arxes NCC AG

euro adhoc: arxes NCC AG
Earnings
ARXES NCC AG, Cologne Fiscal year 2003/04 (preliminary figures) A business year of good progress (E)

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Cologne, 16.09.2004 Fiscal year 2003/04 (preliminary figures) A business year of good progress

• EBITDA of EUR 3.9 million • Annual net profit of EUR 2.6 million • Operating income in line with targets at EUR 50.3 million • Sales growth expected for fiscal year 2004/05

arxes NCC Group continued the positive development of the first nine months to conclude business year 2003/2004 with a sizeable annual net profit. New IT services projects, e.g. for Woolworth Germany, KAUTEX and Beissbarth Automotive Group, made a substantial contribution to this result, as did the considerable reduction in specific cost categories. A good utilization ratio of the service sector has been the main reason for the positive development. Services accounted for 83% of total sales, increasing from 68% in the previous year.

arxes NCC Group reported total sales of EUR 47.4 million for the business year (2002/03: EUR 80.4 million). This drop in sales is largely due to the restructuring measures taken as a result of the decision to pull out of trading and hardware sales. Sales in this segment went down by 86% from EUR 25 million to EUR 3.6 million. Other operating income amounted to EUR 3.0 million. Adjusted to include a decrease in work in process amounting to EUR -0.1 million, the Group’s total operating income for the business year was EUR 50.3 million.

Annual net profit of EUR 2.6 million The Group’s earnings displayed positive growth. Earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) went up in business year 2003/2004 to EUR 3.9 million (previous year: EUR 1.2 million), while depreciation on long-term assets went down quite considerably from EUR 40.5 million to EUR 1.2 million. This is largely due to the fact that in the last year this item included scheduled and non-scheduled amortization of goodwill amounting to EUR 36.7 million which was fully written-off in the previous business year.  

EBIT for 2003/2004 was EUR 2.7 million. The annual net profit in the year under review rose to EUR 2.6 million taking the operating margin after tax up to 5.5%.

The Group’s cash flow from operating activities improved significantly as a result of the Group’s annual net profit. Cash flow for business year 2003/2004 was EUR 3.0 million, after EUR -2.9 million in the previous year.

As at 30 June 2004, arxes NCC Group reported liquid assets and securities payable on demand to the value of EUR 5.3 million (previous year: EUR 7.2 million) which are offset by short-term liabilities due to banks totalling EUR 0.2 million. The drop in financial assets was due to the repayment of long-term financial debts amounting to EUR 4.2 million, of which EUR 3.3 million was used for the ahead-of-schedule repayment of a long-term construction financing loan for the office building in the Group’s former site in Aachen; the remaining EUR 0.9 million were used to repay existing long-term financial debts.

Equity went up by EUR 2.7 million to EUR 9.4 million as a result of the Group’s annual net profit. The equity ratio went up to 40% (previous year: 25%).

Prospects for business year 2004/05 The Group expects the current business year to display good growth. arxes NCC Group plans to increase sales to EUR 55 million in fiscal year 2004/05. An operating margin after interest and tax of 2% is targeted for business year 2004/05.

The Group intends to increase sales by acquiring new customers in the medium-sized enterprise segment; the company’s traditional large-volume customer business will continue to play an important role. Specific changes will have to be made to the Group’s present sales structure in order to position arxes NCC Group in this market; these changes will have a one-off impact on the Group’s earnings in the current business year. Even taking this into consideration, the Board of Management is confident that arxes NCC Group will be able to report a profit in business year 2004/05. As from business year 2005/06 the Group’s rate of return is expected to increase steadily and we are confident that our sales efforts in 2005/06 will be reflected in a substantial improvement in the Group’s earnings situation. Our target for the next few years is to take the operating margin up to 10%.

For more information and the detailed annual report, please contact arxes Investor Relations, +49 221/964 86-0, ir@arxes.de, www.arxes.de

Company's profile:

arxes Network Communication Consulting AG

arxes NCC provides IT services comprising IT consultancy, planning, realization and operating client/server-systems and networks. arxes’ core competences range from migration, security, storage and VPN to a multitude of outsourcing services. Based on IT infrastructure analysis, arxes aims to help customers cut down operating expenses for peripheral client/server applications and IT networks by standardization and  consolidation. The Group’s IT service is characterized by a high degree of system automation, and it operates on the basis of process-oriented IT service management in accordance with ITIL (IT  Infrastructure Library). arxes NCC Holding AG reports sales of approximatley EUR 50 million in fiscal 2003/04 (June 30). The holding currently employs 530 people. arxes group, comprising arxes NCC AG, one affiliated company and three minority participations, employs approximately 700 people and reports turnover of approximately EUR 67 million in fiscal 2003/04 (June 30). -end of message-

end of announcement            euro adhoc 16.09.2004
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Further inquiry note: Jürgen Peter Tel.: +49(0)221-96486-0 E-Mail: edda.heidbrink@arxes.de

Branche: Online
ISIN:      DE0005098008
WKN:        509800
Index:    General Standard
Börsen:  Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / regulated dealing
              Niedersächsische Börse zu Hannover / free trade
              Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Hamburger Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bremer Wertpapierbörse (BWB) / free trade
              Börse Düsseldorf / free trade
              Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade



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