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MERSEN : 2012 SALES IN LINE WITH EXPECTATIONS AND STABLE COMPARED WITH 2011

PR Newswire/Les Echos/ 
Press release 
                            Mersen: 2012 sales  
         In line with expectations and stable compared with 2011 
Paris, January 30, 2013 - Mersen (Euronext FR0000039620 - MRN), a global expert
in materials and equipment for extreme environments and for the safety and
reliability of electrical equipment, recorded consolidated sales of EUR829.4
million in 2012, on a par with the level posted in 2011 and in line with
expectations. On a like-for-like basis, sales declined by 8.0%. 
"During 2012, Mersen maintained its sales at a level equivalent to 2011 in 
spite of a slowdown in many of its markets, with a steep contraction in solar 
energy in particular. The economic environment remains challenging at the 
beginning of 2013. As a result, the Group is focusing on improving its 
efficiency and its performance. Its priority remains implementing adaptation 
plans in line with the decisions made at the end of last year, which include 
restructuring, and optimizing the logistics chain," commented Luc Themelin, 
Chairman of Mersen's Management Board. 
(in millions of euros)                   2012       2011   organic      total  
                                                        growth     growth 
Advanced Materials and Technologies     365.0      379.6     -9.5%      -3.8%
Electrical Components and Technologies  464.4      450.0     -6.7%       3.2%
Group total                             829.4      829.6     -8.0%       0.0%
Europe                                  291.9      310.6    -10.8%      -6.0%
Asia-Pacific                            208.9      214.0     -9.9%      -2.4%
North America                           280.0      263.4     -5.8%       6.3%
Rest of the world                        48.6       41.6      9.1%      16.9%
Group total                             829.4      829.6     -8.0%       0.0%
Unaudited figures 
Fiscal 2012 
Business was very brisk in chemicals (growth of 20%) during the year. Sales to
process industries increased, too, but to a lesser extent, while the
transportation and conventional energy markets experienced a modest decline.
However, solar energy sales were down by over 50% (EUR48 million in 2012
compared with EUR110 million in 2011) and business in electronics markets was
weak owing to cutbacks in investment spending and the depressed level of
business of semiconductor manufacturers. 
Excluding solar energy, business in Asia, North America and the Rest of the
world grew on a like-for-like basis. Only Europe posted a contraction owing to
the region's economic situation. 
Sales in the Advanced Materials and Technologies segment posted an organic
contraction of 9.5% during the year owing to the slowdown in the solar energy
market. Excluding solar energy (organic growth of 8.8%), the Group benefited
from high billings on some large chemicals contracts and the firm performance 
of process industries and the aeronautics market. 
Sales in the Electrical Components and Technologies segment rose 3.2% on the
back of the full-year contribution made by Eldre, a company acquired in late
2011. On a like-for-like basis, the segment's sales contracted by 6.7%. The
decline was felt across all the markets and electronics in particular. 
Fourth quarter 2012 
For the fourth quarter, the Group's sales came to EUR199.1 million, down 1.7% 
on a reported basis, taking into account the positive impact of consolidating 
Eldre (EUR6 million) and favorable currency effects (EUR4.8 million). On a
like-for-like basis, sales declined by 8.2%. 
(in millions of euros)                 Q4 2012  Q4 2011   organic      total  
                                                       growth     growth 
Advanced Materials and Technologies       91.8     93.8     -6.2%      -2.2%
Electrical Components and Technologies   107.3    108.6     -9.0%      -1.2%
Group total                              199.1    202.4     -8.2%      -1.7%
Europe                                    71.2     75.0     -7.5%      -5.0%
Asia-Pacific                              46.7     54.2    -17.4%     -13.9%
North America                             67.1     63.2     -2.5%       6.1%
Rest of the world                         14.0     10.1     12.5%      38.5%
Group total                              199.1    202.4     -8.2%      -1.7%
Unaudited figures 
Over the quarter, business trends were weak in the solar energy market 
(EUR9 million compared with EUR22 million in the year-earlier period) affecting
Asia in particular - demand from polysilicon manufacturers also declined during
the quarter. Economic conditions in Europe remained sluggish, but the Group was
