BWT Strengthens Balance Sheet


“We have followed a good way in the second quarter. With new products and the cost savings measures implemented already last year we were able to stabilize our earnings situation on a good level. At the same time, we have improved our balance sheet again reducing our debt,” says Andreas Weissenbacher, CEO of the BWT Group about the first half-year 2009.

In the first half-year of 2009, the BWT Group generated consolidated revenue of € 200.0 million, thus falling below the previous year’s figure by 7.3%. Consequently, the trend of the first quarter with a decline of just over 7% was confirmed in the second quarter as well.

Altogether, the revenue in the Point-of-Entry business has fallen in the first six months by 11.4%. Very pleasing increases in “BWT-water & more“ coffee machine filters and in water dispensers brought the Point-of-Use sales forward by 17% in the aggregate.

In regards to the operating result, the decrease in profit resulting from lower sales was distinctly reduced in the 2nd quarter, too, thanks to a better gross margin and the cost-savings measures. Therefore, after six months, EBIT of € 18.4 million was by 11.7% lower than in the previous year, however, the decrease in the 2nd quarter amounted only to -7.1% or € 0.9 million.

Due to extraordinary revenue thanks to a disposal of a participation financing generating revenue of € 4.5 million, the financial result in the first six months improved from € -0.5 million in the previous year to € +3.2 million. Earnings before taxes in the first half-year of 2009 amounted to € 21.6 million, improving by 6% compared to the previous year from € 20.4 million. After 6 months, the profit for the period before minority interests amounted to € 16.8 million compared with € 15.2 million in the previous year (+10.7%). In the second quarter, the Group profit amounted to € 12.5 million and was higher by 31.4% than in the previous year (€ 9.5 million). The earnings of minority interest have only minimal effect on Group’s earnings. Earnings per share came to € 0.96 compared with € 0.85 in the previous year.

Despite the lower cash flow from earnings, the cash flow from operating activities increased due to the lower working capital requirement (above all inventory and trade receivables) from € +1.1 million to € +13.9 million.

The gearing amounted thus only to 12.1% compared with 32.1% at the reference date of the previous year and 18.8% at 31 December 2008. The balance sheet of the BWT Group shows a distinctly improved equity capitalisation of 51.1% of the balance sheet total; at 31 December of the previous year, it amounted to 49.0% and at 30 June 2008 to 44.4%.

The number of employees compared with 30 June 2008 or with 31 December 2008 dropped from 2,389 persons to 2,345 persons.


Entry into the pharmaceutical water business as strategic chance for BWT

On 14th July 2009, the Management Board of BWT announced that the BWT Group, subject to approval by the General Meeting of Shareholders on 10 August 2009 and the antitrust approval, would take over at about € 35 million the pharmaceutical water activities of Christ Water Technology Group, also listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange.

The takeover of the pharmaceutical water business operated with 200 employees should bring from 2010 about € 35 million additional annual revenues and will probably have only a minor impact on earnings in this and in the next business year.

Andreas Weissenbacher: “The new pharma water business will leverage our technologies across the group to Point-of-use and nurture the sustainable growth of BWT. Very volatile and regionally strongly varying market conditions require invariably flexible decisions at short notice. We will continue to work together with our engaged employees with focus on the aim to minimise the negative effects of the economic situation on Group’s earnings.”

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