Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG

euro adhoc: Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG
Quarterly or Semiannual Financial Statements
Significant increase in bookings in first half of 2004 - Net result above last year (E)

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Ternitz, August 31, 2004. Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG (SBO), listed on the prime market of the Vienna Stock Exchange, could significantly increase bookings in the first half of 2004 by 35.7 % to EUR 85.2 mill. The improved order situation is not yet fully reflected in the sales figures, as the more adverse euro-dollar exchange rate over 2003 caused a slight decline of sales to EUR 72.0 mill. (following EUR 73.9 mill.). The half-year EBIT was EUR 7.4 mill., slightly below last year’s EUR 8.1 mill. As a result of the now 100% interest in Knust-SBO/Houston the net group profit in the first half of 2004 was EUR 4.4 mill. (following EUR 3.9 mill.).  

Adjusted for the dollar rate effects both the consolidated group sales of EUR 78.3 mill. and the half-year EBIT of EUR 9.6 mill. would have considerably surpassed last year’s figures.

"The favourable development of the economies in Asia and the US and the resulting increased demand for oil had a positive effect on the oilfield service industry," comments SBO’s  CEO Gerald Grohmann on the half-year result. It was mainly the second quarter in which the economic upswing made itself felt in all business segments.

In the first half of the year, SBO further invested in expanding their market position and streamlining the cost structure. Apart from founding a fully-owned subsidiary in Mexico the company is establishing a new service centre in the Rocky Mountains. This is due to the positive sales development in the field of downhole motors triggered by growing numbers of gas drilling projects in the North West of the US.

Stimulating oil prices now but potential threat to global economy

With the high order backlog of around EUR 45 mill. (compared with approx. EUR 33 mill. at mid-2003), business development in the second half rests on a solid foundation. However, the most recent oil price hike driven by the political crisis and speculations does not allow any precise forecast. Business development in the second half of 2004 will considerably depend on the economic and demand assessment of oil companies for 2005 and the dollar-euro exchange rate. At the moment, the high oil price has a stimulating effect on the oilfield service industry. However, excessive oil and energy prices might have negative repercussions on the "economic engines" of  Asia and the US and, therefore, also on the oil industry’s willingness to make further investments.

Comparison of key figures in MEUR
~
                                          HY 2004 HY 2003
Sales                                  72.0      73.9
EBIT                                    7.4        8.1
EBIT margin (%)                  10.3      11
Profit before tax                6.7        7.1
Consolidated group result  4.4        3.9
EPS*                                    0.34      0.30
Headcount **                        811        833
~

* based on average shares outstanding **reporting date June 30, 2004

Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG is the global leader for high-precision components for the oilfield service industry. The business focus is on non-magnetic drillstring components for directional drilling. Worldwide, SBO employs a workforce of 811 (end of  2003: 800), currently 206 in the company headquarters at Ternitz, Lower Austria, and 411 in North America. The majority shareholder of the company (approx. 64 %) is Berndorf AG.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 31.08.2004
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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 ext. 110, fax: ext. 101 E-mail: sboe@sbo.co.at

Mick Stempel Tel.: 01/5046987-85 mailto: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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