Ad hoc-announcement. The sender is solely responsible for the contents of this announcement. ----------------------------------------------------- Mondsee (ots Ad hoc-Service) - BWT - Best Water Technology - Group of Companies, with its business divisions "Aqua Ecolife Technologies", "Aqua Systems Technologies" and "Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies", utilises worldwide business opportunities in the growth market "WATER". BWT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN 2000 RECORD RESULT FORMS THE BASIS FOR DYNAMIC INTERNATIONALISATION Turnover: EUR 399 million, 62.7% up from the previous year During the year 2000, consolidated group turnover increased by 62.7%, from EUR 245.3 million to EUR 399.0 million. The main drivers behind this significant turnover increase, which makes the BWT Group into one of the largest water technology groups world wide, are a gratifying growth rate of 19.1% in the Aqua Ecolife Technologies division, as well as the first full consolidation of Christ Group in which BWT AG holds the majority of shares with a 51% stake. The individual business areas developed as follows (in EUR million, intra-company transactions have been eliminated): Division 2000 1999 +% Aqua Ecolife Technologies (AET) 221.9 186.4 +19.1% Aqua Systems Technologies (AST) 176.7 58.5 +202.6% Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies (FCMT) 0.4 0.4 0.0% Total 399.0 245.3 +62.7% When adjusting for the group turnover generated by Christ, turnover growth amounted to +13.1% over the previous year, and was thus above expectations (+11.1%). The group companies resident in Austria grew their turnover from EUR 73.7 million to EUR 86.9 million (+18%), and those in other EU member countries grew by 9.2%, from EUR 155.7 million to EUR 170.0 million. Turnover of BWT companies situated outside the EU rose from EUR 15.9 million to EUR 142.2 million. The BWT Group's internationalisation is becoming increasingly dynamic. Orders on hand: EUR 95.5 million, +42.3% over the previous year The BWT Group starts the new financial year with orders on hand increased by 42.3% to EUR 95.5 million. The majority of the increase stems from the first time consolidation of the Christ Group. EBIT EUR 25.2 million (+34.4%), Profit after tax EUR 16.5 million (+74.4%), Profit after minorities increased to EUR 15.4 million (+64.9% over the previous year) Profit after deducting earnings due to minority shareholders grew by 64.9%, from EUR 9.3 million to EUR 15.4 million. The profit from operating activities (EBIT) increased by 34.4%, from EUR 18.7 million to EUR 25.2 million. Profit before tax at EUR 22.2 million, was 49.8% higher than the previous year's value, and earnings after taxes and minority interests increased by 64.9% from EUR 9.3 million to EUR 15.4 million. Thus, earnings per share improved from EUR 0.57 in 1999 to EUR 0.93 (+64.9%). Dividend raised to EUR 0.22 per share The executive board will propose a dividend payment of EUR 0.22 per share to the forthcoming general meeting, resulting in total dividend distribution of EUR 3,630,000 (previous year: EUR 3,481,500). Cash flow from result increases by 47.3% to EUR 25.4 million Cash flow from result increased by 47.3% from EUR 17.2 million to EUR 25.4 million, and cash flow from operations reached EUR 27.9 million. Group equity grows by 14.7% to EUR 97.9 million The balance sheet total grew from EUR 244.3 million to EUR 345.5 million. This increase is for the most part due to the first full consolidation of the Christ Group. Equity in the BWT Group grew by 14.7% as a result of this, from EUR 85.3 million to EUR 97.9 million and now accounts for 28.3% of the balance sheet total (previous year: 34.9%). Return on equity is at 21.9% (1999: 12.6%) Investments: EUR 17.6 million (previous year EUR 22.6 million) The increases in fixed assets excluding first-time consolidations amounted to EUR 17.6 million (previous year: EUR 22.6 million) in the BWT Group. Nearly half of all investment (EUR 7.9 million) was accounted for by the completion of the modern ultra-pure water technology, production and development centre of Christ AG in Aesch near Basle. Number of employees as of 31.12.2000: 2,510 The BWT Group employed a total of 2,510 persons at the balance sheet date of 2000, an increase of 671 over 31.12.1999. The majority of this personnel increase is due to the first full consolidation of the Christ Group. The number of employees was also increased in Austria and France. Research and Development BWT - Best Water Technology Group of Companies - has been actively engaged in working towards achieving dynamic growth in the water markets of Europe and overseas. The past, too, saw revolutionary developments being made at the BWT research laboratories. AQA total, the first limescale protection technology using no salt and enjoying worldwide recognition and DVGW approval; AQA total plus, the first alternative limescale and corrosion protection plant for treating drinking water, and the FuMA fuel cell membrane exhibiting unique performance data, are all well-known in the European markets and have resulted in international recognition for the BWT Group. These unique innovations are of course motivation for the inspired BWT research and development team to continue to develop new modern basic technologies, bearing in mind the BWT goal "optimisation of economy and ecology". For the first time, BWT presented its "New ABC of water treatment for the 3rd millennium" at the ISH 2001, the largest international plumbing and heating trade fair in Frankfurt. At the centre of this large development programme, was safety through perfect hygienic protection. BWT sets new standards in the world-wide water market with the world premiere of the new "ABC" in water treatment, namely ANTIBAK the hygiene filter for households with private water supplies and holiday homes B-SAFE the health filter which guarantees legionella protection for shower heads CALFI the limescale protection filter for every household Household safety using the unique BWT drinking water treatment devices "Antibak", "B-Safe" and "Calfi" will become standard in every household, for every health-conscious family. The essential element for both life and production, H20 - the most valuable molecule in the world - calls for resource efficient treatment and the highest degree of engagement and development success. With its new WATER ABC, BWT - Europe's market leader in terms of water technology - presents a revolutionary contribution for a safe, healthy and modern ecology-orientated world. All in keeping with the motto: BWT WATER TECHNOLOGIES FOR A BETTER LIFE. During the year 2000, research into basic technologies, product and process development consumed a total of EUR 10.2 million. This is equivalent to an increase of 43.7%. Outlook BWT continues its internationalisation path on the basis of the "BWT Global-2000-Strategy" which was presented in the autumn of the year 2000. BWT follows its vision of being a leading international water technology group by remaining focussed on three growth areas: 1. Aqua Ecolife Technologies: Water treatment becomes essential in every household, on a par with the television set, the dishwasher and the PC. The two strategic directions are health through hygiene protection for drinking water installations and health through wellness in swimming pool technology. 2. Aqua Systems Technologies: A modular components system for drinking, ultra pure, process and waste water treatment in industry and municipalities. This system particularly addresses the needs of the electronics and semiconductor, pharmaceuticals,biotechnology, energy, beverage and food industries. 3. Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies: The "High Performance Membrane" made by BWT's subsidiary FuMA-Tech is the centrepiece of the fuel cell, the energy source of the 3rd millennium. By concentrating our strengths on these three growth areas, and on the basis of the worldwide growth potential, the solid order book and the engagement of BWT's employees, the management board expects an increase in the consolidated group turnover of 11.5% to EUR 445 million for the financial year 2001. Earnings will rise by 40% to EUR 21 million. End ----------------------------------------------------- Internet: Original-Content von: BWT AG, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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