Andritz AG

euro adhoc: Andritz AG
Annual Reports
Andritz: Successful Business Development in 2004 - Order Intake, Sales, and Earnings reach record levels - Record Order Backlog provides solid base for 2005 - Proposed dividend of 1.40 EUR per share

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02.03.2005

Graz, 3 March 2005.  In 2004, international Andritz Group achieved its best financial results in history.  Sales increased to 1,481.3 MEUR (+20.9% vs. 2003).  Net Income after Minority Interests developed very favorably, increasing significantly to 53.4 MEUR (+83.5% vs. 2003).  Order Intake reached a new record level of over 1.8 bn. Euros (+31.7% vs. 2003).  Order Backlog as of 31 December 2004 amounted to over 1.4 bn. Euros (+36.6% vs. 2003) and provides a solid workload for 2005.  At the upcoming Annual General Meeting, the Managing Board will propose an increase in the dividend to 1.40 EUR per share (2003: 1.00 EUR per share).

Increase in Sales Sales of the Andritz Group in 2004 developed very favorably.  As a result of the execution of the high Order Backlog as of the end of 2003, the favorable development of Order Intake, the growth of the services business, and Sales contributions from the companies acquired in 2004, Sales increased by 20.9% to 1,481.3 MEUR (2003: 1,225.0 MEUR).  In particular, the Pulp and Paper, Rolling Mills and Strip Processing Lines, and Environment and Process Business Areas increased their Sales significantly compared to 2003. Sales of the Feed Technology Business Area were only slightly higher than in the previous year, mainly as a result of weak market conditions and the decline of the US dollar against the Euro, which led to negative translation effects, especially for this Business Area.

Sales of the companies/business areas acquired in 2004 (Bird Machine, NETZSCH Filtration, Kaiser, and VA TECH WABAG’s fluidized bed drying systems Business Area), which were not included in the financial statements of 2003, added approximately 96 MEUR to the Group’s total Sales in 2004.  Organic Sales growth of the Group therefore was approximately 13%.

Increase in Earnings As a result of increased Sales, ongoing cost optimization programs, and positive Earnings contributions from some of the newly acquired companies, the Group’s Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization of Goodwill (EBITDA) surged from 84.4 MEUR in 2003 to 115.4 MEUR in 2004.  Group profitability expressed as EBITDA margin improved from 6.9% in 2003 to 7.8% in 2004. EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) increased by 55.6% to 76.1 MEUR (2003: 48.9 MEUR).  Net Income after the deduction of Minority Interests surged to 53.4 MEUR (2003 29.1 MEUR).

Record Order Intake and Order Backlog Order Intake of the Andritz Group reached an historic record level in 2004.  Due to the very favorable business development in almost every Business Area, Group Order Intake surged from 1,394.4 MEUR in 2003 to 1,837.0 MEUR in 2004, an increase of 31.7%.   As a consequence of excellent Order Intake, the Group’s Order Backlog reached a record level of 1,439.2 MEUR at the end of 2004 (31.12.2003: 1,053.6 MEUR).  This provides a solid workload for the Andritz Group in 2005.

Balance Sheet Net liquidity (cash and cash equivalents minus interest-bearing financial liabilities) as of 31.12.2004, at 219.6 MEUR, almost quadrupled compared to the reference date of last year (31.12.2003: 55.0 MEUR).  With an equity ratio of 23.4% as of 31.12.2004 (24.0% as of 31.12.2003), the Andritz Group has a solid and balanced financial structure.

Dividend At the upcoming Annual General Meeting, the Managing Board will propose an increase in the dividend to 1.40 EUR per share (2003: 1.0 EUR per share).

Outlook Provided that the world economy shows a continued positive development, the Andritz Group expects a favorable business development in 2005 with good project activities in all of its Business Areas. "Based on the high Order Backlog at the end of 2004 and the expected solid project activity in all of our Business Areas, we are optimistic for 2005 and expect Sales and Earnings in 2005 to increase compared to 2004.  Growth rates, however, will be somewhat lower compared to the very high levels achieved in 2004," says Wolfgang Leitner, President and CEO of Andritz.

Key Figures of the Andritz Group:
~
(in MEUR, IAS)                                    2004            2003                Change

Order Intake                                      1,837.0        1,394.4            +31.7%
Order Backlog as of 31.12.                1,439.2        1,053.6            +36.6%
Sales                                                 1,481.3        1,225.0            +20.9%
EBITDA                                                  115.4            84.4            +36.7%
EBITDA margin                                          7.8%            6.9%                -
EBITA                                                      92.8            63.1            +47.1%
EBITA margin                                            6.3%            5.2%                -
Operating profit (EBIT)                         76.1            48.9            +55.6%
Earnings before taxes                            77.2            49.3            +56.6%
Net Income after minorities                  53.4            29.1            +83.5%
~
Disclaimer
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute
"forward-looking statements".  These statements, which contain the
words "believe", "intend", "expect" and words of similar meaning,
reflect management’s beliefs and expectations and are subject to
risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ
materially.  As a result, readers are cautioned not to place undue
reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims
any obligation to publicly announce the result of any revisions to
the forward-looking statements made herein, except where it would be
required to do so under applicable law.

end of announcement                                euro adhoc 03.03.2005 07:30:00
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Further inquiry note: Michael Buchbauer Head of Investor Relations Tel.: +43 316 6902 2979 Fax: +43 316 6902 465 mailto:michael.buchbauer@andritz.com

Branche: Machine Manufacturing
ISIN:      AT0000730007
WKN:        
Index:    WBI, ATX Prime, ATX
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing



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