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Kitron ASA has reported solid growth, improved profit and increased dividend in the fourth quarter of 2016. Revenue amounted to NOK 570 million, compared to NOK 525 million in the fourth quarter last year. Operating profit (EBIT) was NOK 34.1 million, compared NOK 33.6 million last year.
Net profit amounted to NOK 25.4 million, an increase from NOK 22.6 million. This corresponds to earnings per share of NOK 0.14, compared to NOK 0.13 last year.
The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of NOK 0.25 per share for 2016. Last year the dividend was NOK 0.21.
"We had solid growth in revenue and order backlog in the fourth quarter, pointing the way to expected growth in 2017. We also keep up our projects on operational improvement, gradually improving underlying profitability and capital efficiency. Lastly, we relocated our facility in Sweden during the fourth quarter, concluding major upgrades of our main facilities in Lithuania, Norway and Sweden over the past three years, leaving us in a very competitive position," said Peter Nilsson, Kitron CEO.
Kitron will host a Capital Markets Day later today, at which the underlying business improvements will be described in more detail. The event will be webcast, and the presentation material will be made available at Newsweb.no and Kitron's web site.
Strong revenue, solid order backlog
Kitron's revenue for the fourth quarter increased by 9 percent compared to the same period last year. Adjusted for foreign exchange effects, the increase was 13 percent. The pattern from the preceding quarters continued, with the market sectors defense/aerospace and industry growing compared to the same quarter last year.
The order backlog ended at NOK 1.019 billion, an increase of 4 percent compared to last year. Adjusted for foreign exchange effects, the increase was 9 percent.
Operating profit (EBIT) for the fourth quarter was NOK 34.1 million, an increase of 1 percent. Profitability expressed as EBIT margin was 6 percent, compared to 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. EBITDA was NOK 45.9 million, an increase of 4 percent compared to last year.
Full year improvement
Full year revenue of NOK 2 093 million gave an overall revenue growth of 7 percent for the year. Growth adjusted for foreign exchange effects was 5 percent. Operating profit for the year ended at NOK 117.8 million, compared to 102.7 million in 2015, resulting in an EBIT margin of 5.6 percent, up from 5.3 percent in 2015. Profit after tax was NOK 74.6 million, up from 72.2 million, corresponding to NOK 0.43 earnings per share, compared to 0.42 in 2015.
Improved capital efficiency
Net working capital increased by 1 percent from NOK 508 million to NOK 512 million compared to the same quarter last year, continuing the trend of decreasing net working capital compared to revenue. Operating cash flow was NOK 36.4 million, compared to 87.8 million in the fourth quarter 2015.
Facility relocation in Sweden
Kitron Sweden relocated during December to the new-built facility in Torsvik, not far from the current facility in Jönköping. The move has been completed according to budget and without significant technical problems. Some temporary inefficiencies remain in production.
For 2017, Kitron expects revenue to grow to between NOK 2.15 billion and NOK 2.35 billion. EBIT margin is expected to be between 5.6 and 6.4 percent. The growth is primarily driven by customers in the Industry sector. The profitability increase is driven by cost reduction activities and improved efficiency.
Kitron is one of Scandinavia's leading electronics manufacturing services companies for the Defence/Aerospace, Energy/Telecoms, Industry, Medical devices and Offshore/Marine sectors. The company is located in Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany, China and the United States. Kitron had revenues of about NOK 2.1 billion in 2016 and has about 1 350 employees. For more information, click here.