Questions and Answers
The most frequently asked questions and answers regarding the introduction to the stock exchange.
Simply click on one of the questions and the respective answer is underneath.
All relevant information about your Nanogate share.
The most frequently asked questions and answers regarding the introduction to the stock exchange.
Simply click on one of the questions and the respective answer is underneath.
Nanogate is a leading global specialist for design-oriented high-tech surfaces and components of very high optical quality. The Group employs around 1,500 people. Nanogate develops and produces design-oriented surfaces and components and enhances them with additional properties (e.g. nonstick, scratchproof, anticorrosive).
We open up the diverse possibilities of multifunctional surfaces based on new materials for companies in a wide range of industries. With its new slogan, ‘A world of new surfaces’, introduced in August 2012, the Nanogate Group reinforces its aspiration of using intelligent surfaces to give products a competitive edge and help companies generate additional value. It stands for our promise to be a reliable partner for our customers and to bring them cutting-edge technology, rapid implementation and high-quality mass production. The aim is to improve products and processes by means of multifunctional high-performance surfaces. This is intended to increase the competitiveness and profitability of Nanogate’s customers and to reap environmental benefits. With solutions and knowledge from Nanogate, companies can gain a technological advantage over their competitors – and to this end, the Group adopts the approach of serving its customers as a long-term innovation partner.
We provide our customers with technologically and visually high-quality systems, equipping plastic, metal and other surfaces with new functions and properties (for example, making them non-stick, antibacterial, anti-corrosive, scratchproof, chemically stable or protected from exposure to the elements). To do so, Nanogate uses its extensive knowledge of innovative and new materials, as well as its many years of experience in the mass production of enhanced multifunctional surfaces for two and three-dimensional components. As an integrated systems provider, we can draw on vast experience and a diverse array of skills in materials development as well as in process integration and mass production. Nanogate covers the entire value chain, from the purchase of raw materials, to the synthesis and formulation of the material systems, right through to the enhancement and production of the finished surfaces.
Nanogate continued its long-standing success story in 2017 and once again more than lived up to its reputation as a growth stock. The Group developed further at all levels and expanded its market position. As a result, we achieved new record levels in our number of employees, sales and operating result. Our new majority-owned subsidiary Nanogate Jay Systems also contributed to this.
Nanogate looks back at the best year in the company’s history, having increased the operating result (EBITDA) more strongly than sales in 2017. EBITDA increased by about 74 %, while sales rose by more than 65 %. The EBITDA margin improved to 11.6 %. The dividend is expected to amount to EUR 0.11 again.
Nanogate expects persistently dynamic business growth in the current fiscal year. Following a strong start to the year and thanks to both newly acquired subsidiaries, Nanogate Slovakia and Nanogate Electronic Systems, the Group expects a rise in sales to at least EUR 220 million. In parallel, the operating result (EBITDA) is expected to rise to over EUR 24 million despite transaction and integration costs. Given the innovation offensive that has been launched, the Group is planning to invest over EUR 20 million during the course of this year in expanding its technology leadership and increasing its capacities. Accordingly, consolidated net income will continue to be characterized by increasing depreciation and borrowing costs. Alongside this, the Group would like to adjust the organizational structure in accordance with the increased internationality.
Nanogate has a broad customer base. Several hundred products and applications have been developed in collaboration with partners and launched on the market. This means that we have a wide range of references.
In 2017, international business accounted for approximately 60% of the total group sales and has thus increased considerably over the last years. Nanogate does business in about thirty countries.
Nanogate looks after customers along the entire value chain, from the purchasing of raw materials, to the synthesis and formulation of materials systems, right through to the enhancement and production of the surfaces and components. This enables us to carry out large, mass-production projects for our customers – a crucial factor in our high level of competitiveness. It also makes it possible for us, as an integrated systems provider, to establish ourselves as an innovation partner that enables customers to achieve crucial competitive advantages. We are successful at this because we have many years of experience with both innovative materials and process integration for mass production. As a systems provider, we have the basis for faster growth.
When multiple new properties are brought together, typically within an optically high-quality surface, and are integrated into the manufacturing process and generate added value, we call this a high-performance surface. We cater for a wide variety of substrates, such as metals, plastics and glass, and give them additional and often multifunctional properties, for example making them non-stick, hygienic, anti-corrosive or scratchproof.
As a leading international integrated systems provider, Nanogate has so far realised several hundred applications in mass production. Alongside these activities, we are continuously developing new applications which, in the long term, should open up substantial sales and earnings potential for us. In the period 2008 to 2010, Nanogate carried out a wide-ranging innovation offensive, making considerable investments to expand the technology and application portfolio. We see particularly promising opportunities in the areas of innovative plastics, especially glazing, and energy efficiency. We strive to ensure that all of our applications and solutions are environmentally friendly. With its brand GreenNano®, Nanogate is concentrating on achieving the sustainable use of nanotechnology, improving energy efficiency and minimising resource consumption.
