SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG

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

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* Robust earnings growth on slightly reduced revenue * Short-term delays to Hungarian orders * Order backlog 34% up * Strong second half expected * Dividend planned for 2004

SW Umwelttechnik recorded a 3.6% year-on-year fall in revenue from EUR29.7 million (m) to EUR28.6m in the first half of 2004. This was in line with expectations. Strong growth in the sales of the new factory to the south of Budapest only partly offset the impact on revenue from the company’s Engineering sector of temporary hold-ups in order placement in Hungary, caused by government spending curbs. However this ground should be made up later in the year. The Hungarian market’s contribution to revenue rose from 68% to 72%, while Austria generated 24% of the total, and other EU member states and third countries 4%.

The company’s Water Conservation sector accounted for 29% of revenue, the Engineering sector 38% and the Infrastructure Products sector 33%. The Engineering sector has now been broadened to include all project business undertaken by the other two sectors, as well as plant engineering work and SW Umwelttechnik’s activities as a general contractor.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were negative in line with the usual seasonal pattern, but registered an 18% year-on-year improvement, to a loss of EUR 0.9m for the first half of 2004 (HY1 2003: EUR -1.1m). This was driven by a sharp rise in the profitability of the Hungarian production operations, which outweighed the effects of an increase in steel prices and of the short-term delays in Hungarian orders. EBITDA reflected this positive trend, climbing to EUR0.9m from EUR0.8m in the like period of the previous year.

Finance cost declined from EUR2.1m to EUR0.2m due to the revaluation of the Hungarian forint against the euro, leading to a marked reduction in the loss on ordinary activities, from EUR3.3m to EUR1.1m.

The headcount was almost unchanged from the first half of 2003, at 717 (HY1 2003: 718).

Capital expenditure

About 50% of the company’s investment budget for the year as a whole was spent in the first half of 2004. The main focus of investment was on expanding capacity at the Hungarian production facilities.

Outlook

With order backlog up by 34% to EUR30m as of 30 June 2004, management anticipates a strong second half to the year. Due to the expected improvement in earnings per share payment of a dividend for EUR0.20 per share for 2004 is planned.

* EU enlargement is likely to result in a continuation of the robust demand from commercial and industrial customers. A number of major projects in the pipeline present good opportunities for SW Umwelttechnik.

* Following the delays to orders for wastewater treatment plants and sewerage systems in the first half due to budget restrictions, the Engineering sector is set for a strong second half in Hungary.

* The renewable energy business won four construction and/or design engineering orders for biogas plants with a combined capacity of 1,500 kW in the first half of 2004.

* Trading conditions are expected to remain difficult in Austria. However strong demand for the company’s surface water protection and pillar systems should make up for the fall-off in sales of other product lines.

* With exporting made easier by EU enlargement, SW Umwelttechnik is stepping up its sales drive in accession countries — especially Slovakia.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 04.08.2004
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Further inquiry note: Dr. Bernd Wolschner, member of the Management Board Tel: +43 (0)7259 31350; fax: +43/463/37667 Christian Riel, Finance & Investor Relations Tel: +43 (0)664 4337105; fax: +43 (0)1 3688686; e-mail: christian.riel@sw-umwelttechnik.at Website: 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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