SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG

euro adhoc: SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG
Quarterly or Semiannual Financial Statements
Press release, 26 February 2004 SW Umwelttechnik reports preliminary results for 2003 (E)

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* Revenue 8% higher * CEE contribution to revenue 71% * EBITDA 15% up * Improved POA despite negative one-time effects

For SW Umwelttechnik (Vienna Stock Exchange symbol SWUT) the main features of financial 2003 were stringent cost reduction programmes, product launches, negative one-time effects due to the downturn in the forint-euro exchange rate and the closure of a loss-making site in Germany.

The company’s preliminary IAS figures show an 8% year-on-year increase in revenue from EUR 69.1 million (m) to EUR 74.7m. This improvement was due to  further gains in market shares in Hungary which more than compensated for the contraction in the Austrian market and the closure of the German operation. Hungarian sales as a proportion of overall revenue rose from 62% to 67% despite the devaluation of the Hungarian forint (HUF) against the euro, while Austria’s contribution to sales dropped from 31% to 25% and that of other EU member states from 6% to 4%. Exports to Croatia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia rose from 1% to 4% of total revenue. Like-for-like revenue, excluding the HUF exchange rate effect, was up by 12%.

Due to the positive trend in Hungary and the new factory to the south of Budapest, the revenue contributions of SW Umwelttechnik's Infrastructure and Engineering business sectors expanded from 32% to 38%, and from 29% to 32%, respectively. That of the Water Conservation sector fell from 39% to 30% owing to market conditions in Austria and Hungary.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) jumped by 169%, from EUR 1.2m to EUR 3.2m. Only the cost of closing the German site (EUR 0.8m) and the weakness of the Austrian market prevented a still greater improvement. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also advanced, rising by 15%, from EUR 6.1m to EUR 7.1m.

Finance cost climbed from EUR 0.8m in 2002 to EUR 2.7m in 2003. This reflected exchange losses relating to the euro denominated financing of some Hungarian investments, and the EUR 0.8m in proceeds of the disposal of a minority interest in a Hungarian company in 2002. Despite the deterioration in finance cost profit on ordinary activities progressed from EUR 0.4m to EUR 0.5m — a gain of 31%. This resulted in break-even after tax, following an after-tax loss of EUR 1.2m in 2002.

Despite the increase in revenue the company’s headcount was almost unchanged at 770 (2002: 773 employees).

Capital expenditure SW Umwelttechnik completed a EUR 4.8m investment programme in 2003. The main focus of investment activity was Hungary, to which 72% of all capital expenditure was channelled. Much of this spending was devoted to the second expansion phase at the new factory to the south of Budapest.

Capital and reserves Due the devaluation of the forint and the net result for the year, IAS capital and reserves including minority interests declined from EUR 20.2m to EUR 18.5m. The equity ratio was 26% and the book value per share approx. EUR 26 (2002: EUR 29).

Outlook Management will press ahead with the cost reduction drive and anticipates a significant improvement in profitability in 2004 despite the difficult economic climate. * In Hungary, tightening spending curbs are affecting public sector environmental investment, leading to delays in orders and increased prefinancing needs in the SW Umwelttechnik’s Engineering sector. However this factor should be more than outweighed by the continuing strong demand from industrial clients for the products of the Infrastructure sector which can be very efficiently met by the new South Budapest works. * In Austria, SW Umwelttechnik has made significant progress towards improved earnings by dropping low-margin, commodity products and entering new markets. Demand for the company’s new products (surface water protection systems, masts and biogas plants) is expected to grow rapidly in 2004. * The existing production facilities in Croatia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will be used as platforms for accelerated development of these markets.

SW Umwelttechnik sees the demand for water conservation and wastewater treatment equipment, infrastructure products and renewable energy in CEE countries as a basis for sustained growth. Thanks to its experience of these markets, which goes back 13 years, the company is excellently placed to profit from these countries’ efforts to comply with EU environment directives, owing to its innovative products and cost leadership.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 26.02.2004

Further inquiry note: DI Heinz Wolschner, Vorstand der SW Umwelttechnik Tel.: 0043/463/32109-0, Fax: 0043/463/37667 MMag. Christian Riel, Finanzen/Investor Relations Tel.: 0043/664/4337105, Fax: 0043/1/3688686, mailto:christian.riel@sw-umwelttechnik.at Website: http://www.sw-umwelttechnik.at

Branche: Technology
ISIN:      AT0000808209
WKN:        080820
Index:    ATX Prime, ViDX, WBI
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing
              Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Börse Düsseldorf / free trade
              Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade

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