Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG

euro adhoc: Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG / Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG: Sales and results 1-9/03 marked by restrained market development and weak dollar EBIT margin around 10 %; cost and capacity optimisation at all organisat

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Ternitz, November 28, 2003. Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG, listed on the prime market of the Vienna Stock Exchange, looks back on a 9-month result characterized by restrained demand within the industry and the weakness of the US-dollar. Within the first nine months of the year, SBO achieved group sales of EUR 105.0 mill. (following EUR 134.7 mill.). The EBIT generated in the first nine months of 2003 was EUR 10.3 mill. (following EUR 17.9 mill.). The nine-month EBIT margin was approx. 10 % (following around 13 %).

"As expected, the third quarter of 2003 did not yet see any improvement of the situation in the industry. Despite of declining bookings and most adverse currency effects we were able to achieve a satisfying EBIT margin in the first three quarters", CEO Gerald Grohmann comments on the business development.

Sales generated in Q3 amounted to EUR 31.1 mill. (following EUR 39.2 mill.). The EBIT of Q3 was EUR 2.1 mill. (EUR 3.6 mill.). The profit before tax of EUR 2.4 mill. was less than last year’s figure, EUR 3.8 mill., but remained largely at the level of Q2/2003 (EUR 2.5 mill.). Adjusted for currency effects, the profit before tax in Q3/2003 of EUR 3.6 mill. - despite of declining bookings - would come close to last year’s result (EUR 3.8 mill.).

Nonetheless, SBO continues to implement their corporate policy of flexibly adapting capacities to the order situation and improving both cost structure and product portfolio. This is why in-house production of standard oil tools, whose volumes and prices have gone down recently, will be discontinued at Darron, UK (annual division sales around EUR 5 mill.). Darron will henceforth focus on manufacturing high-quality, customer-specific high-precision parts. Additional optimisation measures will be implemented in the coming months in an effort to secure the earnings situation at Darron.

As part of the strategy to use the current weakness of the US-dollar to step up investments in the dollar region and following the 100% takeover of Knust-SBO Ltd., Houston, SBO continues to take further steps. The production facility of Godwin-SBO L.P., Houston was moved to another location so as to shorten lead times and cut logistics costs. Additionally, the new location offers attractive perspectives for expansion. Early in December the new gunhole drilling activities in the US (high-precision drilling for specialty parts) will be put into operation.

Outlook

Despite of the currently dissatisfying market and currency situation and strains resulting from reorganisation measures SBO expects to generate a result in 2003 that will allow the company to distribute an adequate dividend. As for 2004, Mr. Grohmann’s assessment remains unchanged: "A sustained economic recovery in the US and Asia should trigger growing demand for oil, resulting in increased drilling activities and stronger demand for high-tech equipment components for oil production."

Comparison of key figures in MEUR
~
                                          1-9 2003 1-9 2002
Sales                                  105.04    134.66
EBIT                                    10.26      17.89
EBIT margin (%)                  9.8         13.3
Profit before tax                9.57        14.47
Consolidated group result  5.43        8.61
Headcount *                         809         869
~

*Reporting date September 30.

Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG is the global market leader for high-precision components for the oilfield service industry. The business focus is on non-magnetic drill string components for directional drilling. Worldwide, the company employs a workforce of 809 (end of 2002: 852), currently 218 in the company headquarters at Ternitz, Lower Austria, and 296 in Houston, Texas. The majority shareholder of the company is Berndorf AG (approx. 64 %).

end of announcement            euro adhoc 28.11.2003
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Further inquiry note: Gerald Grohmann, Chief Executive Officer Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG A-2630 Ternitz, Hauptstraße 2 Tel: +43 2630/315 DW 110, Fax: ext. 101 E-Mail: sboe@sbo.co.at

Mick Stempel, Hochegger|Financials Tel.:+43 1/504 69 87 ext. 85 E-Mail: m.stempel@hochegger.com

Branche: Oil & Gas - Upstream activities
ISIN:      AT0000946652
WKN:        94665
Index:    ATX Prime, WBI
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing



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