ATS reports fourth quarter fiscal 2008 results



    TSX: ATA

    CAMBRIDGE, ON June 18 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today
reported its financial results for the three and 12 months ended March 31,
2008 - and announced that it has completed a number of further steps to
strengthen the organization and restore profitability.
    "We are executing a value creation strategy," said Anthony Caputo, ATS
Chief Executive Officer. "In fiscal 2009, we plan to stabilize and improve
operating performance. Our plan has four elements: improve management; fix
Automation Systems Group; position Photowatt France to become a standalone
company; and strengthen the balance sheet. To date, we have made good progress
on all these fronts."

    
    Highlights
    -   Strengthened leadership, improved business processes;
    -   Returned Photowatt France to profitability in the fourth quarter
        through cell efficiency and manufacturing yield improvements;
    -   Advanced the PV Alliance relationship;
    -   Improved ASG operating margin to 4% before restructuring charges of
        $9.0 million;
    -   Initiated the consolidation of certain small facilities and reduced
        ongoing ASG costs through staff reductions;
    -   Booked a $27 million repetitive equipment manufacturing order in the
        solar industry;
    -   Increased period end ASG Order Backlog to $232 million, 25% higher
        than a year ago;
    -   Improved liquidity through the sale of $16.8 million of silicon not
        usable by Photowatt France;
    -   Signed an $85 million credit facility subsequent to quarter end; and
    -   Sold the SSP building for net proceeds of $16.0 million subsequent to
        quarter end.
    

    As previously announced, management estimated the costs to improve
operations at approximately $30 million. Costs incurred during the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2008 included $11.1 million for restructuring and severance,
PCG operating losses of $1.4 million and costs of $0.9 million related
primarily to the wind down of Spheral Solar. To offset a portion of the
remaining costs, management intends to monetize other redundant and non-core
assets. The payback period on operational improvement costs is expected to be
less than one year.

    Earnings per Share

    Fourth quarter 2008 earnings from continuing operations were 13 cents per
share compared to a loss of $1.31 per share in the fourth quarter a year ago.
Earnings per share during the fourth quarter were 10 cents compared to a loss
of $1.35 per share a year ago. For fiscal 2008, earnings from continuing
operations were 17 cents per share versus a loss of $1.28 per share in fiscal
2007. Net loss for the year was 33 cents per share compared to a net loss of
$1.42 in fiscal 2007.


    
    Financial Results

    In millions                    3 months   3 months  12 months  12 months
     of dollars,                     ended      ended      ended      ended
     except per                     Mar. 31,   Mar. 31,   Mar. 31,   Mar. 31,
     share data                       2008       2007       2008       2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenues     Automation Systems
     from         Group            $  125.3   $  113.8   $  465.0   $  466.0
     continuing  ------------------------------------------------------------
     operations  Photowatt
                  Technologies         61.3       38.5      198.6      150.6
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                 Inter-segment         (0.1)      (0.9)      (0.3)      (2.1)
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                 Consolidated      $  186.5   $  151.4   $  663.3   $  614.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA       Automation Systems
                  Group            $   (2.1)  $   (1.5)  $    9.1   $   17.9
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                 Photowatt
                  Technologies
                  - Photowatt France    6.8        5.9        6.3       28.9
                  - Other Solar        (0.9)     (33.8)      (6.4)     (48.6)
                  - Gain on sale of
                    silicon            16.8        0.0       16.8        0.0
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                 Gain on sale of
                  investments           0.0        0.0       31.8        0.0
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                 Corporate and
                  Inter-segment
                  elimination          (6.6)      (6.0)     (26.7)     (14.9)
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                 Consolidated      $   14.0   $  (35.4)  $   30.9   $  (16.7)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income
     (loss) from
     continuing
     operations  Consolidated      $   10.3   $  (78.4)  $   12.2   $  (76.7)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings     From continuing
     (loss)       operations
     per share    (basic &
                  diluted)         $   0.13   $  (1.31)  $   0.17   $  (1.28)
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                 After discontinued
                  operations (basic
                  & diluted)       $   0.10   $   1.35   $  (0.33)  $  (1.42)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    ASG Results

