AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

euro adhoc: AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
quarterly or semiannual financial statement / AGRANA - Strong growth during the first half-year 2006|07

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12.10.2006

Revenues recorded by the AGRANA Group rose by 28% over the comparable prior year figure of EUR 723.5 million to EUR 923.2 million for the first half of the 2006|07 financial year. Income from operations increased 24% to EUR 59.3 million during the same period (2005|06: EUR 47.8 million).  AGRANA continued the steady pursuit of its growth course during the first half of 2006|07. This is reflected in the initial consolidation of the former DSF and previous Atys Group, two fruit companies that are now wholly owned by AGRANA. In addition, advance exports of C sugar and the satisfactory development of the Starch Segment and Fruit Segment provided support for the improvement in revenues. Profit before tax for the first half-year equaled EUR 48.9 million, which represents a plus of 9% over the prior year (first half-year 2005|06: EUR 44.8 million). Net profit for the period reached EUR 33.4 million, but remained below the comparable 2005|06 figure of EUR 34.6 million because of an increase in the tax rate from 23 to 32%. In spite of the decline in net profit, earnings per share rose to EUR 2.23 (first half-year 2005|06: EUR 2.12) due to a reduction in minority interests. Investments totaled EUR 50.5 million for the first half of 2006|07, compared to EUR 38.4 million in the previous financial year, and reflected the continued growth of the AGRANA Group.

AGRANA - Key Data according to IFRS (March 1 to August 31)

@@start.t2@@                                                    First Half-Year          First Half-Year
in mEUR                                              2006|07                         2005|06
Revenues                                              923.2                            723.5
Income from operations                         59.3                              47.8
Profit before tax                                 48.9                              44.8
Net profit for the period                    33.4                              34.6
Earnings per share                                2.23                              2.12
Investments in tangible assets            50.5                              38.4
Employees                                            7,972                            8,055@@end@@

Net financial expense for the first half of 2006|07 totaled EUR 10.4 million compared to net financial expense of EUR 3.1 million in the previous year as a result of recognized negative foreign exchange differences and an increase in interest expense that was related to acquisitions in the Fruit Segment.

Outlook AGRANA will continue to pursue its strategy and realize sustainable organic growth. The projects in China, Brazil and Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the expansion of Hungrana and the bioethanol plant in Austria will provide additional impulses for growth over the coming years. Revenues are expected to rise by 20% to EUR 1.8 billion for the full 2006|07 financial year. This forecast also includes the adjustment of the business year in the Fruit Segment from the calendar year to the AGRANA financial year (March 1 to February 28), which means the results of this segment for January and February 2006 will also be included in the 2006|07 financial year.  The Fruit Segment will generate the largest share of revenues and earnings during the current financial year. High organic growth in the area of fruit preparations is expected for the full year. In contrast to the first six months of 2006|07, the Sugar Segment is expected to show weaker development during the second half of the financial year. This development will be influenced by significantly higher energy costs for the campaign, lower sales volumes of quota sugar as a result of the flexible quota reduction, declining exports and first payments to the EU Restructuring Fund. The development of business in the Starch Segment during the next two quarters will reflect the first half of the year.

This press release and the report on the first half-year 2006|07 are available in German and English under www.agrana.com.

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ots Originaltext: AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
Doris Schober
Investor Relations/Corporate Communications
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084
e-mail:investor.relations@agrana.at

Branche: Food
ISIN:      AT0000603709
WKN:        779535
Index:    ATX Prime, WBI
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market