BWT Aktiengesellschaft

euro adhoc: BWT Aktiengesellschaft
quarterly or semiannual financial statement / BWT makes a good start

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19.05.2006

- Sales +8.2% to EUR 82.6 million - EBIT +10.4% reaching EUR 8.4 million

With a sales performance which exceeded expectations and a year-on-year increase in EBIT of more than 20 % (adjusted for the spin-off of the AST division 10 %), BWT - Best Water Technology Group - started the 2006 financial year in a very pleasing fashion. CEO Andreas Weissenbacher: "We have returned to our growth path and are consistently working on implementing our strategy involving the new product program and expansion into new markets."

In the first quarter of 2006, the BWT Group generated consolidated sales of EUR 82.6 million and thus exceeded the comparable figure of last year (without AST) by 8.2 %. Total sales including the AST segment amounted to EUR 113.3 million in the previous year. All the newly formed segments increased their sales year-on-year; individual developments are as follows:

@@start.t2@@Segment (in EUR million)            Q1 / 2006          Q1 / 2005          + / - %
Austria / Germany                          32.716                32.558            +0.5%
France / Benelux                            23.248                21.181            +9.8%
Scandinavia                                      9.498                 8.224            +15.5%
Italy / Spain                                  8.001                 7.230            +10.7%
Others                                              9.180                 7.181            +27.8%
Subtotal BWT excl. AST                  82.643                76.374            +8.2%
Aqua Systems Techn. (AST) *)              -                  36.958         -100.0%
BWT Group                                        82.643              113.332            -27.1%
*) spun-off on October 31, 2005 and launched on the Vienna Stock Exchange on
November 8, 2005, as "CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY"
The development of the Austria / Germany segment was below average. Increased
order book levels already lead us to expect an improvement in the months to
come. In the France / Benelux segment, the unsatisfactory development in the
concluding months of the previous year saw a trend reversal. In Scandinavia, the
HOH Group generated considerably more sales, HOH Denmark and HOH Birger
Christensen in Norway in particular contributed to this. The companies operating
under the "Cillit" brand in Italy and Spain were also above-average contributors
to developments in sales and earnings with an increase of 10.7%. The BWT
activities in Switzerland, Eastern Europe and outside Europe, summarized in the
"Others" segment increased their sales by 28 %, in fact the increase for the
Eastern European companies was even above 40 %.
FUMATECH GmbH, which concentrates on the development, manufacture and sale of
special membranes for fuel cells, increased its sales in the Austria / Germany
segment from EUR0.1 million to EUR0.4 million.
The servicing and spare parts business again recorded above-average growth, this
time 20%, and in the first quarter of 2006 accounted for more than 22% of the
sales of the BWT Group.
EBIT (earnings from operating activities) for the BWT Group improved to EUR 8.4
million, which equals 10.2 % of sales, the increase was thus 10.4 % year-on-year
(without AST). Taking into account the still negative AST segment in the first
quarter of the previous year, the increase in EBIT even amounts to 20.7 %. This
pleasing development is mainly attributable to the "Scandinavia" segment, which
after breaking even last year has already achieved EBIT of 9.6 % in the first
quarter of 2006, close to the BWT Group average, thanks to the successful
realignment of the HOH Group. Regarding EBIT in the Austria / Germany segment,
preparation for the launch of the "point-of-use" program deducted some EUR 0.3
million being more than balanced by improvements in the other segments.
Segment (in EUR million)          Q1 / 2006            Q1 / 2005          + / - %
Austria / Germany                         2.927                  3.678              -20.4%
France / Benelux                          2.375                  2.063              +15.1%
Scandinavia                                  0.909                  0.066                  -
Italy / Spain                                1.418                  1.124              +26.2%
Others                                          0.799                  0.704              +13.5%
Subtotal BWT excl. AST                 8.428                  7.635              +10.4%
Aqua Systems Techn. (AST) *)          -                    -0.652                 -
BWT Group                                      8.428                  6.983              +20.7%
*) spun-off on October 31, 2005 and launched on the Vienna Stock Exchange on
November 8, 2005, as "CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY"
Financial earnings declined from EUR -0.2 million to EUR -0.3 million due to the
generally higher level of interest rates and the change from CHF to EUR
financing. Earnings before taxes increased year-on-year by 9.4 % to EUR 8.2
million. The consolidated tax rate was 29.5 % in the first quarter and the
annual net profit increased to EUR 5.8 million or 7.0 % of sales (previous year
without AST: EUR 5.4 million, incl. AST: EUR 4.4 million). Earnings per share
amounted to EUR 0.32, 31.5 % higher than in the first quarter of the previous
year (EUR 0.24).
The improvement in earnings has resulted in the cash flow from the result
increasing from EUR 7.1 million to EUR 7.7 million. The net debt increased
compared with the end of 2005 from EUR 36.3 million to EUR 38.7 million, gearing
amounted to 39.2 % and thus had only changed minimally compared with December
31, 2005 (38.9 %). The capital base of the Group was 38.6 % and thus remained
solid (December 31, 2005: 37.7 %). In the first quarter of 2005, the BWT Group
invested a total of EUR 2.2 million in fixed assets, the increase mainly
attributable to the expansion in production capacity in Mondsee. By the end of
the first quarter, the number of employees in the BWT Group had risen to 2,069;
the increase was 62 people as against December 31, 2005 and 65 people as against
March 31, 2005 and was due to the expansion of service and production capacity.@@end@@

Outlook

After the spin-off of the Aqua Systems Technologies segment last year, the BWT Group is concentrating, under the slogan "Safety, Hygiene and Health", on water treatment with serial-produced products in the domestic sphere. BWT’s goal is, based on its leadership of the market in Europe, to expand its international business outside Europe and to make the BWT brands more familiar to end consumers. This is likely to be achieved mainly by intensifying business activities with subsidiaries and partnerships in Eastern Europe and Asia as well as by launching the so-called "point-of-use" program (i.e. devices which are used at the point the water is drawn off). Based on this and the gratifying results of the first quarter in a positive economic environment, the Management Board expects consolidated Group sales for the current financial year of more than EUR 330 million and an annual net profit of more than EUR 20 million.

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ots Originaltext: BWT Aktiengesellschaft
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
BWT - Best Water Technology Group
Ralf Burchert, CEFA
ralf.burchert@bwt.at
Tel.: +43 (0)6232/5010-1113

Branche: Water Supply
ISIN:      AT0000737705
WKN:        884042
Index:    ATX Prime
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market



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