feratel media technologies AG

euro adhoc: feratel media technologies AG
EBT positive for financial 2002/2003 - Dividend payment proposed (E)

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In the 2002/2003 business year (1 May 2002 to 30 April 2003), feratel media technologies AG, the e-tourism and media group quoted on the Vienna stock exchange, managed to steer a positive course in spite of the unfavorable market conditions. Earnings before taxes (EBT) rose to TEUR 61 compared with minus TEUR 505.2 in the previous year. At approximately EUR 2.3 million, EBITDA for the group remained stable.

"According to the Austrian Stock Corporation Law the financial statements of feratel media technologies AG form the basis for the dividend payment and report retained earnings worth 550 TEuro. The healthy situation with regard to the balance sheet for the feratel group, with a current equity ratio of 69 % and liquid resources including securities of current assets less short-term liabilities totalling 5.2 Mio. Euro, has prompted us to propose to the Annual General Meeting feratel’s first dividend payment since the corporation went public, namely 6 Eurocents per share," announced Markus Schröcksnadel, CEO at feratel media technologies AG, at the official presentation of the annual financial statements.

While feratel reported a slight increase in net sales in its core markets Austria and Switzerland - thanks to its outstanding market position and the successful launch of new products and services there -, the corporation still had to contend with a deteriorating market in Germany. The German tourism associations, which are not financed via membership fees as in Austria, were hit by severe cuts in the funds they receive from the local and regional authorities. The result was a significant drop in sales in the IRS Division in Germany. Sales for the division as a whole were accordingly down from EUR 9.3 million to EUR 7.4 million. That contrasts with an increase in sales for the Telecommunications Division from EUR 7.4 million to EUR 7.9 million, while the Media Division also improved, from EUR 1.5 million to EUR 1.9 million. Total consolidated sales for financial 2002/2003 fell by about 5 % to EUR 17.2 million. Operating revenues were also down, at EUR 19.1 million compared with EUR 19.3 million in the previous year.

feratel reacted to the recession in Germany with a strict cost-reduction program. All group activities in the country were concentrated on feratel Germany, marginal lines like ticketing were sold off, and the headcount in Germany was greatly reduced in keeping with current requirements for the market and sales volumes there. These measures were taken without detriment to feratel’s market position in Germany.

Highlights of the financial year feratel’s focused efforts to enter the tourism growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe have started to deliver measurable results. Having taken the first steps in Hungary in the previous year, with a camera placed in Budapest and a transmission agreement signed with Hungarian national television, feratel followed up in the year under report with additional cameras located in Siofok, Sáfár, Esztergom, Visegrád and Balaton Füred. A further three cameras will be on the air in the near future. In Slovenia, feratel installed the country’s very first e-tourism solution for the Julian Alps Region.

At the beginning of this year, feratel launched an electronic private label card system in co-operation with Siemens PSE. Unlike conventional systems, a completely new kind of chip enables memory to be shared by various partners. A first pilot project was launched in the Pyhrn-Priel Region of Upper Austria in mid-May.

Outlook In financial 2003/2004, feratel is again placing a main focus on further developing and consolidating its core markets in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany, the strategy is to maintain the corporation’s market position in spite of the problematical economic climate there. The promising initial steps taken to access new markets will be followed up on a sustainable basis.

"For the current financial year we have set ourselves the target of a slight increase in sales and a further improvement to our results in spite of continuing difficulties in terms of the general economic framework. If sales and results develop accordingly, it will again be possible to pay a dividend for the 2003/2004 business year," Markus Schröcksnadel concludes.

* before non-recurring charges

"~"

Consolidated Balance Sheet (in TEUR)

                                                            30.4.2003              30.4.2002
Assets
Non-current assets                                 14,869.3              13,776.6
Deferred tax assets                                 1,725.9                2,354.6
Non-current receivables                              218.9                  330.6
Current assets and prepayments              15,751.9              20,195.4

Liabilities
Shareholders´ equity                              22,461.0              22,642.1
Minority interest                                         86.9                  190.8
Long-term liabilities                              1,064.6                  514.6      
Deferred tax liabilities                            270.6                  196.3
Short-term liabilities, accruals
and deferred income                                 8,682.9              13,113.4

Balance sheet total                                32,566.0              36,657.2

Consolidated Income statement (in TEUR)

                                                                2002/2003          2001/2002

Sales                                                        17,180.4              18,170.2
Income from operations                            19,157.6              19,342.1
EBITDA                                                        2,351.9                2,314.3
EBT                                                                 61.0                 -505.2*

* before nun-recurring charges

"~"

end of announcement            euro adhoc 25.07.2003
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Further inquiry note: For further questions please contact: Martin Fritsch, feratel media technologies AG, Maria-Theresien-Straße 8, A-6020 Innsbruck, Phone: 0043/(0)512/7280, Fax: 0043/(0)512/7280-80, E-Mail: martin.fritsch@feratel.com

Branche: Tourism & Leisure
ISIN:      AT0000737804
WKN:        073780
Index:    Standard Market Auction
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing
              Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bayerische Börse / free trade
              Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / free trade



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