SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG

euro adhoc: SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG
Quarterly or Semiannual Financial Statements
SW Umwelttechnik announces 1. results for first quarter of 2004 (E)

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* Continued upturn in revenue and earnings * Good capacity utilisation at Hungarian factories * Order bookings more than trebled in first quarter * Positive impact of forint revaluation on finance cost

In the first quarter of 2004 SW Umwelttechnik’s revenue increased by 4.0% to EUR8.6 million (m) (Q1 2003: EUR8.3m). Growth was driven by strong capacity utilisation at the company’s Hungarian factories, which more than offset the effects of delays in contract awards to its Engineering sector as a result of public spending restrictions and of flat construction activity in Austria.

Strong demand in Hungary was reflected by an increase in the contribution of this geographical market to group revenue to 80%, from 68% in the like period of 2003. revenue generated in Austria fell from 21% to 17% of the total, while other EU countries accounted for 3% of turnover. In terms of the group’s business segments, there was a temporary rise in the revenue contribution of the Infrastructure sector from 39% to 63% due to exceptionally high capacity utilisation in the first quarter. The contributions of the Engineering and Water Conservation sectors fell from 30% to 13%, and from 31% to 24%, respectively.

It should be noted that the first quarter is an unreliable guide to performance over the year as a whole. It normally accounts for only 10--15% of annual revenue due to seasonal factors. The differing seasonal distribution of income and expenses leads to negative results for the period.

In the first quarter of 2004 EBITDA was negative by EUR1.1m — a gain of 12.8% from the EUR1.3m loss in the like period of 2003 — and the loss before interest and tax narrowed by 12.1% to EUR1.1m (Q1 2003: negative EBIT EUR1.3m). These improvements reflect the extensive investment programmes and restructuring of recent years. Due to the revaluation of the Hungarian forint against the euro the net result for financial items swung from finance cost of EUR0.9m to positive amount of EUR0.6m, helping to cut the loss on ordinary activities from EUR3.2m to EUR1.4m.

Investment programme focused on Hungary

Following the completion of the major investments of the past three years at a cost of EUR22m, the investment budget for 2004 has been set at approx. EUR2.5m. During the first quarter EUR0.6m or 24% of this amount was spent. This year the lion’s share of capital expenditure —about 70% — will be channelled to operations in CEE countries.

SW Umwelttechnik’s head count for the period was 1.2% up year on year at 691 (Q1 2003: 683).

Outlook

Order intake trebled as compared to the same period of 2003, lifting order backlog by 13.2% to EUR28.3m. This confirms the positive trend seen in the second half of 2003, and management anticipates a marked improvement in earnings in 2004.

* EU enlargement is providing a major impetus to economic growth in   SW Umwelttechnik’s main market. * In Hungary, demand from commercial and industrial customers for   the Infrastructure sector’s products is growing. The good figures   from this business show the potential created by the investment   programme. * Following last year’s problems due to delays in Hungarian contract   awards for wastewater treatment plants and sewerage projects, and   uncertainties about Austrian electricity injection tariffs for     biogas plants, in the first quarter of 2004 the Engineering sector   registered record order intake, meaning that good capacity     utilisation is assured for the rest of the year. * In Austria, where trading conditions remain difficult, the company   is continuing to replace low-margin standard products by   technically advanced solutions. By strengthening its ranges of   surface water protection systems and masts, it hopes to increase     its shares of these profitable market segments. * Another favourable effect of EU enlargement is new openings for   exports from the company’s current home markets to accession   states. A sales drive has been mounted to tap these opportunities.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 26.05.2004
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Further inquiry note: DI Heinz Wolschner, Vorstand der SW Umwelttechnik Tel.: 0043/463/32109-0, Fax: 0043/463/37667 MMag. Christian Riel, Finanzen/Investor Relations Tel.: 0043/664/4337105, Fax: 0043/1/3688686, mailto:christian.riel@sw-umwelttechnik.at Website: http://www.sw-umwelttechnik.at

Branche: Technology
ISIN:      AT0000808209
WKN:        080820
Index:    ATX Prime, ViDX, WBI
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing
              Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Börse Düsseldorf / free trade
              Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade



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