The strategy of vigorous marketing of existing products and technologies and accelerated development of high-growth business segments has proved itself. With its innovative technologies and products, the COMET Group remains superbly positioned to exploit current market demand trends such as mobile communication, conservation of resources, miniaturization, product safety and process reliability. The Board and Executive Committee therefore maintain the existing strategy and reiterate the targets for 2015 of sales of CHF 300 million and an EBITDA margin of 15%.
Strategy implementation successful, with progress in all segments
Important headway was made in all core strategic thrusts. Market development efforts, as a critical requirement for the planned growth, were strengthened in 2013 and are delivering results. The sales channels in all segments were expanded as announced, business with key accounts was intensified and important design wins were achieved in the semiconductor market. In the emerging businesses of ebeam, portable x-ray systems and HF generators, the COMET Group also made notable advances. In ebeam the preparations for the rollout for Tetrapak are progressing on schedule. The segment was made a separate business unit with its own brand and is focusing on exploring and opening up new applications and markets. In portable x-ray systems, the COMET Group was able to achieve strong growth thanks to focused marketing.
With three mutually independent operating segments – X-Ray Systems, Plasma Control Technology, and X-Ray & ebeam Technology – the COMET Group has adopted a market-based, growth-oriented structure. As well, profitability was raised further at Group level and especially in the Plasma Control Technologies and X-Ray Systems segments in terms of gross margin.
Future growth initiatives and areas of investment
In 2014 and beyond, the COMET Group will continue to enlarge its market capabilities for winning new customers as well as for continuing close attention to existing accounts. There will also be judicious investment in building up a competitive HF generator portfolio for the semiconductor market, in the further development of microfocus technology, and in selected complementary new technologies.
Outlook for 2013/2014 – expecting continuous profitable growth
For 2013 the Board of Directors and executive management are refining their projection, now forecasting sales of CHF 240 million to CHF 250 million (previously CHF 230 million to CHF 250 million) and an EBITDA margin of 13% to 14%.
The Board and management are convinced that the Group will be able to steadily maintain its profitable growth so long as there is no deterioration in the economic environment and currency situation. On this basis, the guidance for 2014 is for sales of CHF 260 million to CHF 280 million and an EBITDA margin of 14% to 15%.