THE LPKF GROUP, which is headquartered in Garbsen, Germany, closed the 2009 financial year with earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 7 million (approximately $9,437,396 US dollars) compared to 3.1 million for the previous year. Consolidated sales rose by 12 percent to 50.7 million (approximately $67,409,973) versus 45.4 million for the previous year. Incoming orders at 56 million (approximately $75,499,170) were well up on the previous year's level of 48.1 million (approximately $64,713,575). Compared to the 2008 total of 10.3 million, orders in hand rose to 14.7 million (roughly $18,874,792). The performance was positively influenced by the changed product mix and cost reductions.

In addition, the return on capital employed (ROCE) climbed from 7.4 to 15.7 percent. Profit per share rose to 0.43 versus 0.17 for the previous year. Compared to the same quarter in 2008, turnover in the fourth quarter of 2009 climbed by 16 percent to 16 million while EBIT rose from 1.2 to 2 million. Growth was attributable to the cutting and structuring laser segmentespecially the uninterrupted demand for laser-directstructuring (LDS) systems used in the production of molded interconnect devices (MIDs).

Currently, LPKF forecasts potential for growth in almost all of its divisions. The prospects for further growth are particularly good in the LDS business. Tangible signs of recovery in the markets also have been seen in other segments since the end of 2009. At the moment, the company notes that macroeconomic development is very difficult to predict. Nevertheless, LPKF is expecting to do increased business in the 2010 financial year. It forecasts growth in sales to exceed 10 percent while its EBIT margin will likely remain in double figures.

If the global economy stabilizes during the course of the year, the Board of Managing Directors expects sales and profits to grow further in the 2011 financial year.

At the supervisory board meeting on March 26, the board adopted a resolution to appoint CEO Dr. Ingo Bretthauer to the position of Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, effective immediately. Because of the positive development in business in 2009, the Board of Managing Directors and the Supervisory Board will pose a resolution at the annual general meeting on June 10, 2010 to pay a dividend of 20 cents per share.