Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Machine vision financials

Interesting full year 2012 results from Augusta Technologie, but before diving in, a quick reminder of who they are.

Augusta is the parent of German camera-maker Allied Vision Technology, perhaps better known as AVT. Since 2011 they’ve also owned 3D laser sensor maker LMI and camera-maker VDS Vossk├╝hler. However, 2012 is the first year to include twelve month results for these two. And in a side note, since late 2012, Augusta is 62% owned by TKH Group N.V..

It must take some healthy revenue streams to sustain all that management, and a look at the numbers shows that’s what they are producing.

Vision” provided €70m of the €109.6m revenue generated in 2012, and €20.0m of the €21.0m EBITDA number. Moreover, it was “Vision” that showed the greatest revenue growth in ’12, jumping 12.5%. Clearly, the camera companies are doing something right.

But buried deeper is another number I was pleased to see. From 2011 to 2012, R&D expenditure grew 31% to €8.2m. That’s still only 7.5% of revenues, but it tells me the company is serious about developing new products.

There are no clues in the press release as to what those new products might be, although the detailed financial report, due March 21st, will contain a few hints. My guess though is that LMI will be launching some new hardware, based around their laser technology and intended to grow the 3D scanning business.

Incidentally, just for fun I tried to estimate how many cameras they have to sell to generate €70m. I put it somewhere between 60 and 75 thousand. That’s a staggering number of cameras.

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