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Osram’s Fiscal 2018 Sharpens Focus on Digital Future

Osram’s Fiscal 2018 Sharpens Focus on Digital Future

MUNICH — Despite economic challenges and a difficult market environment, Osram held its ground in fiscal 2018 and increased its revenue slightly on a comparable basis. In the future, the Group intends to focus even more strongly in the area of photonics and optical technologies beyond lighting. On a comparable basis, i.e. adjusted for portfolio and currency effects, revenue rose by just under 2 percent to more than €4.1 billion (USD $4.69 billion). The adjusted operating margin reached 14.7 percent. EBITDA before special items was impacted by the economic slowdown, especially in the automotive industry, and amounted to €605 million (USD $692.73 million). Earnings after taxes totaled €142 million (USD $162.59 million). To ensure continuity for shareholders, the Managing Board proposes a constant dividend of €1.11 (USD $1.27) per share for the past fiscal year. In addition, the company is planning another share buyback of up to €400 million (USD $458 million).

Going forward, Osram will increase its emphasis on digitalization and future markets. As a result, the Managing Board realigned its business unit structure to reflect this strategy to focus on optical semiconductors, automotive technologies and digital applications. This will allow Osram to move closer to its markets and better balance its portfolio.

Focus on digitalization and future markets

With the recent acquisitions of Vixar, the VCSEL specialist for optical identification technology, and Fluence Bioengineering, one of the world’s leading suppliers of smart horticultural lighting, the Group continues to focus on future markets with high-growth potential.

Effective as of FY2018/19, the Managing Board implemented the following revised business structure:

  • Automotive (AM): As a market leader we equip the automotive industry with innovative LED, laser and traditional technologies both for new cars, as well as the aftermarket. Our subsidiary, Advanced Smart Lighting (Osram Continental GmbH), produces custom-made lighting systems and aligns its offering within digitalization. In the past fiscal year, pro forma sales in this segment amounted to €1.9 billion (USD $2.18 billion).
  • Digital (DI): A strong established customer base provides excellent access for the future development of the business with intelligent digital lighting management systems, as well as cloud and IoT solutions. In addition, the businesses included will address growing future markets, including smart farming. In the past fiscal year, the segment’s pro forma revenue was €917 million (USD $1,049.96 million).

Meanwhile, the sale of the luminaires business (Siteco) and negotiations for the sale of the U.S. service business (Sylvania Lighting Solutions) are progressing.

  • Opto Semiconductors (OS): This segment remains Osram’s technological backbone. With a strong research and development ratio, OS has been the technology leader in optical semiconductors for years. Its technologies are the foundation for the AM and DI portfolio. In the past fiscal year, the segment’s revenue amounted to €1.7 billion (USD $1.95 billion).

Outlook for fiscal year 2019

Osram will increase its focus on digitalization and future markets in fiscal 2019. However, due to several uncertainties (particularly in the automotive market) such as existing and imminent trade barriers, visibility will remain limited for the foreseeable future. The company is likely to see a stronger performance the second half of the fiscal year. For the year as a whole, management expects comparable revenue development to be flat or to grow moderately (0 to 3 percent). The EBITDA margin adjusted for special items should be between 12 and 14 percent. Positive free cash flow in the mid-double digit million euro range is also expected. This forecast is based on the previous organizational setup of the past fiscal year with its three reporting segments. In addition, this does not include any portfolio effects like the planned divestment of the luminaires business or the U.S. service business (Sylvania Lighting Solutions) and without any effects from the new organizational setup discussed above.

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