ATS posts third quarter loss

Firm's automation business strengthens but not enough to overcome Photowatt France restructuring losses.

Comments Off on ATS posts third quarter loss February 2, 2011
by The Canadian Press

Cambridge, Ont. – ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. says it dropped to third-quarter loss of $11.9 million on charges related to restructuring its solar products division in France.

The southwestern Ontario-based maker of machinery and equipment for industrial and automotive markets said the loss was equal to 14 cents per share, compared to a profit of $3.7 million or four cents a share a year ago.

The latest quarterly results were impacted by a $9 million charge at its Photowatt France wing, which the company has considered spinning off.

Overall, ATS revenues climbed to $192.5 million from $138.1 million reported a year ago. The company’s Automated Systems Group (ASG) saw year-over-year revenues increase by 59 percent in the third quarter with an operating margin increase from 11% to 12%. Year-over-year, the ASG’s EBITDA was $16.8 million compared to $17.0 million in the second quarter of this fiscal year and $10.0 million in the same period a year ago.

“Our Automation Systems Group performance was strong and we saw improvements in our markets, however losses at Photowatt France negatively impacted consolidated results,” said CEO Anthony Caputo in a release. “Photowatt has initiated a restructuring project designed to recover competitiveness. The company is pursuing a clear path to prepare for the contemplated separation of Photowatt.”

ATS Automation provides technology and equipment used by companies in industries such as life sciences, computer/electronics, energy, automotive and consumer products.

The company employs about 3,000 people at 21 manufacturing plants in Canada, the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia and China.
© 2011 The Canadian Press