Earnings first half-year of 2011/12 (with document)

  ad-hoc disclosure transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide
  distribution. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this
quarterly report


- Strong pace of growth in UK, Germany and Middle East
- Solid order intake
- Total sales rose by 14.3 %  
- Disproportionate improvement in all earnings figures  
- Gross profit margin further increased to 53.7 %  
- Active expansion in the growth markets Asia / Pacific

Vienna/Waidhofen an der Ybbs, September 21, 2011. In a very competitive
environment, the Vienna Stock Exchange listed Bene AG has raised sales by 14.3 %
in the first six months of the current financial year (February 1, until July
31, 2011). In the same period, the international office furniture manufacturer
has disproportionately improved all earnings figures and further increased the
gross profit margin.  

Continued growth trend
After the significant sales increase in the first quarter (plus 18.5 % compared
to the previous year´s reference period), the Bene Group has again successfully
realised several major international projects in the second quarter of 2011/12,
and thus has carried on with the positive dynamics of the prior period. In the
first half-year of the current financial year, total sales rose by 14.3 % to EUR
88.2 million (first half-year 2010/11: EUR 77.1 million). In comparison with the
first half-year of the prior year, the segments UK (plus 32.2 % to EUR 11.7
million), Germany (plus 19.6 % to EUR 24.3 million) as well as ,other markets´
(plus 72.4 % to EUR 22.7 million) showed considerable increases in sales. Over
the quarter, also the Russia segment recorded a positive development. After
sales of EUR 3.2 million in the first quarter of 2011/12, Bene achieved sales in
the amount of EUR 3.7 million in the second quarter. In fact, after the first
six months, accumulated sales dropped by 11.6 % to EUR 6.9 million; however
because of last weeks´ incoming orders, a distinct upswing in the Russian market
in the second half-year may be expected. In the Austria segment, in the second
quarter, Bene consistently pursued the change in strategy introduced at the
beginning of the year 2011/12 to counteract the ongoing weak margin development
on major projects in the home market. Although the Bene Group has consciously
taken a decline in sales of 16.2 % to EUR 22.7 million in the first six months
of the financial year (first half-year 2010/11: EUR 27.1 million), Bene is still
undisputed market leader in the home market. By this measure, in the medium
term, Bene expects an expansion in sales of medium and small projects as well as
a stronger market penetration and thus an improvement in margins.

Disproportionate improvement in earnings
The considerable rise in sales, the well-targeted control of the product
portfolio in the different sales markets and the focus on high-margin projects
reflected in the positive development of earnings in the first half-year of
2011/12. Thus, the EBITDA of EUR 1.8 million (first half-year 2010/11: EUR - 2.1
million) turned positive. The Bene Group likewise significantly improved the
EBIT, which with EUR - 2.3 million after the first six months of the current
business year (first half-year 2010/11: EUR - 6.4 million) was still negative,
but was 63.4 % higher than the reference value of the previous year. The gross
profit margin (revenue +/- inventory changes - expenses for materials and
supplies in relation to revenue) further improved and increased from 52.8 % in
the first quarter to 53.7 % in the second quarter. Thus, despite the achieved
expansion in sales it was clearly higher than the reference value of the prior
year (first half-year 2010/11: 52.8 %). Expenses for materials and supplies
increased by 6.4 million to EUR 43.7 million in the first six months (first
half-year 2010/11: EUR 37.3 million) and represented 49.6 % of revenue (first
half-year 2010/11: 48.3 %).

Solid assets and capital structure 
In comparison with the balance sheet date January 31, 2011, as of July 31, 2011,
the balance sheet total decreased by EUR 13.7 million to EUR 135.5 million
(January 31, 2011: EUR 149.2 million). Accordingly, the equity ratio came to
25.1 % (January 31, 2011: 25.9 %). 

Investments in replacements at the site in Waidhofen/Ybbs as well as the
expansion and the modernisation of the show rooms in London, Moscow and
Villingen-Schwenningen primarily determined the investment volume of the first
six months, which with EUR 3.1 million (first half-year 2011/12: EUR 3.0
million) was slightly higher than the comparison value of the previous year. 

Headcount steady
On the reporting date July 31, 2011, the Bene Group occupied 1,261 employees in
total and thus 4 persons or 0.3 % less than in the past year. 

On the basis of the further increased order intake in the first two quarters,
the Management of the Bene Group assumes a substantial growth in sales in the
second half-year of 2011/12 as well as a significant improvement in earnings for
the overall year 2011/12. Against this background and provided that the positive
development continues over the coming months, the Bene Group changes its outlook
and expects to record a positive EBIT for the financial year 2011/12. On the
basis of existing capacities, the Bene Group has a great organic growth
potential to exploit, provided that the markets continue to develop positively.
Particularly against the background of the successful market introduction of
more new and profitable product groups in the past financial year.
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 Board, cannot be construed as guarantees for future performance and
bear unforeseeable risks and uncertainties. There may be a variety of reasons
for actual results and conditions to diverge from the assumption, on which the
statements were based. 

The report for the first half-year 2011/12 is available on the Internet under 

About Bene
Bene is convinced that there is a clear connection between the design of office
and work environments, corporate culture and the success of a company. Bene´s
concepts, products, and services put this philosophy into reality. Development,
design, and production as well as consulting and sales are covered under one
roof. With 85 sites in 36 countries and 1,261 employees worldwide, Bene offers
its customers regional access to all of its services. In the business year
2010/11, consolidated sales of the Bene Group amounted to EUR 170.8 million.
Bene is market leader in Austria and number five in Europe.

Attachments with Announcement:

Further inquiry note:
Investor Relations:
Martina Vomela
Schwarzwiesenstraße 3
A-3340 Waidhofen/Ybbs
IR Hotline: +43-7442-500-3100

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

Attachments with Announcement:

issuer:      BENE AG
             Schwarzwiesenstrasse 3
             A-3340 Waidhofen/Ybbs
phone:       +43/7442/500-0
FAX:         +43/7442/500-3380
sector:      Furnishings & Furniture
ISIN:        AT00000BENE6
indexes:     ATX Prime
stockmarkets: official market: Wien 
language:   English

Weitere Meldungen: BENE AG

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