    -   Excluding severance costs of $9.0 million and $2.6 million
        respectively, fiscal 2008 fourth quarter EBITDA was $6.9 million
        compared to EBITDA of $1.1 million a year ago;
    -   Period end ASG Order Backlog increased 25% to $232 million from
        $185 million a year ago;
    -   ASG Order Bookings for the fourth quarter increased to $137 million
        compared to $134 million a year ago;
    -   ASG Order Bookings were $110 million during the first 10 weeks of the
        first quarter.
    

    ASG's revenues increased 10% in the fourth quarter compared to a year
ago. The increase came from strong Order Bookings during fiscal 2008. Period
end Order Backlog supports continued revenue growth. Operating results
improved, after severance costs, due to increased revenue, reduced
amortization and better program execution.

    
    Photowatt Technologies Results

    -   Fourth quarter Photowatt France EBITDA was $6.8 million compared to
        $5.9 million a year ago;
    -   Total megawatts (MWs) sold at Photowatt France increased 64% to
        13.1 MWs from 8.0 MWs in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 - with
        UMGSi products accounting for 60% of revenue;
    -   Average cell efficiency improved in the fourth quarter to
        approximately 13.5% for UMGSi cells (from 12.6% a year ago);
    -   Photowatt Technologies operating earnings of $19.2 million in the
        fourth quarter were comprised of $3.3 million of operating earnings
        at Photowatt France and $15.9 million generated from a gain on the
        sale of non-solar grade silicon that had nominal carrying value; the
        gain more than offset wind-down costs of SSP.
    

    Significant production gains, including lower silicon usage per watt and
improved cell efficiency during the fourth quarter led to increased
profitability of Photowatt's UMGSi products. Photowatt will continue to focus
on improving profitability through cost reductions and improved efficiencies.
    The PV Alliance, a joint venture involving Photowatt France, EDEV EnR
Reparties, (a partially owned subsidiary of Electricité de France), and CEA
Valorisation was advanced. The PV Alliance is contemplated to include Lab-Fab
and manufacturing in France. Phase 1 of Lab-Fab, designed to increase cell
efficiency by up to 2%, was initiated.

    Precision Components Group

    The Company is in negotiations to sell the key operating assets and
liabilities of PCG. Results have been restated to reflect the reclassification
of PCG as a discontinued operation.

    Board Changes

    Neil D. Arnold, Chairman of the Board of ATS, today announced the
appointment of Anthony Caputo to the Board of Directors, effective
immediately. Mr. Caputo joined ATS in November 2007 as Chief Executive Officer
with a 25 year track record of delivering performance, growth and value
creation.
    Peter Puccetti, founder, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of
Goodwood Inc. and J. Cameron MacDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer
of Goodwood also announced their decision to step down from the Board
effective June 19, 2008 as part of a planned governance transition.
    In announcing their decision, Mr. Puccetti said: "While we intend to
remain active ATS shareholders, we have accomplished what we set out to do
last year. We facilitated change at the Board and CEO level and participated
in the development of a new strategy for ATS. We're confident in the future
direction of the business."

    Quarterly Conference Call

    ATS's quarterly conference call begins at 10 am eastern today and can be
accessed over the Internet at www.atsautomation.com or on the phone at
416 644 3416.

    About ATS

    ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. provides innovative, custom designed,
built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most
successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge
and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems' needs
of multinational customers in industries such as healthcare,
computer/electronics, automotive, energy and consumer products. It also
leverages its many years of experience and skills to fulfill the specialized
repetitive equipment manufacturing requirements of customers. Through
Photowatt Technologies, ATS participates in the growing solar energy industry
as an integrated manufacturer of ingots, wafers, cells and modules.
Photowatt-branded products and systems serve businesses, institutions and
homeowners in established and emerging markets. ATS employs approximately
3,500 people at 23 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States,
Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company's website at
www.atsautomation.com.

