Quebec City, Canada, October 9, 2001 –Considering the current state of the economy, EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. just reported fairly strong financial results for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2001. Sales increased 104% to $146.0 million in fiscal 2001 from $71.6 million in 2000. Net earnings jumped 139% to $24.5 million, or $0.46 per share, for fiscal 2001 from $10.3 million, or $0.26 per share, for 2000. (Figures do not include amortization of intangible assets and goodwill related to acquisitions as well as non-recurring expenses.)
In the fourth quarter of 2001, sales increased 53% to $35.4 million from $23.1 million for the same period in 2000. Net earnings decreased 11% to US$3.2 million, or $0.06 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2001 from $3.6 million, or $0.08 per share, for the same period in 2000.
Including amortization of intangible assets and goodwill related to acquisitions as well as non-recurring expenses, EXFO's net loss for fiscal 2001 was $15.3 million, or $0.29 per share, including a net loss of $14.2 million, or $0.25 per share, for the fourth quarter. In comparison, EXFO recorded net earnings of $9.9 million, or 0.25 per share, for fiscal 2000.
EXFO's net loss in fiscal 2001 included $31.1 million in amortization of goodwill, $9.9 million in amortization of intangible assets and $3.3 million in non-recurring expenses. The non-recurring expenses consisted of costs related to a reduction in workforce and provisions for unused facilities and assets.
Selling and administrative expenses amounted to $46.2 million, or 31.7% of sales, for fiscal 2001 compared to $24.3 million, or 33.9% of sales, for 2000. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, selling and administrative expenses were at $12.1 million, or 34.1% of sales, compared to $7.8 million, or 33.8% of sales, for the same period in 2000.
Gross research and development expenses totaled $17.6 million, or 12.1% of sales, in fiscal 2001 compared to $9.4 million, or 13.1% of sales, in fiscal 2000. In the fourth quarter of 2001, gross R&D expenses amounted to $5.0 million, or 14.0% of sales, compared to $2.4 million, or 10.5% of sales, for the same period in 2000.
According to EXFO management, fiscal 2001 marked the 16th consecutive year of growth for the firm. The company launched more than 20 new products in 2001, including the FTB-400 Universal Test System, a second-generation platform that can perform extensive optical tests for long-haul, metro, and access networks.
Other key product launches in 2001 involved the FTB-5240B Optical Spectrum Analyzer, a test module for installation and maintenance applications in DWDM long-haul, metro and access networks; the OWA-9500 Optical Waveguide Analyzer, which represents the industry�s first and only commercial refractive index profiler for planar and arrayed waveguides; the FR-3000 NanoRobot Alignment System, which offers six-axis alignment and 0.1-nm resolution for automated optical component manufacturing; and Novacure� IR, which uses infrared spot-curing on conventional heat-cured adhesives.
As a result of conditions in the telecommunications industry and the effect of events on Sept. 11th, EXFO forecasted sales between US$24 and US$28 million for the first quarter of 2002. Earnings are expected to be in the range of a net loss* of $0.02 per share and net earnings* of $0.02 per share. The Company anticipates improvement in the second half of fiscal 2002 due to market acceptance of important new products, contributions from acquisitions including Avantas Networks, and expected gains in market share due to the enhanced positioning of EXFO�s entire product line in the marketplace.