Sartorius AG

euro adhoc: Sartorius AG
Group EBIT increased to previous year / Consolidation drive takes effect
Sales Revenue declines mainly due to impact of foreign exchange rates
Net cash flow significantly increased
Strong increase for 2004 results expect

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The Sartorius Group increased its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in fiscal 2003 by 8.6% to 14.7 million euros (previous year: 13.5 million). The EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is amounting to 37.7 million euros and rose by 3.9% to the year-earlier figure of 36.3 million euros. The result includes negative one-off effects of approx. 5 million euros due to the realised restructurings and approx. 3 million euros due to the insolvency of our minority stake Diessel GmbH & Co. KG.

The Sartorius Group sales revenue declined by 7.2% to 442.3 million euros (previous year: 476.5 million euros) in particular as a result of the impact of the foreign exchange rates. The Biotechnology Division posted a 10.7% drop in sales revenue to 227.3 million euros from 254.6 million euros the year before. Sales revenue of the Mechatronics Division slipped 3.1% to 215.1 million euros from 221.9 million euros a year ago. Adjusted for the impact of foreign exchange rates the Group sales revenue was 469.9 millions euros and could nearly reach the year-earlier sales revenue. Considering the two extraordinary fermentation projects last year with a volume of approx. 25 million euros, both divisions showed operational growth. For the group this growth was approx. 4,0%. The respective growth of the Biotechnology Division was approx. 5,5%, that of the Mechatronics Division approx. 2,5% compared to previous year.

In fiscal 2003, the net cash flow significantly increased to 33.9 million euros (previous year: 0.6 million euros) and was primarily used to reduce the net debt by 21.1% from 133.1 million euros to 105.0 million euros (reporting date of December 31, 2002, compared with December 31, 2003).

For the fiscal 2004 the Sartorius Group strives for a sales revenue growth in the middle to higher one-digit percentage. After realising important consolidation actions in 2003 we expect a significant increase of the results for 2004.

The Executive Board will suggest to the Supervisory Board to pay dividends on the same level as the previous year. The figures stated above are still subject to the auditors' final review. The final numbers will be made public at the annual press conference on March 30, 2004.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 23.02.2004
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Further inquiry note: Thomas Hartwig, CFO Phone: +49.551.308.3871 thomas.hartwig@sartorius.com

Branche: Biotechnology
ISIN:      DE0007165607
WKN:        716560
Index:    CDAX, Prime All Share, Prime Standard, Technologie All Share
Börsen:  Niedersächsische Börse zu Hannover / official dealing
              Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / official dealing
              Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bayerische Börse / free trade
              Hamburger Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bremer Wertpapierbörse (BWB) / free trade
              Börse Düsseldorf / free trade
              Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade



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