BWT Posts Sales and Earnings Increase

06.12.2005

Consolidated BWT Group sales rose in the first nine months of 2005 as against the previous year from € 355.3 million to € 361.9 million (+1.8%). The Aqua Ecolife Technologies segment recorded ...

...a decline of 0.4% to € 233.8 million. The Aqua Systems Technologies industrial segment, which was legally spun off after the end of the third quarter on November 8 and floated on the Vienna Stock Exchange under the name "CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY AG" grew by 7.9% to € 127.6 million. The Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies segment generated sales of € 0.5 million (PY: € 2.2 million). In the third quarter, sales totaled € 116.0 million, thereby rising by 3.0% as against 2004 (PY: € 112.6 million).

Order Book: € 174.5 million +53.8% y.o.y.

Order Intake: € 412.7 million, +13.4% y.o.y.

As of September 30, 2005, the order book of the BWT Group amounted to € 174.5 million, thereby increasing by 53.8% as against the same date of the previous year. Incoming orders grew by 13.4% to € 412.7 million.

EBIT: € 22.8 million, +5.8% y.o.y.

Consolidated earnings: € 15.8 million, +31.8% y.o.y.

As a result of the turnaround in the AST segment in particular EBIT increased by 5.8% to € 22.8 million, accounting for 6.3% of sales (PY: 6.1%). The AET segment posted an EBIT margin of 9.4%; the margin for the AST segment was 1.1%. At € 21.8 million, earnings before taxes were up 7.9% on the previous year's figure of € 20.3 million. Consolidated earnings after minorities increased by 31.8% to € 15.8 million, earnings per share amounted to € 0.88 (PY: € 0.67).

Cash flow from the result: € 23.5 million (PY: € 21.2 million)

Gearing: 50.3% (PY: 60.3%)

The rise in consolidated earnings increased the cash flow from the result by 10.8% from € 21.2 million to € 23.5 million in the first nine months, the cash flow from operations declined from € 20.1 million in the previous year to € 11.9 million. At around € 75.0 million, the net debt of the BWT Group remained constant as against the end of the last financial year, while gearing declined year-on-year from 60.3% to 50.3% as a result of the higher Group equity figure of € 149.1 million.

Investments in tangible and intangible assets rose by € 2.2 million to € 6.9 million year-on-year.

As of September 30, the number of employees in the BWT Group increased by 137 people year-on-year from 2,723 to 2,860. The rise in staff numbers in the AET segment relates largely to the expansion of servicing activities in France, while the focus in the AST segment was on the further internationalization of operations (Asia, South Africa, and the US).

Outlook

As forecast, BWT will generate sales of more than € 500 million and earnings of more than € 20 million. The increase in sales and earnings is driven by extremely encouraging developments and the successful turnaround in the AST segment, but is unfortunately muted by weak sales and declining earnings development in the AET segment. The BWT Management Board is forecasting a return to clear growth in the AET segment as well from the second half of 2006.

Events after the balance sheet date

On November 8, 2005, the spin-off of CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY AG from BWT Aktiengesellschaft became legally valid by way of its entry in the commercial register. CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY AG reports separately on the development of business in the first nine months in a pro forma interim report

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