    Note to Reader

    This press release and Fourth Quarter Summary for the three months ended
March 31, 2008 (fourth quarter of fiscal 2008) provide information on the
Company's operating activities of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 and should
be read in conjunction with the Company's audited Consolidated Financial
Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the years
ended March 31, 2008 and 2007 and the Company's fiscal 2008 Annual Report. The
Company assumes that the reader of this press release and Fourth Quarter
Summary has access to, and has read the audited Consolidated Financial
Statements and MD&A of the Company for fiscal 2008 and the unaudited interim
Consolidated Financial Statements and MD&A for the first, second and third
quarters of fiscal 2008. Accordingly, the purpose of this press release and
fourth quarter summary is to provide a fourth quarter update. These documents
and other information relating to the Company, including the Company's fiscal
2008 audited Consolidated Financial Statements, MD&A and Annual Information
Form, may be found on SEDAR's website at www.sedar.com.
    The Company has two reportable segments: Automation Systems Group ("ASG")
and Photowatt Technologies ("Photowatt") which includes Photowatt France (the
ongoing Photowatt Technologies operations), Photowatt USA (a small module
assembly and sales operation closed during fiscal 2008) and Spheral Solar (a
halted development project that has been wound down). Any reference to solar
production capacity assumes the use of polysilicon at 15% cell efficiency,
unless otherwise stated. Actual solar capacity may vary materially for a
number of reasons including the use of UMGSi, changes in cell efficiency
and/or changes in production processes. References to Photowatt's cell
''efficiency'' means the percentage of incident energy that is converted into
electrical energy in a solar cell. Solar cells and modules are sold based on
wattage output. "Silicon" refers to a variety of silicon feedstock, including
polysilicon, UMGSi and polysilicon powders and fines.

    Non-GAAP Measures

    Throughout this press release and Fourth Quarter Summary the term
"operating earnings" is used to denote earnings (loss) from operations. EBITDA
is also used and is defined as earnings (loss) from operations excluding
depreciation, amortization (which includes amortization of intangible assets)
and segment and division allocation of corporate costs. The term "margin"
refers to an amount as a percentage of revenue. The terms "earnings from
operations", "operating earnings", "margin", "operating loss", "operating
results", "operating margin", "EBITDA", "Order Bookings" and "Order Backlog"
do not have any standardized meaning prescribed within GAAP and therefore may
not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Operating
earnings and EBITDA are some of the measures the Company uses to evaluate the
performance of its segments. ATS presents EBITDA to show its performance
before depreciation and amortization. Management believes that ATS
shareholders and potential investors in ATS use non-GAAP financial measures
such as operating earnings and EBITDA in making investment decisions about the
Company and measuring its operational results. A reconciliation of EBITDA to
total Company revenue and earnings from operations for the three and twelve
month periods ending March 31, 2008 and 2007 is contained in the MD&A and this
press release. EBITDA should not be construed as a substitute for net income
determined in accordance with GAAP. Order Bookings represent new orders for
the supply of automation systems that management believes are firm. Order
Backlog is the estimated unearned portion of ASG revenue on customer contracts
that are in process and have not been completed at the specified date.


    
    Fourth Quarter Summary

    ASG Segment

    ASG Revenue (in millions of dollars)

