CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY AG

euro adhoc: CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY AG
quarterly or semiannual financial statement
CHRIST registers strong growth in the first quarter 2006

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22.05.2006

-          Order intake +26.5% to EUR 53.9 million
-          Sales +34.6% to EUR 51.1 million
-          EBIT improved from TEUR -651 to EUR +1.033 million
-          Net result rises from TEUR -999 to TEUR +847

The first quarter of the 2006 financial year shows a continuation of the positive business development of the previous year. CEO DDr. Karl Michael Millauer: "We made good progress in globalizing our business in the first quarter and were able to take advantage of good market conditions in almost all segments. We intend to raise our profitability further over the next few quarters."

Incoming orders increased by 26.5% compared with the same period of the previous year and amount to EUR 53.9 million (Q1 2005: EUR 42.6 million). At EUR 149.2 million, the overall order book has increased by 60% compared with the previous year (Q1 2005: EUR 93.4 million) and, what is more, has even exceeded the record level as at December 31, 2005 (EUR 146.5 million).

One positive feature to note is that all segments posted a growth in sales:

@@start.t2@@Segment (EUR million)            1 - 3 / 2006          1 - 3 / 2005      + / - %
Pharma & Life Science                 11.385                    9.631            +18.2%
Ultrapure Water                          23.645                  15.486            +52.7%
Food & Beverage                            5.940                    4.897            +21.3%
Municipal Water Treatment          10.163                    7.969            +27.5%
Group sales                                 51.133                  37.983            +34.6%
Sales in the Pharma & Life Science segment increased by 18.2% to EUR 11.4
million thanks to expansion of business outside Europe (China, India, USA) as
well as strong demand.
In the Ultrapure Water segment, sales of EUR 23.6 million were achieved and thus
exceeded the figure of the first quarter of the previous year by 52.7%. The
focus was clearly microelectronics, dominated in particular by semiconductor
projects and the flat screen industry in the Far East.
In the less impressive Food & Beverage segment, sales increased by 21.3% to
around EUR6 million. This figure does not take into account the 51%
participation in KF Service GmbH, which was recently taken by a letter of
intent. After finalization of the purchase agreements, this will probably be
consolidated for the first time in the CHRIST Group as of the second quarter.
The Municipal Water Treatment division continued to exploit the positive
business impetus in the municipal drinking water and waste water treatment
markets.
EBIT (earnings from operating activities) amounts to EUR 1.03 million and is
thus considerably better than the same period of the previous year, which posted
a loss of EUR 0.65 million.
Segment (T EUR)                      1 - 3 / 2006          1 - 3 / 2005
Pharma & Life Science                 143.1                      121.4
Ultrapure Water                          680.8                 -1,098.4
Food & Beverage                         -191.2                      -59.5
Municipal Water Treatment          400.8                      384.6
Group EBIT                                1,033.5                    -651.9@@end@@

The Pharma & Life Science segment increased its operating result in lockstep with sales growth from TEUR 121.4 to TEUR 143.1. Increased expenditure as part of further globalization and in terms of research and development for new products limited further earnings growth. These advance inputs should already be having a positive effect on the margins this year, in terms of the implementation of projects at hand and new orders.

The continued recovery of the Ultrapure Water segment is reflected once again in improved EBIT of TEUR 680.8. At EUR -1.1 million, the result in the same period of the previous year was negative. Geographically speaking, business is especially aligned to the booming microelectronics markets in the Far East (China, Taiwan, Singapore), which is also connected to a shifting of resources to these regions.

In the Food & Beverage segment, the operating result of TEUR -191.2 was still rather negative. The implementation of projects with weak margins and the reorganization of costs are running to plan.

The Municipal Water Treatment segment can point to an operating performance of TEUR 400.8 (up 4.2 % on the previous year). For the year as a whole a higher EBIT can be expected.

Earnings before taxes amounted to TEUR 1,214.1 after the first quarter of 2006, which equals an improvement of TEUR 2,166 after a loss of TEUR -951.9 in the previous year. Earnings after taxes improved from a loss of TEUR -998.5 to a profit of TEUR 847.3, the profit shares of minority shareholders had only a minimal effect on the net profit for the year after minority shares.

The number of employees has fallen from 842 as of December 31, 2005 to 830 as of March 31, 2006. The reduction is principally due to the outsourcing of production in Aesch as of January 1, 2006. In contrast, the number of production employees in the Far East increased.

Despite the rise in the business volume, the balance sheet total fell from EUR 144.4 million to EUR 137.8 million. Group equity (including minority shares) increased slightly from EUR 41.2 million as at December 31, 2005 to EUR 41.8 million at the end of March 2006. The equity ratio improved from 28.5 % to 30.3 % due to the reduced balance sheet total. Compared with the first quarter of 2005, the cash flow from operating activities improved by EUR 7.0 million from EUR -6.1 million to EUR 0.9 million. Compared with March 31, 2005, liquid funds increased from EUR 6.6 million to EUR 16.2 million.

Outlook

Based on business development up until now, the management believes that incoming orders in all four segments will be better than last year and sales will exceed EUR 200 million in full 2006. Due to the positive margin structure of the orders acquired, it can be assumed that the contribution margins and the EBIT margin will continue to improve over the coming months. Following the successfully placed corporate bond of EUR 50 million at the end of April, the CHRIST Group can point to a solid long-term financial basis and is well equipped for a promising future in the growth market of the 21st century: water.

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ots Originaltext: CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
CHRIST AG
Ralf Burchert, CEFA
ralf.burchert@christ-water.com
Tel.: 06232/5011-1113

Branche: Biotechnology
ISIN:      AT0000499157
WKN:        675399
Index:    WBI, ATX Prime
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market



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