BENE AG

euro adhoc: BENE AG
Financial Figures/Balance Sheet
Bene remains on growth course: considerable sales and earnings improvement in the first half-year of 2008/09.

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6-month report

23.09.2008

@@start.t2@@•          Consolidated sales increased by about 10 % to EUR 126.2 million
•          EBIT rose by more than 20 % to EUR 6.2 million
•          Significantly improved operating cash flow
•          Further expansion of strong market position through numerous major
international projects@@end@@

Vienna / Waidhofen/Ybbs, September 23, 2008. With a considerable rise in sales and a disproportionate improvement in earnings, in the first half-year of 2008/09, the Vienna stock listed Bene AG (ISIN AT00000BENE6) increased its profitability and further strengthened its position in all relevant markets.

With a sales increase of 9.7 % to EUR 126.2 million (first half-year of 2007/08: EUR 115.1 million) the international specialist for office and working environments continued its growth strategy in the first half of the current business year (February 1 until July 31, 2008). A detailed consideration per segment shows nice growth rates of all segments, with the exception of the UK. In the first six months of 2008/09, with  EUR 37.4 million in Austria,  Bene increased the last year´s reference value (first half-year of 2007/08: EUR 36.1 million) by 3.6 %. Likewise in Germany, the Bene Group further strengthened its market position (top 9 in Germany): Compared to the reference period, sales grew by 13.9 % from EUR 29.4 million to EUR 33.4 million. Due to the clearly subdued investment climate, in the first six months of the current business year, the UK segment had to report a decrease in sales of 30.8 % to EUR 12.3 million (first half-year of 2007/08: EUR 17.7 million). After an initially cautious start, Bene could achieve a very positive sales development in the Russia segment and in the first half-year improved sales by 8.4 % to EUR 14.6 million (first half-year of 2007/08: EUR 13.4 million). Like already in the first quarter, the Bene Group again realised an above average sales growth of the "other markets" segment in the second quarter of 2008/09. In total, sales of the first half-year of 2008/09 increased by 54.2 % to EUR 28.6 million (first half-year of 2007/08: EUR 18.5 million). Beside the Ukraine, Poland and Czechia, particularly France, the Netherlands and Switzerland contributed to this significant rise.

The earnings key figures and thus the profitability of the Bene Group improved even better than sales: In the first half-year of 2008/09, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose by 20.8 % to EUR 6.2 million (first half-year of 2007/08: EUR 5.1 million); the EBIT-margin increased from 4.4 % to 4.9 %.

The Bene Group´s financial result decreased by EUR 0.5 million to EUR -0.3 million due to lower income from securities compared to the last year´s first half. In total, the EBT of EUR 5.3 million grew by 11.5 % to EUR 5.9 million. Like in the previous year, the EBT-margin was 4.6 %.

The positive business performance in the first half-year lead to a minor expansion of the working capital to EUR 35.2 million on the balance sheet date July 31, 2008 (January 31, 2008: EUR 34.2 million). As of the same date, the equity ratio was 46.3 % (January 31, 2008: 48.7 %).

Likewise, a large part of the investments in the total amount of EUR 9.5 million in the first half-year of 2008/09 (first half-year of 2007/08: EUR 9.2 million) was arising from the expansion and the modernisation of the production site as well as from the adaptation and the modernisation of the distribution sites.

On the reporting date July 31, 2008, the Bene Group occupied 1,479 employees and thus 33 people or 2.3 % more than on July 31, 2007.

After a solid first half-year of 2008/09, the Management Board of the Bene Group likewise counts on a satisfying business performance for the remaining year and expects a sales increase for the overall year 2008/09. Due to the current situation of the international finance markets, a long-term outlook into the future is hardly possible.

Note. Among others, this report contains statements on potential future developments, which were made on the basis of currently available information. Such statements, which reflect the current assessment of future developments by our Management, cannot be construed as guarantees for future performance and bear unforeseeable risk and uncertainty. There may be a variety of reasons for actual results and conditions to substantially diverge from the assumptions, on which the statements were based.

The comprehensive quarterly report is available under www.bene.com.

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ots Originaltext: BENE AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Investor Relations
Mag. Gerald Strohmaier, MBA
Head of Finance & Investor Relations
A-3340 Waidhofen/Ybbs
Schwarzwiesenstraße 3
Phone +43-7442-500-3372
Fax +43-7442-500-993372
www.bene.com

Branche: Furnishings & Furniture
ISIN:      AT00000BENE6
WKN:        
Index:    ATX Prime
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market



Weitere Meldungen: BENE AG

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