Valora Holding AG

euro adhoc: Valora Holding AG
Valora reports good third quarter performance, Group on track

@@start.t1@@--------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Disclosure announcement transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer is responsible   for the content of this announcement. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------@@end@@

Company Information


During the 3rd quarter of 2007, Valora, the Swiss trading group, generated an operating profit of CHF 21 million, according to initial estimates. After a disappointing 2nd quarter, this encouraging result shows that the Group's new strategy and the initiatives it has taken to optimise operating efficiency are both on track. Valora rejects the demands recently made by a new group of investors. The Board of Directors has emphasised that, in the event of any controversy on this matter, it will adhere strictly to the Group's current by-laws.

For the first time in its history, Valora is today publishing estimated quarterly financial results. The Group has two reasons for this step. First, the unsatisfactory performance turned in during the 2nd quarter of 2007 had led to uncertainty among financial analysts and shareholders as to the Group's ongoing performance. The good results achieved in the 3rd quarter demonstrate that the performance slump suffered in the second three months of this year was merely a dip on the road to recovery. Second, the Chairman of the Board is taking the publication of these estimated 3rd quarter results as an opportunity to counter recent public attacks made by a newly created group of investors. As he puts it, "Valora is not a football for speculators to kick around. The Group's strategy makes sense, and it is being implemented effectively."

Valora has undergone far-reaching changes in recent years. The unsuccessful policy of divestiture and acquisitions pursued in the late 1990's has made way for a strategy based on focus. Correcting these mistakes ultimately cost Valora more than CHF 600 million. By mid-2008, when the five production companies have been sold, implementation of this focussed strategy will have been completed. Valora will then be a pure-play trading company, an internationally active trading Group operating in three divisions: Retail, Media and Trade. "In the near term, management will concentrate on stabilising operational profitability, by actively pursuing cost efficiencies and organic growth", in the words of Fritz Ammann, Valora's Board Chairman.

Cautious optimism At an operational level, Valora has staged an impressive recovery from the poor performance it displayed in the previous quarter. Initial 3rd quarter estimates show that the Group achieved good results in each of the months from July to September 2007. Compared with figures for the same quarter last year, net revenues were raised by CHF 39 million to reach CHF 756 million, while estimated operating income topped CHF 21 million, compared with CHF 18 million a year earlier. Based on these results, and taking the 2007 first-half figures into account, Valora anticipates that the 2007 financial year as a whole should generate a Group operating profit of at least CHF 48 million, with comparable results being achieved in 2008 as well. The sale of the production companies is progressing well. The Board of Directors intends to return the net proceeds of this sale to the Group's shareholders.

Kiosks begin to reveal silver lining The problems confronting the kiosk business in Switzerland have been identified and contained. The measures needed to remedy the situation are currently being implemented and are now receiving the attention they require. Earlier inaccurate estimates of the progress already made by restructuring initiatives have been corrected.  The management team has assigned priority to modernising the IT systems, re-focussing category management and optimising our sales organisation and outlet network. The outlet network will increasingly be divided into geographical and product- range-specific clusters and 2008 will also see the first franchising concepts being tested. "We will continually adapt our kiosk business to shifting trends in market and customer needs", as CEO Peter Wüst puts it.

By-laws are binding The Board of Directors will listen attentively to the arguments advanced by the recently created investor group. It is unanimous in adhering to clear and consistent entrepreneurial values: sustainable profitability rather than one-off results, quality before quantity and long-term strategy before short-term tactics. What the Board will not do is entertain proposals based solely on short-term, speculative financial objectives. The Board decisively rejects the various calls for an extraordinary shareholders' meeting which have recently been expressed in the media. Valora's by-laws limit the number of voting shares which can be registered to one individual shareholder or to a group of shareholders acting in concert to 5% of all outstanding shares. An extraordinary shareholders' meeting can be called only at the behest of at least 10% of the shareholders eligible to vote. In Fritz Ammann's words, "It is the duty of Valora's Board and management to adhere strictly to these provisions in the by-laws."

@@start.t2@@Information on October 31, 2007: Questions relating to this media
                                                    communiqué will be answered during the media
                                                    and financial analysts' meetings taking place
                                                    on October 31, 2007.@@end@@

Press breakfast briefing in Zurich Dr. Fritz Ammann, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Wüst, CEO, and Markus Voegeli, CFO, will be hosting a press breakfast briefing to which all media correspondents are cordially invited.

Date:                    Wednesday, October 31, 2007
      Time:                    10.00 a.m.
      Participants:        Media correspondents
      Venue:                  Crowne Plaza
                                  Badenerstrasse 420
                                  8040 Zurich
                                  Phone         +41 44 404 44 44

Financial analysts' conference call to be conducted in English Dr. Fritz Ammann, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Wüst, CEO, and Markus Voegeli, CFO, will also be hosting a conference call for financial analysts that same afternoon.

@@start.t3@@Date                                Wednesday, October 31, 2007
      Time:                              16.00 CET
      Participants:                 Financial analysts
      Dial-in numbers:            To participate in the conference, call one of the
                                            following numbers
                                            (please call 5 to 10 minutes before the hour):
                                            +41 (0) 91 610 56 00  (continental Europe)
                                            +1 (1) 866 291 4166    (United States)
                                            +44 (0) 207 107 0611  (United Kingdom)@@end@@

@@start.t4@@end of announcement                                                 euro adhoc 31.10.2007 07:00:00

ots Originaltext: Valora Holding AG
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Further inquiry note:
Information on October 31, 2007: Questions relating to this media
                                                    communiqué will be answered during the media
                                                    and financial analysts' meetings taking place
                                                    on October 31, 2007.

Valora Holding AG
Belpstrasse 37
CH-3007 Bern
Phone + 41 058 789 11 11
Fax         + 41 058 789 11 12

Branche: Retail
ISIN:      CH0002088976
WKN:        208897
Börsen:  SWX Swiss Exchange / official market
              BX Berne eXchange / official dealing

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