Winterthur Technologie AG

euro adhoc: Winterthur Technologie AG
Winterthur Technology Group shows strong organic growth - Successful expansion into Eastern Europe - Increased sales in home markets - Solid end-of-year result and rise in order backlog

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The Winterthur Technology Group (WTG) with its headquarters in Zug, Switzerland has in 2006 increased its sales in comparison with the previous year by 10.4 percent to EUR 86.4 Million. Based on the Swiss franc this represents an organic growth of 12.5 percent. The strong order intake led to a 10% higher order backlog compared with the start of previous year. For 2007, the Winterthur based grinding wheel and cut-off disk manufacturer expects further increases in sales and gains in market share.

Pronounced increases experienced by our customers in the steel, automotive and engineering industries have sped up the demand for abrasive products of the Winterthur Technology Group. The 2006 net sales stood at EUR 86.4 Million (CHF 136.0 Million). In Swiss francs this purely organic growth represents an increase of 12.5 %, while in the reporting currency EURO it represents an increase of 10.4%. Given the growth of the overall market of two percent in the reporting year, excluding the semiconductor industry, WTG has once more gained market share.

Order intake showed greater increases than sales. While this holds true for all the product groups, it is more pronounced for grinding and cut-off wheels for steel conditioning as steel production is experiencing a boom phase. This development resulted in an increase in the book-to-bill-ratio to 107% at group level and an order backlog which stands at 10% above that of the previous year. In percent, the subsidiaries in Eastern Europe and Asia showed the strongest growth. The home markets of Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Sweden, nevertheless, also achieved above average increases in sales.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in percent of sales are expected to reach a similar level as in 2005 (18.3% margin). Although both the sales organisation and the research department had been strengthened, the average personnel level remained slightly below that of the previous year. Extending the business areas of services and a system based sales approach were further elements that contributed to the increase in sales.

As announced in the half-year report, R&D work remains focused on the areas of complex vitrified ceramics. The bond system "uWin", which will be introduced to the market in 2007, has not only proven itself in cylindrical grinding but has also yielded the first excellent results in creep-feed grinding. WTG managed to achieve a 25% reduction of the bond components while at the same time realised an increase in the material strength of the bonding system. This translates into a substantially better cutting performance of the grinding wheels. Furthermore, high-speed grinding wheels for up to 300 m/sec surface speed (greater than 1,000 km/h) are also under development.

For 2007, activities to increase sales will concentrate on Eastern Europe and Asia with the aim to show significant growth and an EBITDA margin of 18% to 19%.

Profile Winterthur Technology Group (WTG), a leading European provider of complex abrasive technology, is headquartered in Zug and has operations in Switzerland, Austria and Sweden. Winterthur Technology Ltd. is a holding company under Swiss law which is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. It has slightly more than 600 employees, and in 2005 achieved sales of approximately EUR 78 million. Working closely with clients, the company develops and produces complex high-margin, high-tech abrasive technology consumables, primarily bonded abrasive tools used in the automotive, turbine and steel industries. Production takes place in Austria (Villach) and Sweden (Västervik). In Switzerland (Winterthur) there is a finishing plant and a logistics centre. The Group’s main brands are Winterthur, Rappold and SlipNaxos. WTG’s products - vitrified grinding wheels, resin bonded grinding wheels, cut-off wheels and diamond and CBN grinding wheels - are sold in all the relevant European markets as well as in North and South America and Asia

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ots Originaltext: Winterthur Technologie AG
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Further inquiry note:
Dr. Edgar Rappold, delegate and CEO
Markus Brütsch, CFO
Tel. + 41 52 234 41 41
Fax: + 41 52 234 41 06
SWX Ticket Symbol: WTGN
ISIN: CH0021892606

Branche: Technology
ISIN:      CH0021892606
WKN:        2189260
Börsen:  SWX Swiss Exchange / official market

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