Lenzing AG

euro adhoc: Lenzing AG
Annual Reports
The Lenzing Group: Preliminary Results 2002 Best Year in the Company's History (E)

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EBIT rose by 21.2% to EUR 78.4 mill. Board of Management proposes a dividend of EUR 4.0 per share Since 1 March 2003 Thomas M. Fahnemann is the new Chairman of the Board of Management

In spite of a difficult cyclical environment during fiscal 2002, the Lenzing Group succeeded in achieving the best result in the company's history. With sales amounting to EUR 625.5 mill. (after EUR 622.7 mill. in 2001) all key data on earnings were clearly improved. The result before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) went up by 19% and amounted to EUR 121.3 mill., while the income from operations (EBIT) rose by 21% and totaled EUR 78.4 mill. On account of the good results, the Board of Management will propose a higher dividend to the shareholders' meeting, i.e. EUR 4.0 per share, for fiscal 2002.

These results became possible because the Lenzing Group took up its strategic position - as quality supplier with consistent customer orientation - and dynamically expanded its program of special fibers. Another reason was that the sectors engineering and systems-construction, as well as paper and plastics provided such good contributions to the result.

Further Improvements in Liquidity and the Balance Sheet Structure The good earnings situation and the high free cash flow were also the basis for a further major improvement of the balance sheet structure. It was possible, for example, to reduce the Group's net indebtedness from approximately EUR 110.4 mill. to the current low of EUR 33.3 mill. by year-end 2002. Net Gearing decreased to under 10%

Success in a Difficult Economic Environment After the consumption of viscose fibers in Europe had gone down by about 15% in 2001, the market stagnated throughout 2002. More demand was only seen in the fields of nonwovens and special fibers, where Lenzing has built up a strong position.

In Asia, especially in China, the demand for fibers was on the increase. By specific action to develop the market, Lenzing was able to profit from this development. In the USA, business activities continued to be difficult.

The total production of all Lenzing sites rose by 10% and amounted to approximately 366,000 tons. At Lenzing, the share of special fibers experienced a  further considerable increase. The Lyocell site at Heiligenkreuz also developed very positively during the past year. A siginificant expension of sales led to a clearly improved result.

Outlook for 2003 In view of the current situation in world politics and the slack business activities worldwide, no major revival of markets can be expected. Rather, it could be noticed in recent months that demand is slowing down. 2003 will be a more difficult year for fibers. Demand for Lenzing special fibers continues to be lively, so that once again a decent result can be expected.

New Chairman for the Board of Management Thomas M. Fahnemann assumed his new function as Chairman of the Board of Management on 1 March 2003.

Preliminary Key Data for Fiscal 2002                                    
The Lenzing Group according to US GAAP *                                    
                                                  2002      2001      Change 1)
Sales                         EUR mill.    626        623        +0.5%
EBITDA                        EUR mill.    121        102        +18.9%
EBIT                          EUR mill.    78         65         +21.2%
EBIT margin                %                 12.4%    10.4%    +20.7%
Operative cash flow  EUR mill.    127        82         +56%
ROCE                          %                 13.1%    11.7%    +12%
Net indebtedness        EUR mill.    33         110        -70%
Earnings per share*  EUR              13.37    12.39    +7.9%

* for continued operations 1) Percentages may differ due to rounded figures

end of announcement            euro adhoc 03.03.2003

Further inquiry note: Lenzing AG, Angelika Guldt, +43-7672-701-2713, e-mail: a.guldt@lenzing.com

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN:      AT0000644505
WKN:        064450
Index:    WBI
Börsen:  Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bayerische Börse / free trade
              Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Wiener Börse AG / official dealing

Weitere Meldungen: Lenzing AG

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