boosted in the region by the first billings from the SABIC contract. However,
excluding solar energy, business in North America remained brisk, especially in
chemicals/pharmaceuticals and the process industries, while it held up at close
to the level recorded in the previous year in Asia. 
Sales recorded in the Advanced Materials and Technologies segment came to 
EUR91.8 million in the fourth quarter, compared with EUR93.8 million in the 
same period of last year, representing a like-for-like contraction of 6.2%. 
This decline was attributable to weaker solar energy business volumes and, to a
lesser extends, to lower prices for certain graphite grades. 
Excluding solar energy, the segment's sales rose by 8.3% on a like-for-like
basis. Business volumes were firm in chemicals/pharmaceuticals with the initial
billings from the SABIC contract and also in the aeronautics market. On the
other hand, trends in the electronics market were weak, owing in particular to
weaker demand from semiconductor manufacturers. 
The Electrical Components and Technologies segment's fourth-quarter sales
totaled EUR107.3 million, including the sales posted by Eldre, a company
consolidated since January 1, 2012. This represented a decrease of 1.2% on a
reported basis and of 9.0% on a like-for-like basis, reflecting the contraction
in industrial demand across Europe. 
In the Group's other regions, business was brisk in process industries. On the
other hand, sales in the wind energy market fell, with fewer original equipment
projects going ahead. 
Adaptation measures and restructuring 
As previously announced, Mersen decided in late 2012 to implement restructuring
measures to achieve a structural reduction in its cost base and capitalize to
the full on the upturn in its end markets when it eventually arrives. At the
Materials segment, these measures will consist in workforce reductions across
all geographical regions to address the contraction in demand. At the 
Electrical segment, the manufacturing base will be reorganized, leading to 
relocations of businesses in North America and the finalization of a relocation
from Germany to Hungary. All in all, these measures will result in the 
departure of close to 400 staff in total around the world (between the second 
half of 2012 and the first half of 2013) and reduce the Group's cost base by 
some EUR10 million over a full year. 
In addition, the Group is rolling out development and operational excellence
programs to strengthen its positions and capitalize to the full on the recovery
ahead. 
Lastly, the Group has made progress with its business portfolio review, which
may lead to the divestment during 2013 of certain non-core and unprofitable
product lines. 
Outlook 
The Group is reiterating its guidance of an operating margin before
non-recurring items of around 9% of sales for 2012, compared with the 12.5%
reported in 2011. The definitive financial statements audited by the Statutory
Auditors will be published on March 20, 2013. 
Looking ahead to 2013, Mersen has not yet observed any signs of an upturn in 
its markets compared with the trends seen in late 2012. There have been some
encouraging signs in the solar energy market, in particular the high level of
installations in 2012. That said, given the poor visibility in the current
environment and with the European authorities not yet having ruled on the
anti-dumping procedure, it is impossible as things stand to forecast Group's
future business volumes. 


                                   ---End---

Financial calendar
2012 earnings: March 20, 2013 before start of trading

About Mersen

Global expert in materials and solutions for extreme environments as well as in
the safety and reliability of electrical equipment, Mersen designs innovative
solutions to address its clients' specific needs to enable them to optimize
their manufacturing process in sectors such as energy, transportation,
electronics, chemical, pharmaceutical and process industries.

With around 7,000 employees in over 40 countries, Mersen achieved consolidated
sales of c.EUR830 million in 2012.
            The Group is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris - Compartment B 
                         Visit our website www.mersen.com

Analyst and Investor Contact       Press Contact
Véronique Boca                     Nicolas Jehly / Guillaume Granier
VP Financial Communication         FTI Consulting Strategic Communications
Mersen                            Tel: +33 (0)1 47 03 68 10  
Tel: + 33 (0)1 46 91 54 40         Email: nicolas.jehly@fticonsulting.com /  
Email: dri@mersen.com              guillaume.granier@fticonsulting.com


                  
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-0- Jan/31/2013 07:51 GMT
 
 
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