    Revenue by industry                                   Q4 2008    Q4 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Healthcare                                           $   39.7   $   32.1
    Computer-Electronics                                     29.4       34.7
    Automotive                                               29.4       26.3
    Energy                                                   17.7        8.9
    Other                                                     9.1       11.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Revenue                                        $  125.3   $  113.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Fourth quarter ASG revenue increased 10% or $11.5 million compared to the
same quarter a year ago. This improvement was due to growth in Order Bookings
and Order Backlog experienced in the first half of fiscal 2008.
    By industrial market, healthcare revenue increased 24% year over year on
strong Order Backlog entering the quarter. Computer-electronics revenue
decreased 15%, primarily on lower sales in Asia and the U.S. Automotive
revenue increased 12%, reflecting strong automotive revenue in Europe. ASG
revenue from the energy market increased 99%, driven by activity in the
nuclear and solar industries. Revenue from "other" markets decreased 23% due
primarily to lower revenues in the consumer products industry.
    On a regional basis, strong revenue growth in ASG's Canadian operations
was partially offset by revenue declines in U.S. and Asian operations. REM
revenue increased 35% to $12.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008,
compared to $9.5 million a year ago, primarily reflecting increased order flow
from existing customers. REM currently generates revenue primarily from
customers in the healthcare industry, but new orders secured in the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2008 will advance the business into the solar industry.
    Quarter-over-quarter foreign exchange rate changes negatively impacted
ASG revenues by an estimated $12.8 million for the fourth quarter, compared to
a year ago, primarily reflecting a stronger Canadian dollar relative to the
U.S. dollar.


    
    ASG Operating Results (in millions of dollars)

                                                          Q4 2008    Q4 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Earnings (loss) from operations                      $   (4.2)  $   (4.5)
    Amortization                                              2.1        3.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA                                               $   (2.1)  $   (1.5)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Fiscal 2008 fourth quarter operating loss of $4.2 million included
severance and restructuring costs of $9.0 million, compared to an operating
loss of $4.5 million including severance costs of $2.6 million in same quarter
a year ago. Fiscal 2008 fourth quarter severance and restructuring costs
affected approximately 250 positions in North America, Europe and Asia, and
includes positions at small operating facilities in Thailand and Michigan,
which will be closed in fiscal 2009. Management anticipates continuing costs
associated with finalizing the wind-up of these two small operations to
negatively impact operating earnings in the first half of fiscal 2009. Fiscal
2007 fourth quarter severance costs were associated with workforce reductions
of 180 positions primarily in North America.
    Excluding severance costs, fiscal 2008 fourth quarter operating earnings
were $4.8 million (operating margin of 4%), compared to an operating loss of
$1.9 million in fiscal 2007. This improvement was driven by increased revenue,
reduced amortization and better program execution in the fourth quarter of
fiscal 2008 compared to a year ago. On a regional basis, improvements in
Canadian operating results before severance and restructuring costs were
partially offset by reduced earnings in the Company's U.S. and Asian
operations.
    Foreign exchange rate changes negatively impacted ASG operating earnings
in the fourth quarter fiscal 2008 by an estimated $3.1 million compared to a
year ago, primarily reflecting a stronger Canadian dollar relative to the U.S.
dollar.


    
    ASG Order Bookings by Quarter (in millions of dollars)

                                                     Fiscal 2008 Fiscal 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q1                                                   $   146    $     98
    Q2                                                       133         101
    Q3                                                       115         109
    Q4                                                       137         134
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Order Bookings                                 $   531    $    442
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Fiscal 2008 Order Bookings were $531 million, 20% higher than the
previous year, driven primarily by strong Order Bookings in healthcare and
energy sectors. Order Bookings during the first 10 weeks of fiscal 2009 were
approximately $110 million.


    
    ASG Order Backlog by Industry (in millions of dollars, except percentage
    change)

