Provisional BWT results for 2002: Sales and earnings expectations met


The BWT Group (Best Water Technology), Europe’s leading water treatment group, will meet the sales and earnings targets presented at the beginning of October 2002 for the 2002 financial year.

Consolidated sales of EUR 431.0 million, up 2.7% on the previous year

In an environment characterised by difficult economic conditions, particularly in the industrial sector and on the important German market, BWT increased consolidated sales by 2.7 from EUR 419.5 million to EUR 431.0 million according to the provisional figures now available.

The “Aqua Ecolife Technologies (AET)” business segment, in which BWT primarily supplies private households and condominiums with highly complex and environmentally-friendly devices for the treatment of drinking water in accordance with the motto “BWT Water Technologies for better life”, increased sales by 4.8%, from EUR 246.4 million to EUR 258.1 million. Growth rates were achieved in all key markets for BWT safety, hygiene and wellness products. Even on the German market, which is particularly suffering from the economic stagnation, BWT achieved a sales increase of 3%, which resulted in considerable market share gains in a declining market.

BWT’s industrial and municipal business, combined in the “Aqua Systems Technologies (AST)” segment, maintained the high-level sales performance of the previous year, despite the market slump in the semiconductor and power plant industries. EUR 172.2 million represents a slight increase of 0.2% compared with 2001 (EUR 171.8 million). The decline in sales of semiconductor and power plant systems was offset by increased sales in the soft drinks industry and in the municipal drinking and waste water business.

Development in the third business segment, “Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies (FCMT)”, in which the BWT subsidiary FuMA-Tech develops and sells high-quality special membranes for use in fuel cells, was unsatisfactory. Although significant progress was made in 2002 in fundamental research and product tests, unit sales of membranes fell from EUR 1.3 million in 2001 to EUR 0.7 million.

Record order book level of EUR 118.7 million as at December 31

At the end of the 2002 financial year, the BWT Group order book stood at EUR 118.7 million, up 3.2% on the previous year (EUR 115.1 million) and a sound basis for a successful 2003 financial year.

Preliminary Group income at EUR 15.1 million

According to the preliminary results available, consolidated income for 2002 will total EUR 15.1 million and thus remain at around the same level as in 2001. A squeeze on margins in the semiconductor business in addition to a clearly negative result at the UK power plant subsidiary Kennicott led to unsatisfactory results in the AST segment, which were offset by a ositive development in the “Aqua Ecolife Technologies“ segment. At Kennicott, the necessary capacity adjustments have been implemented and, with the pharmaceutical business, a second pillar has now been established. The deficit in the FCMT segment in 2002 will be less than in the previous year.

“Cash-positive Initiative” bearing fruit

The BWT Group made significant progress in terms of cash flow in the 2002 financial year, thus reducing interest-bearing financial liabilities. Amounts due to banks were reduced by more than EUR 20 million primarily as a result of improved working capital. The ongoing improvement of gearing is also to remain a focal point of BWT management in the 2003 financial year.

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