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Lumibird positive on 2023 prospects despite dented profits

15 Mar 2023

French photonics group blames supply chain constraints, with brokers needed to source some key components.

Lumibird, the diversified photonics company headquartered in France, has reported a net income of €11.4 million for 2022, down from €13.9 million in the prior year despite a strong increase in sales.

At €191 million, annual sales revenues rose 18 per cent year-on-year, but like others in the photonics sector Lumibird’s profitability was squeezed by supply-chain constraints, with expenses increasing as brokers were used to source key electronic components.

“These impacts are gradually being absorbed, thanks to the growth in activity and the measures put in place to address difficulties linked to the supply chain and rising costs,” stated the firm in its earnings release - with some research and development staff even re-allocated to component-sourcing activity during the year.

However, the supply situation appears to be improving, with higher profitability reported for the second half of 2022 - a trend expected to continue this year.

‘Extremely buoyant’ markets
Lumibird’s photonics division posted sales of €93.5 million for the year, up 23 per cent on the 2021 figure, partly as a result of the acquisition of Saab’s laser rangefinder business last summer.

Photonics sales boomed 38 per cent and 26 per cent in Europe and the US respectively, but declined a little in China as a result of the zero-Covid policies that have subsequently been ditched.

The group’s medical division revenues hit €97.4 million, up 13 per cent on the 2021 figure. The division was also able to post slightly improved profits, since it was less impacted by supply chain constraints.

Medical-related sales, which are made up from the merger of the previous Quantel Medical, Ellex, and Optotek brands, rose strongly in Asia and the US but in Europe were affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine, the firm said.

Lumibird also pointed to significant investments at its locations in France, Sweden, and Slovenia as part of the reason for a €36 million outflow of cash during 2022.

However, the firm remains confident in its balance sheet and is highly positive about its immediate prospects. Describing the current markets for its products as “extremely buoyant”, it is maintaining a sales target of €250 million this year through both organic growth and additional acquisitions.

At the same time, profitability is expected to return to levels seen in 2021 and continue ticking up through 2026. However, investors appeared slightly disappointed with that outlook, sending Lumibird’s stock down around 6 per cent when trading opened on the Paris stock market on March 15.

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