                                            March 31,  March 31,  Percentage
                                                2008       2007       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Healthcare                                $   58     $   53          9.4%
    Computer-electronics                          41         34         20.6%
    Automotive                                    41         50       (18.0)%
    Energy                                        68         33        106.1%
    Other                                         24         15         60.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                     $  232     $  185         25.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Order Backlog of $232 million at March 31, 2008 was 25% higher than at
March 31, 2007 primarily reflecting higher Order Bookings throughout fiscal
2008 compared to fiscal 2007.
    Increased healthcare Order Backlog primarily reflects higher Order
Backlog in North America, which more than offset lower healthcare Order
Backlog in Europe compared to the prior year. Increased computer-electronics
Order Backlog primarily reflects higher Order Backlog in North America and
Europe, which more than offset lower computer-electronics Order Backlog in
Asia compared to the prior year. Lower automotive Order Backlog reflects
continued weakness in the North American "Big 3" automotive sector; however,
European automotive Order Backlog remained consistent with the prior year. The
increase in energy Order Backlog reflects strong Order Bookings in both the
nuclear and solar industries during fiscal 2008. During the fourth quarter of
fiscal 2008, the Company secured a $27 million Order Booking in the solar
industry with a new REM customer. Management believes this order will
significantly increase REM's solar market penetration.


    
    Photowatt Technologies Segment

    Photowatt Technologies Revenue (in millions of dollars)

                                                          Q4 2008    Q4 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Photowatt France                                     $   61.4   $   37.8
    Other Solar                                              (0.1)       0.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Revenue                                        $   61.3   $   38.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Photowatt Technologies' fourth quarter revenue of $61.3 million was 59%
higher than in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Higher year-over-year
revenues primarily reflected a 64% increase in total MWs sold at Photowatt
France to 13.1 MWs from 8.0 MWs in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Growth
in MWs sold resulted from increased ingot, wafer, cell and module production
capacity at Photowatt France which came on line in March 2007. In the fourth
quarter, Photowatt France also increased revenue from the sale of module
systems ("Systems") to approximately $9.1 million from $0.4 million in the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Systems include modules, combined with
installation kits, solar power system design and/or other value added
services.
    Photowatt France's revenue reflects the change in revenue mix from
polysilicon products to products made from UMGSi. Total UMGSi products
represented $36.7 million of fiscal 2008 fourth quarter revenue compared to
$3.8 million a year ago. Average cell efficiency was improved in the fourth
quarter to approximately 13.5% for UMGSi cells, compared to approximately
12.6% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.
    Revenue from polysilicon products was $24.6 million in the fourth
quarter, compared to $34.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.
Average polysilicon cell efficiency improved in the fourth quarter to
approximately 15.6%, compared to approximately 14.8% during the fourth quarter
of fiscal 2007.
    Foreign exchange rate changes negatively impacted Photowatt France fourth
quarter revenues by an estimated $1.3 million compared to the fourth quarter
of fiscal 2007, primarily reflecting a stronger Canadian dollar relative to
the Euro.


    
    Photowatt Technologies Operating Results (in millions of dollars)

                                                          Q4 2008    Q4 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating Earnings (Loss):
    Photowatt France                                     $    3.3   $    3.0
    Other Solar                                              15.9      (34.1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Photowatt Technologies
     Operating Earnings (Loss)                           $   19.2   $  (31.1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Photowatt France EBITDA
    Operating earnings (loss)                            $    3.3   $    3.0
    Amortization                                              3.5        2.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Photowatt France EBITDA                              $    6.8   $    5.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Photowatt France had operating earnings of $3.3 million in the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2008, compared to operating earnings of $3.0 million in the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Photowatt France's most recent operating
performance includes approximately $0.2 million of costs related to the
investment in the PV Alliance. Photowatt France amortization expense was
$3.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, compared to $2.9 million in
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.
    Photowatt France continues to focus on improving its profitability,
particularly on UMGSi products, through cost reductions and improved cell
efficiency. During the fourth quarter, significant production improvements
that lowered UMGSi usage per watt and improved cell efficiency continued to
increase the profitability of UMGSi products.
    Compared to the prior year quarter, increased revenue during the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2008 of $23.6 million positively impacted Photowatt France
operating earnings. This contribution was offset by a number of factors,
including:

    
    -   Increased costs of polysilicon feedstock due to industry shortages;

    -   Higher costs of using UMGSi feedstock compared to polysilicon used a
        year ago, despite the operational improvements made using UMGSi
        during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008;

    -   A $0.6 million increase in amortization compared to the fourth
        quarter of fiscal 2007 primarily as a result of the capacity
        expansion completed in fiscal 2007;

    -   Increased factory overhead costs in the fourth quarter of this year
        compared to the fourth quarter last year reflecting higher activity
        levels and increased capacity.
    

