year order bookings increased in all regions and product areas. The order backlog continued to reach “all time high” reflecting strong business growth.
Elekta continues to strengthen its market position proven by increased market shares on new sales. Demand for our clinical solutions, products and services remains strong and Elekta’s systems are now used in over 5,000 hospitals worldwide. This broad and large customer base is a good platform for future growth. Aftermarket and software sales are increasing in importance reflecting customers’ demand for comprehensive and efficient solutions and Elekta’s commitment to life cycle services.
Elekta has today the most attractive and comprehensive product portfolio in the market. Going forward, Elekta will increase investments in research and development as a relation to net sales and will further develop collaborations with key universities and other partners to bring new innovations for human care to the market. We will thereby ensure our continued leadership in image guided radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy/radiosurgery and workflow solutions. We will also further expand geographically including emerging markets and therefore we continue to invest in clinically meaningful and affordable technology such as Elekta Compact™.
Steps are taken to improve efficiency by streamlining the organization and realizing synergies following acquisitions made. This will result in a reduction of the workforce and will lead to a cost reduction of SEK 100 M on an annual basis. The cost of implementing these measures is estimated to SEK 40 M. In 2009/10, operating costs are estimated to grow by around 5 percent in local currency.
Currency markets continue to be unstable. In line with our hedging policy, we are currently hedged at approximately 70 percent for the fiscal year 2009/10. Currency movements are expected to have a positive effect on results in the fiscal year 2009/10 by SEK 250 M, based on present exchange rates.
The economic slowdown has so far had a limited effect on investments in cancer care. However, the uncertainty is higher than before due to the global scale of the financial crisis. There might be less availability of finance for private customers and future health care spending could be negatively effected.
For the full fiscal year 2009/10 net sales is expected to grow by more than 8 percent in local currency and operating profit in SEK is estimated to increase by more than 35 percent. In the long term, the objectives are to reach an average organic sales growth of more than 10 percent in local currency. Operating profit growth in SEK should exceed sales growth.
President and CEO