Glazing describes innovative plastics that have glass-like properties and can therefore replace glass or metal as a material, for instance. Plastics offer greater scope for designing high-quality components. They also allow for a substantial reduction in weight, one of the benefits of which for vehicle construction can be lower fuel consumption.
As many of our applications as possible should contribute to minimising the use of dangerous substances or reducing the consumption of natural resources. For this reason, all the systems that contribute to environmental protection or to a conservative, sustainable use of raw materials are distributed under the Green Nano brand. Many of our systems are already on the market today, including energy-efficiency coatings for heating systems or coatings that make it easier to clean road tunnels
As a leader in the industry, we also assume our responsibility for overriding matters. In this context, Nanogate was one of the founding members of the new Deutscher Verband Nanotechnologie e.V. industry association at the end of 2011, and is represented on the association’s board by Michael Jung, COO of Nanogate. The role of the association is to promote an intensive dialogue with all stakeholders. For many years, Nanogate has also been active in various international research programmes, including NanoSustain (sustainability assessment of the entire life cycle of nanotechnologically enhanced products, launched in 2010) and Nanosafe (safe handling of nanomaterials, concluded in 2009). In line with its own ambitious aspirations, the Group pursues the goal of setting uniformly high quality and safety standards for the entire sector and constantly seeks dialogue with the public in terms of the opportunities and risks of nanotechnology.
Nanogate participates extensively in social and political debates with all stakeholders. For example, Nanogate CEO Ralf Zastrau is involved with the Bertelsmann Stiftung in the ‘Companies for the Region’ and ‘Saarland – a responsible partner’ initiatives. Nanogate also supports the ‘Ärzte für die Dritte Welt – German Doctors e.V.’ initiative. Furthermore, there are partnerships with schools in the region (at Göttelborn) for instance.
The Nanogate Group has about 1500 employees at the moment (January 2018).
In addition to many years of experience in the automotive business, Nanogate Slovakia also has a strong non-automotive business with first-class references. Nanogate is benefiting from a new, high-performing and, at the same time, cost-efficient location, as well as from the geographical expansion toward Eastern Europe. Nanogate Electronic Systems is a leading provider of special plastic components, with a product focus outside the automotive environment. The production of high-precision and microcomponents, also for electronic applications, is highly automated. The unit has high development capabilities and will, in the future, collaborate with the Nanogate Group, for example on new hybrid solutions requiring the combination of electronics, metal and plastics expertise. Future strategic partner HTP Austria is specialized in the production of lightweight components for the automotive industry and, in the future, can take over secondary and supplementary manufacturing steps for the Nanogate Group.
Nanogate would like to help shape the coming revolution in the market for surfaces. The integration of electronic functions into product surfaces, together with multifunctional properties, will allow completely new design and operating concepts for devices of all kinds in the future. The design of interfaces between human and machine will be one of the mega-trends in product development in the coming years. Our most recent acquisition in Austria also means that we already have far-reaching electronics and surfaces know-how from design development through to production of the surfaces and components. In order to accelerate its market entry for Integrated Smart Surfaces, Nanogate is also investing in Finnish start-up TactoTek, a specialist for Injection Molded Structural Electronics.
Interactive buttons transform Smart Surfaces into a new user experience with a revolutionary design. Here, electronics, multifunctionality and high-quality design are combined into high-performance surfaces. This allows the development of entirely new kinds of operating concepts for devices of all types. Another advantage is that the corresponding components can be designed differently i.e. produced to be more efficient, smaller and more lightweight. New designs for buttons are in demand in particular in the target markets of automotive, aerospace, home appliances and consumer electronics. New solutions in the area of structural electronics and multifunctionality are currently one of the most important drivers in product development.
With the new majority holding, Nanogate will be expanding its access to the market, acquiring its own production capacities in North America and strengthening its technology portfolio. Together with Jay Plastics, Nanogate is establishing itself as a globally positioned provider for design-oriented and multifunctional, high-performance surfaces and components of the highest optical quality.
In December 2016, Nanogate had announced its acquisition of majority stake in Jay Plastics. The company is a leading specialist in the US for the high-value enhancement of plastic surfaces and components. In addition, the company has extensive expertise in the metalization of surfaces (PVD technology) and in lighting systems. As an integrated provider, the company covers the entire value chain from the development of components to production. Its customers include well-known US automobile companies and suppliers as well as manufacturers from Japan and South Korea. Aside from the automotive industry, Jay Plastics operates in other sectors, such as household appliances. Jay Plastics was split off from the former Jay Technologies parent company and will operate under the name of Nanogate Jay Systems LLC in the future. The existing management will continue to direct the company in the future.