    "Other Solar" includes Spheral Solar, Photowatt USA and inter-solar
eliminations. Fourth quarter operating earnings included a gain of
$16.8 million on the sale of non-solar grade silicon that had a nominal
carrying value. This gain more than offset ongoing costs associated with the
wind-down of these operations.
    Fourth quarter fiscal 2007 operating loss included solar corporate costs
of $11.1 million related to the withdrawal of the solar IPO. A year ago,
Spheral Solar and Photowatt USA incurred non-cash charges of $17.0 million,
comprised of $16.5 million for Spheral Solar and $0.5 million for Photowatt
USA, related to the decision to halt Spheral Solar's internal development and
to close the module assembly facility in New Mexico. This non-cash charge
included fixed asset, inventory and other working capital write-downs of
$11.7 million and $5.3 million related to a non-cash provision against a
portion of the Company's Canadian investment tax credits generated by Spheral
Solar.
    The estimated effect of changes in foreign exchange rates increased the
fourth quarter fiscal 2008 operating earnings by $0.3 million compared to the
fourth quarter fiscal 2007.


    
    Consolidated Fourth Quarter (in thousands of dollars, except per share
    data)

                                                          Q4 2008    Q4 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue                                              $186,474   $151,444
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings (loss) from operations                      $  8,183   $(41,664)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income (loss) from
     continuing operations                               $ 10,343   $(78,440)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income (loss)                                    $  7,939   $(80,854)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings (loss) per share
     from continuing operations, basic
     and diluted                                         $   0.13   $  (1.31)
    Earnings (loss) per share, basic
     and diluted                                         $   0.10   $  (1.35)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    Fourth quarter 2007 results have been restated to reflect the
reclassification of the Precision Components segment as a discontinued
operation. The impact of this reclassification reduced fourth quarter revenue
in fiscal 2007 by $21.0 million; reduced loss from operations by $1.7 million;
reduced net loss from continuing operations by $2.4 million; and, reduced loss
per share from continuing operations by $0.04 per share.
    Fourth quarter fiscal 2008 revenue from continuing operations was
$186.5 million, $35.0 million or 23% higher than the same period a year
earlier. This increase primarily reflected a 59% increase in Photowatt revenue
on higher MWs produced and sold during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008
compared to the same period a year ago. ASG revenue increased 10% due to
increased Order Bookings during fiscal 2008 compared to fiscal 2007. Changes
in effective foreign exchange rates reduced consolidated revenue by an
estimated $14.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to
fiscal 2007.
    Fourth quarter consolidated earnings from operations was $8.2 million,
compared to a consolidated loss from operations of $41.7 million in the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2007. The improvement in fourth quarter earnings from
operations in fiscal 2008 reflects operational improvements in ASG, the gain
of $16.8 million on scrap silicon sold during the quarter and a reduction in
expenses in the other solar divisions, as these operations are being wound
down, partially offset by consolidated severance and restructuring charges of
$11.1 million. Fourth quarter consolidated earnings from operations in fiscal
2007 included $17.0 million of asset impairment and other charges related to
the decision to halt internal development in the Spheral Solar division,
consolidated severance and restructuring charges of $4.2 million and
$11.1 million of costs related to the withdrawal of the solar IPO. Changes in
effective foreign exchange rates reduced consolidated operating earnings for
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to fiscal 2007 by an estimated
$2.8 million.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This press release and Fourth Quarter Summary contains certain statements
that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable
securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking
statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors
that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ATS, or
developments in ATS's business or in its industry, to differ materially from
the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed
or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements
include all disclosure regarding possible events, conditions or results of
operations that is based on assumptions about future economic conditions and
courses of action. Forward-looking statements may also include, without
limitation, any statement relating to future events, conditions or
