2014: a disappointing year for Riber
Riber, the French MBE company, has announced its full earnings for 2014. These include â‚¬16.6 million in revenues for 2014, 29 percent down compared to 2013. Consolidated net income showed a loss of â‚¬3.8 million for 2014, compared with a â‚¬0.2 million profit in 2013. The market responded with a drop in share prices of nearly 7 percent.
Frédérick Goutard, Chairman of the Executive Board, explains: "Whilst our results for the year were affected by the marked contraction in MBE markets, Riber significantly improved its cash position at the end of 2014 thanks to its rigorous operational management. Our orders picked up again during the second half of the year, which is encouraging: this confirms the upturn in demand for research, Riber's main customer base. Our development strategy is positioning us to capitalise on the markets' expected recovery: in 2015, the acquisition of MBE Control Solutions will further strengthen our market share in the United States, and our continued diversification into OLEDs will also drive us forward as we return to growth".
In a difficult environment marked by persistently sluggish industrial markets, Riber has strengthened its commercial actions in the research sector, its traditional core business and the most resilient segment, while ramping up its services and accessories sales business.
Sales of MBE systems (â‚¬9.3 million) are down 45 percent from 2013, primarily due to the contraction in research budgets available during the first half of 2014. Over the second half of the year, the company recorded â‚¬5.8 million of orders and â‚¬7.2 million of billing for the systems business. In total, 11 MBE systems were billed to research customers (versus 17 in 2013).
Sales of services and accessories (â‚¬6.1 million) and cells and sources (â‚¬1.1 million) are up 10 percent compared with 2013. Growth in sales to research laboratories is benefiting from the development of the business refurbishing systems. Alongside this, RIBER has continued moving forward with its OLED development plan, with pilot linear cells sold in Korea during the second half of the year.
Faced with the contraction in revenues and challenging market conditions, the gross margin dropped to â‚¬3.8 million in 2014, representing 22.6 percent of revenues.
Sales and administrative costs are down 11 percent year-on-year, factoring in the savings measures rolled out by the company. Alongside this, Riber maintained a high level of R&D investment in 2014 to support its development. In this context, consolidated net income shows a loss of â‚¬3.8 million for 2014, compared with a â‚¬0.2 million profit in 2013.
The turnaround in consolidated net cash has been confirmed, up to â‚¬2.0 million at the end of 2014 (â‚¬1.7 million at end-2013). It improved by â‚¬2.9 million compared with June 30th, 2014 (-â‚¬0.9 million) thanks to the high level of billing at the end of the year, combined with the upturn in orders over the second half of the year and the effective management of costs.
At the end of February 2015, the order book represented â‚¬6.1 million (â‚¬6.0 million at end-2014), with six research systems to be delivered in 2015, as well as orders for services, cells and accessories (â‚¬2.0 million).
In 2015, Riber expects its business to pick up again, benefiting from: the MBE market's gradual turnaround; the extended range of solutions offered, with the successful development of new series of MBE systems; the development of service activities, particularly in the US, with the integration of MBE Control Solutions, the company acquired in March 2015; and the diversification of the solutions offered, particularly with the advances expected in the OLED sector.