BWT Sales and Earnings Performance 2003
Sales and earnings performance of BWT is in 2003 considerably impaired by the weak semiconductor industry business. Due to the decline in the semiconductor industry business of the "AST – Aqua Systems Technologies" division, the Management Board is reducing the sales and earnings forecasts of the BWT Group for 2003.
Overall, BWT expects consolidated sales to fall by 8% to EUR 400 million in the current financial year (PY: EUR 431 million). The decline in sales and margins and the subsequently necessary capacity adaptations with the planned staff cuts of 60 persons at Christ AG are to have a strong negative impact on the consolidated income of BWT for 2003. According to the latest estimates, BWT expects consolidated income after minorities of EUR 7.5 million, compared with EUR 15 million in 2002.
Despite the significantly lower net income for the year, the Management Board has no plans to change the dividend policy for the 2003 financial year, i.e. last year's dividend of EUR 0.24 per share is to be maintained.
According to the latest forecast reviews, the continuing delay of investment measures in the semiconductor industry will cause sales in the Aqua System Technologies Group to fall by almost 20% to around EUR 140 million (2002: EUR 172 million). Sales in the semiconductor sector in 2003 are expected to total only EUR 17 million, compared to EUR 87 million in 2000. Following completion of the current capacity adaptations, the semiconductor technology segment is to reach the break-even point in future under normal market conditions, with sales of EUR 32 million.
Despite the continuing extreme market situation in the semiconductor industry, the Management Board is optimistic about 2004. Christ AG is the first ultra pure water treatment firm to implement the new 300 mm wafer technology, thus establishing its clear market leadership in Europe. With a generally expected turnaround of the semiconductor sector, Christ AG is likely to participate strongly as a result of its technology leadership.
The positive trends first seen last year have been confirmed in the other industrial sectors serviced in the AST segment. The UK subsidiary Christ-Kennicott has also achieved a turnaround. In the "AET – Aqua Ecolife Technologies" division, performance so far in 2003 is in line with expectations.
Source: BWT Wassertechnik GmbH