circumstances. ATS cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such
forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made.
Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things: the 2009 plan to
stabilize and improve operating performance, including, improving management,
fixing ASG, positioning Photowatt France to become a standalone company, and
strengthening the balance sheet; estimated costs of operational improvements
and related pay-back period; intention to monetize redundant non-core assets;
cost reductions and improved efficiencies at Photowatt; the PV Alliance and
contemplated Lab-Fab and manufacturing in France; design of Lab-Fab to
increase cell efficiency by up to 2%; potential sale of PCG operating assets;
costs associated with winding up two small operations; and management belief
that REM will increase its solar market penetration. The risks and
uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements include, among
others; general market performance including capital market conditions;
economic market conditions; financial failure of customers, increased pricing
pressure and possible margin compression; foreign currency and exchange risk;
the effect of the strength of the Canadian dollar; performance of the market
sectors that ATS serves; successful implementation of cost improvement
initiatives at Photowatt France and achievement of intended outcomes;
potential inability of Lab-Fab to achieve improvements in cell efficiency,
including problems with the technology or commercialization thereof; inability
to secure the required management depth and talent; inability to effectively
management ASG programs due to issues with quoting or proper structure and
controls; that ASG customers will not be receptive to a new approach to that
market; that external market forces or internal structural issues inhibit
shaping of divisions; slow-down in progress being made with the efficiency of
UMGSI cells; that planned factory improvements at Photowatt France are
unsuccessful or delayed; reversal of current silicon supply arrangements and
negotiation of new supply arrangements; political, labour or supplier
disruptions in manufacturing and supply of silicon; inability to finalize
strategic partnerships or alliances to provide for silicon supply; the ability
of ATS to exit the remaining PCG operations on terms satisfactory to ATS;
inability to achieve expected payback period on operational improvements due
to unexpected additional costs; customer resistance to ASG productized
technology or other unanticipated issues with identifying and protecting ASG
technology; ASG program challenges associated with executing programs from
multiple ASG locations; ability to negotiate beneficial agreements with
suppliers; ability to shift ASG business from a "customized" focus to one that
accommodates and promotes standardized products; ASG competitive pressures; a
decrease in order bookings and backlog; delays in the stabilization of ASG
European and Asian operations; that some or all of the trends towards
automation that ATS believes are attractive dissipate or do not result in
increased demand for automation; risks associated with operating and servicing
customers in a foreign country including integration risks; that multinational
companies withdraw from global manufacturing for business, political, economic
or other reasons; Photowatt France's ability to improve efficiencies of its
solar modules produced using lower grade polysilicon or refined metallurgical
silicon either alone or through partnerships; ability to finalize beneficial
agreements needed to effectively implement Lab-Fab and ability to properly
manage the Lab-Fab relationship; reluctance of solar customers to commit to
longer term supply arrangements; the availability of government subsidies for
solar products, extent of market demand for solar products; reductions in the
average selling price of solar products; the development of superior or
alternative technologies to those developed by ATS; the success of competitors
with greater capital and resources in exploiting their technology; inability
of Photowatt France or PV Alliance to obtain grants in the future to fund
research and development; market risk for developing technologies; economic
viability of use of metallurgical silicon; risks relating to legal proceedings
to which ATS is party; exposure to product liability claims of Photowatt
Technologies; risks associated with compliance with existing and new
legislation; risks associated with greater than anticipated tax liabilities or
expenses; and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's filings with
Canadian provincial securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are
based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and
opinions, and ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking
statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections,
beliefs and opinions change.

    %SEDAR: 00002017E




For further information:

For further information: Anthony Caputo, Chief Executive Officer, Maria
Perrella, Chief Financial Officer, Carl Galloway, Vice-President and
Treasurer, (519) 653-6500


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