Melexis Q4 and FY 2017 results - Strong growth, strong outlook

Intermediate declaration by the Board of Directors
Ieper, Belgium - 7 February 2018, 07.00 am CET

For the full year 2017, sales were 511.7M EUR, an increase of 12% compared to the previous year.
The EUR/USD exchange rate evolution had no impact compared to 2016.
Gross margin was 235.4M EUR, an increase of 13% compared to 2016.
R&D expenses were 13.6% of sales, G&A was at 4.7% of sales and Selling was at 2.3% of sales. The operating result was 132.6M EUR, an increase of 16% compared to last year. Net income was 111.0M EUR, 2.75 EUR per share, an increase of 15% compared to 96.3M EUR or 2.38 EUR per share in 2016.

Sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 were 132.7M EUR, an increase of 11% compared to the same quarter of the previous year and an increase of 4% compared to the previous quarter.
The EUR/USD exchange rate evolution had a negative impact of 4% compared to the same quarter of last year and a negative impact of 1% compared to the previous quarter.
Gross margin was 61.1M EUR, an increase of 11% compared to the same quarter of last year and an increase of 5% compared to the previous quarter.
R&D expenses were 13.5% of sales, G&A was at 4.8% of sales and Selling was at 2.4% of sales.
The operating result was 36.0M EUR, an increase of 22% compared to the same quarter of last year and an increase of 12% compared to the previous quarter.
Net income was 26.6M EUR or 0.66 EUR per share, an increase of 6% compared to 25.1M EUR or 0.62 EUR per share in the fourth quarter of 2016 and a decrease of 5% compared to the previous quarter.

The Board of Directors approved on 2 February 2018 to propose to the Annual Shareholder meeting to pay out over the result of 2017 a total dividend of 2.10 EUR gross per share. This amount contains an interim dividend of 1.30 EUR per share which was paid in October 2017 and a final dividend of 0.80 EUR per share which will be payable after approval of the Annual Shareholders meeting. The Melexis shares will start trading ex coupon on 24 April 2018 (opening of the market). The record date is 25 April 2018 (closing of the market) and the dividend will be payable as from 26 April 2018.

Melexis expects sales in the first quarter of 2018 to be around the level of 140M EUR.
For the full year 2018, Melexis expects sales growth to be between 12% and 15%, a gross profit margin around 45% and an operating margin around 25%, all taking into account a EUR/USD exchange rate of 1.23.

Business comment - Françoise Chombar, CEO:
“Melexis is pleased to announce a great set of 2017 results, in line with our earlier guidance and despite more than anticipated currency headwinds at the end of the year. According to the latest market data (¹), Melexis 2017 sales growth, like in 2016, doubles market growth. The steady and strong growth of Melexis is also reflected in another milestone: we are very proud to announce that every new car in the world now carries on average 10 chips of Melexis. Our 2017 growth is broadly based: the vast majority of Melexis product lines contributed with double digit sales growth numbers. Melexis’ expertise in developing feature-rich automotive sensors and drivers with high integration, high robustness and high accuracy matches the increased customer requirements as a consequence of the trends towards more electrification, assisted drive and interior differentiation. Our magnetic sensor product lines and motor drivers continue to benefit. The aforementioned trends equally bring forward new applications and new features, such as for thermal management in hybrid and electric vehicles. Also our current and pressure sensor product lines performed above average. More attention to enhancing the user experience in cars is addressed by our ambient light product portfolio and our 3D time-of-flight sensors. In adjacent markets, we highlight a solid performance in 2017 of our Far Infrared (FIR) array products, addressing applications in smart appliances and smart HVACs. It is with confidence that we announce our 2018 guidance. Growth drivers for our products further solidify, customer sentiment and order behavior remain strong. Melexis continues to invest in people, infrastructure and innovation. Today (²), we announced an investment plan to expand our facilities in Sofia, Bulgaria and to setup a probing facility in Corbeil-Essonnes, France. These investments enable us to support continued growth. Sales to automotive customers represented 89% of total sales, both in the fourth quarter and full year 2017. The portion of standard product (ASSPs) sales represented 63% of total sales in the last quarter of 2017 and 62% of total sales for the full year 2017.”

Financial comment - Karen Van Griensven, CFO:
“Despite currency headwinds in 2018, we expect sales growth to be between 12% and 15%, while profit margin guidance remains in line with previous year. At constant currency rates versus 2017, sales growth guidance would have been between 16% and 19%.”

¹ Source: Strategy Analytics, January 2018
² Melexis expands European facilities to support and accelerate global growth

The statutory auditors PwC Bedrijfsrevisoren bcvba have confirmed that their audit procedures, which have been substantially completed, have not revealed material adjustments which would have to be made to the accounting information included in this press release.

Financial calendar

Annual Shareholders Meeting: 20 April 2018
Publication Q1 2018 Results: 20 April 2018
Dividend pay date: 26 April 2018 (ex coupon on 24 April 2018)
Publication Q2/HY1 2018 Results: 1 August 2018
Publication Q3 2018 Results: 24 October 2018
Publication FY 2018 Results: 6 February 2019 

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