Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG

euro adhoc: Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG
Financial Figures/Balance Sheet
Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG increases dividend - 25% dividend increase suggested; pre-tax profit up 57 % to MEUR 24.4; order backlog more than tripled

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05.03.2006

Ternitz/Vienna, March 6, 2006. Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG (SBO), listed on the ATX of the Vienna Stock Exchange, confirms the preliminary figures announced in January for the past business year 2005. According to the now final figures the group’s sales revenues totalled MEUR 172.7,  up 14 % from the previous year. Profit before tax improved to MEUR 24.4 (following MEUR 15.5) in 2005, an increase of 57%.

In view of the successful performance in 2005, the Executive Board will suggest to the Shareholders’ Meeting to distribute a dividend of 30 cents plus a bonus of 20 cents per share, in total 50 cents (following 40 eurocents). As the number of shares was increased to 16 million (following 13 million) last year, the sum distributed to SBO’s shareholders went up 54% from MEUR 5.2 to 8.0.

"At the moment, we see a remarkable upswing in the oilfield service industry which is driven by the growing demand for energy in the emerging markets and the intensified activities of the international oil companies to develop new oil and gas reservoirs", comments Gerald Grohmann, SBO’s Chief Executive Officer, on the current business development. Additionally, SBO as the global market leader in high-precision components for the oilfield service industry, benefits from the growing complexity of technological requirements in the industry. Due to the development of a new high-performance motor, the drilling motor business also experiences enormous growth.

Increasing demand for oil triggered growth in 2005

According to preliminary estimates by IEA (International Energy Agency) global oil consumption rose to 83.3 million barrels per day (following 82.2 million barrels per day in 2004). The major share of that increase was due to the high energy demand of the developing countries. The global rig count, an important indicator of drilling activities, went up from 2,555 units at the end of 2004 to 2,993 at the end of 2005.

"In the medium run, this strong demand for oil and gas can be covered only by the continuous exploration of new reservoirs, which triggered the enormous rise in drilling activities in 2005. This, in turn, resulted in a strong demand for equipment for the oilfield service industry", says Mr Grohmann. The current market environment was reflected at Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment in an unprecedented order backlog (as per December 31, 2005) which more than tripled over the previous year and reached MEUR 134.0 (following MEUR 38.8). The level of bookings went up 66% to reach impressive MEUR 269.

SBO continues course of growth

"We set the course of SBO towards growth already two years ago and prepared the company well for the current upswing. Additionally, in order to secure this course of success, we carried out the largest investment in the history of the company in 2005", comments Gerald Grohmann on the 129% increase of capital expenditures worth MEUR 22.9 and the decision taken in 2005 to expand capacities and the construction of a new forgery at the Ternitz site. Apart from the already initiated intensive organic growth, SBO also takes into account potential acquisitions.

The course of growth became possible due to the capital increase carried out in the first quarter of 2005.  The proceeds from the emission amounting to MEUR 54 will be used by SBO to finance the strategic investment programme scheduled until 2007.  The programme will enable SBO to fully participate in the upswing anticipated by the oilfield service industry in the next years and to further strengthen the leading technological position of the company.

Excellent development of SBO share

The SBO share ended the 2005 trading year at a closing price of EUR 24.65, which is an increase of 56 % over the year. With the capital market transaction conducted in the first quarter of 2005, which consisted of a capital increase and a Secondary Public Offering by former majority shareholder Berndorf AG, Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment turned into a publicly held company. The capital market responded most positively to the increased free float of approximately 64 %, which was reflected in a marked increase of the share’s liquidity. Thus, the daily average number of shares traded was 74,756 shares (double counting). SBO was included in the ATX in the spring of 2005.

Outlook into the first quarter and the 2006 business year

For 2006, the International Energy Agency predicts an increase of the worldwide demand for oil of around 2.2 % to 85.1 million barrels per day. The customers of Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment anticipate a sustained upward cycle of the industry, which is reflected in long-term orders - rather untypical of the industry. While in regular years the time horizon of orders was two quarters at most, orders with delivery dates until 2007 were received from the second half of 2005 on.

Against this background, Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment expects the positive development of the company to continue throughout 2006 and the course of growth to be further accelerated.

                                         2005         2004
Sales revenues                  172.7        152.2
EBIT                                    25.5         17.9
EBIT margin (%)                  14.7         11.8
Profit before tax                24.4         15.5
Net income                          17.3         10.8
Capital expenditures          22.9         10.0
Earnings per share                1.13         0.83
Dividend per share                0.50*        0.40
Headcount                          913          809**

* suggested  ** adjusted for the Bafco subsidiary divested in the first quarter of 2005

Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG is the global market leader in high-precision components for the oilfield service industry. The business focus is on non-magnetic drillstring components for directional drilling. Worldwide, SBO employs a workforce of 913, currently 234 at Ternitz, Lower Austria, and 468 in North America (including Mexico).

Financial calendar 2006
March 23, 2006            Shareholders’ Meeting
April 6, 2006              Ex-day, dividend payout day
May 24, 2006                Q1/2006 result
August 24, 2006          Q2/2006 result
November 23, 2006        Q3/2006 result

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ots Originaltext: Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
Gerald Grohmann, CEO
Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG
A-2630 Ternitz, Hauptstraße 2
Tel: +43 2630/315 ext 110, fax: ext 101
E-Mail: sboe@sbo.co.at

Mick Stempel, Hochegger|Financials
Tel: +43 1/504 69 87 ext 85
E-Mail: m.stempel@hochegger.com

Branche: Oil & Gas - Upstream activities
ISIN:      AT0000946652
WKN:        907391
Index:    WBI, ATX Prime
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing



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