2004 Results for BWT

08.04.2005

  • Business Development 2004
  • New record of sales and results
  • Earnings and profits were highly improved
  • Continuous dynamic Internationalisation of the BWT Group
  • Excellent growth perspectives of the industry segment and domestic technique segment
  • Increase of the Concern Sales + 17,3 % on previous year

    The BWT Group – Europes leading water technology concern - increased 2004 the consolidated concern sales from 416,0 mio EUR on previous year by 17,3 % to 488,1 mio EUR, which is a new record in BWT's 15 years corporate history. All business segments contributed to this pleasing increase, which is well above the growth in the market, thus confirming BWT's role as market leader, particularly in Europe.

    In the Aqua Ecolife Technologies segment, sales rose by +14.2% from EUR 273.3 mio to EUR 312.1 mio. Following a weak year in 2003, the Aqua Systems Technologies segment generated sales growth of 22% to EUR 173.2 mio and affirmed its leading position in a consolidation market.This leading position was confirmed internationally through Frost & Sullivan Market Penetration Leadership Award lately.Sales in the Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies segment almost quadrupled through the supply of specialized membrane plants from EUR 0.7 to EUR 2.8 mio.

    The AET segment performed very positively with organic growth of 7.1%, further 7% came from acquisitions. As a result, BWT has again outperformed the general market growth of approximately 5% and could continuously increase the market shares. The AST segment again increased output significantly in the past financial year. Organic growth stood at more than 18% with some 4 percentage points being attributable to acquisitions.

    Order intake 2004: EUR 507 mio, +26.1%

    Order book level as at December 31: EUR 123.7 mio, +18.0%

    The first time in the company history the BWT Group has order intake above 500 Mio EUR - exactly 507 Mio EUR, which is an increase to the previous year of 26,1%, the order intake 2004 was EUR 402,1 mio. Due to this excellent order intake the order book level increased at December 31st 2004 to EUR 123,7 Mio. In Comparison to December 31st of 2003 with an order book level of EUR 104,8 mio this is a growth of 18 % a solid base for a successful year 2005.

    Record earning in the corporate history

    The sharp rise in sales in all three segments combined with effective cost management resulted in a surge in earnings in 2004. BWT Group EBITDA rose by 35% to EUR 37.8 mio. At EUR 24.6 mio, results from operating activities (EBIT) were 80.7% up on the previous year (EUR 13.6 mio), and consolidated earnings less minority interests even rose by 119.2% to EUR 16.8 mio.

    Earnings before tax increased from EUR 11.4 mio to EUR 22.6 mio and were consequently 98.3% up on the previous year. Consolidated earnings were EUR 16.8 mio in financial year 2004 and consequently achieved a record in the corporate history of the BWT Group. Earnings per share rose accordingly from EUR 0.43 in 2003 to EUR 0.94. Increase of the dividend of 12,5 % to EUR 0,27 per share On the basis of the gratifying increase in earnings and in line with the dividend policy pursued over many years, the Management Board will propose a dividend increase of 12.5% on the previous year to EUR 0.27 per share at the 15th Annual General Meeting. This will mean a probable payment of EUR 4,815,045 to shareholders, or 28.6% of consolidated earnings.

    Earnings and profits were highly improved

    The improvement in earnings and working capital management is reflected in the assets position of both the BWT Group and the parent company BWT AG. Cash flow from result rose by 41.6% from EUR 21.2 mio to EUR 30.0 mio. Cash flow from operating activities again exceeded the previous year's figure of EUR 28.7 mio by 17.4% to EUR 33.7 mio, which is another record figure. The strong cash flow enabled the BWT Group to reduce interest bearing liabilities once again in the past financial year 2004 while intensifying investment activities in comparison with the previous year.

    As at December 31, 2004, net bank debt stood at EUR 74.7 mio compared with EUR 78.3 mio at the same point in the previous year. Gearing has therefore improved from 63.0% to 54.4%. Group equity increased in 2004 by EUR 13.2 mio to EUR 137.5 mio, representing 36.7% of the balance sheet total (previous year: 35.3%).

    In the past financial year 2004, the BWT Group invested EUR 10.3 mio in intangible and tangible fixed assets, which meant that the previous year's investment total was exceeded by around 65%.

    Personnel

    Personnel within the BWT Group increased to 2,780 people as at December 31, 2004 and were consequently 92 people up on the same point in the previous year. The expansion in operations in Asia, as well as acquisitions in Ireland and South Africa account for the majority of the increase.

    Research & Development

    New innovative water treatment technologies and continuous improvement of products and processes reflect BWT's Growth through innovation strategy. The Best Water Technology product range demonstrates the Group's status as the leading innovator among the world's water treatment companies.

    New developments were:

    • AQA total Energy the first and unique 3-in-1 technology in water treatment for vitality, protection against limescale and protection against corrosion
    • A new process of a continuously disinfection of drinking water and cooling tower water
    • Electrodeionization module SM 3000 to produce purest water - Vapotron and Multitron a clean steam generator machine to produce WFI (water for injection)

    The costs for R&D increased from EUR 9,8 Mio to EUR 12,3 Mio in 2004 a plus of 25,5 % .

    Outlook

    CEO Andreas Weißenbacher “The rapid international increase in awareness of the value of water as a resource, offers BWT excellent growth perspectives in the long term. On the basis of the excellent order situation, good market prospects and the launch of new, innovative products, the BWT Management Board expects a further increase in sales and earnings for the financial year 2005. Consolidated sales should exceed EUR 500 mio, and consolidated earnings rise to over EUR 20 mio for the first time in the company's history.”

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