The majority acquisition of plastics specialist Goletz expands system expertise at Nanogate in the area of high-demand plastic components. Nanogate will in future be covering all competencies regarding development and production, as well as the multifunctional enhancement, of components. This means the Group is also significantly expanding its range of services. The new equity holding has a strong market position especially in smaller and midsize, design-oriented plastic components, while Nanogate has until now been specialised in larger components, for example, for the automotive industry, with its existing subsidiary Plastic-Design. Goletz also has expertise in metallisation and surface enhancement and works, among other things, in construction with technologically leading CAD standards. Goletz supplies customers in the automotive, electronics and domestic appliances industries. In parallel, Goletz is represented in medical technology applications via a subsidiary and has relevant certifications and manufacturing systems, for example, in clean room. The company, based in Kierspe, Germany, which is located close to the Nanogate subsidiary Vogler (Lüdenscheid, North Rhine-Westphalia), was founded in 1969 and currently has around more than 100 employees.
In July 2014, Nanogate acquired surface specialist Vogler GmbH & Co. KG (‘Vogler’, then Vogler GmbH for short). The company, based in Lüdenscheid (North Rhine-Westphalia), was established in 1990 and currently has around 140 staff. The company’s customers include major international companies, for example from the automotive industry and building services, as well as leading domestic appliance manufacturers. Vogler specialises in technically advanced coatings for decorative and transparent, multifunctional surfaces. The company is the industry leader in flat-spraying technology. In acquiring Vogler, Nanogate significantly expanded its range of services. Both metal and plastic surfaces can be coated on the production lines, with a focus on system components. The surface specialist therefore augments Nanogate’s current expertise and capacities in plastics and metals. Vogler has a total of four production lines for high-volume mass production as well as its own analytical laboratory for development and quality control. The integration into the Nanogate Group was completed in February 2015. In addition to plastic applications, Vogler can now also enhance high-quality flat and curved metal elements (2D and 2.5D components). For this to happen, the Group has invested in new processes at the Lüdenscheid site, although further stages in the expansion at Vogler will follow. At the same time, Nanogate is continuously optimising Vogler’s existing product and order portfolio to increase the profitability of the equity holding over the medium term. The first joint project was launched in March 2015: It comprises the enhancement of high-quality stainless steel components for a new generation of built-in ovens for kitchens, given that Nanogate received a corresponding multi-million euro order in 2014.
The company is one of Europe’s leading plastics processors and has a proprietary technology portfolio for optically sophisticated components. It is also considered to be a trailblazer in the growth market for innovative plastics with glass-like properties (glazing). Among the biggest customers today are well-known car manufacturers, mostly from the premium segment. We believe there is major potential for growth in the market for glazing applications, in particular in the automotive sector. In glazing, Nanogate anticipates a relevant market potential in the three-figure million euro range. A centre of excellence for highly sophisticated glazing applications is to be established at the Plastic-Design premises in Bad Salzuflen. This centre of excellence will enable Nanogate to offer the integrated development, production and subsequent enhancement of transparent and coloured glazing components in one location. With this new investment, Nanogate is expanding its value chain and is now able to manufacture its own high-quality, complex plastic components for the first time.
Eurogard specialises in enhancing surfaces on two-dimensional components and is the global market leader in the lucrative specialist sector of transparent plastics and glazing components.
With its equity holding in GfO, Nanogate can offer an integrated range of products for 3D high-performance surfaces which can be given new or improved functions and properties by means of new materials. The company can draw on a unique combination of extensive materials expertise paired with GfO’s comprehensive process and production know-how. For instance, GfO has an inkjet technology that is unique in Europe and is used to coat materials and glazing components.
We have a sound IP base spread over numerous patent families.
By voluntarily publishing our consolidated financial statements pursuant to IFRS, we go beyond the requirements of the Scale segment.
We already meet many of the criteria of the Prime and General Standard segments. We communicate in English, participate in capital market conferences and distribute key corporate announcements over and above what is required. However, our primary focus at the moment is on expanding our business activities and opening up markets together with our customers.
We are currently reviewing all the options and are improving all internal processes in order to further enhance the quality of reporting in the future. We will introduce a number of preparatory measures this year so that we will then be a position to react relatively quickly – should it make sense for the company to change segment and, at the same time, should the capital market environment be accordingly positive.
The safety of products and applications has the utmost priority in terms of our responsibility towards people and the environment. Our products are therefore tested by independent institutes such as Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and TÜV to ensure that they are harmless. Nanogate has been certified under ISO 9001:2000 (quality management) since 2000 and was the first nanotechnology company in Germany to obtain this certification. In 2007, we also received certification for comprehensive environmental management under ISO DIN 14001:2004. All systems were audited again in January 2013 and their effectiveness was confirmed in full. At the same time, we are involved in several industry associations and in the nano-commission set up by the federal government to implement integrated research into safety and risks. For many years, Nanogate has also taken part in international research programmes such as Nanosafe (safe handling of nanomaterials, completed in 2009) and NanoSustain (sustainability analysis of the entire lifecycle of products enhanced using nanotechnology, begun in 2010).
Furthermore, the nanomaterials used at Nanogate are processed in liquid form, are always embedded in what is known as a binder matrix and are applied in practice as a hardened surface coating. All the investigations currently available worldwide confirm unequivocally that based on current findings, nanomaterials permanently embedded in a matrix (comparable to a paint or lacquer) throughout their lifecycle do not constitute a danger to people or the environment.