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euro adhoc: BWT Aktiengesellschaft
Quarterly or Semiannual Financial
BWT generates significant earnings growth in first half-year
"CHRIST" industrial segment posts earnings
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BWT - the Best Water Technology Group - can report a satisfactory increase in earnings in the first half of the 2005 financial year. The Aqua Systems Technologies segment (AST) made a particular contribution to this. After three years, the positive order situation has brought the BWT industrial segment back into positive territory. Following the comprehensive reorientation of this segment, it has now been turned around, thereby creating the basis for it to be spun off as intended and, at the same time, floated in Vienna under the name "CWT - CHRIST WATER TECHNOLOGY".
Sales: EUR 245.9 million, +1.3% y.o.y. Consolidated BWT Group sales rose in the first half of 2005 as against the previous year from EUR 242.7 million to EUR 245.9 million (+1.3%). The Aqua Ecolife Technologies segment grew by 0.8% to EUR 159.4 million, the Aqua Systems Technologies industrial segment by 3.5% to EUR 86.1 million and the Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies segment generated sales of EUR 0.4 million (PY: EUR1.4 million). In the second quarter, sales totaled EUR 132.6 million (PY: EUR 129.4 million), thereby rising by 2.5% as against 2004.
Segment 1 - 6 / 2005 1 - 6 / 2004
+ / - % Aqua Ecolife Technologies (AET) 159.4
158.1 +0.8% Aqua Systems Technologies (AST)
86.1 83.2 +3.5% Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies (FCMT)
0.4 1.4 -71.4% Total
245.9 242.7 +1.3%
Order book level: EUR 157.8 million, + 14.8% y.o.y. Order intake: EUR 280.1 million, +1.7% y.o.y. Further positive business development in 2005 is particularly secure in the industrial segment: as at June 30, 2005, the order book for the BWT Group amounted to EUR 157.8 million and has therefore risen by almost 15% as against the same date of the previous year. Incoming orders increased by 1.7% to EUR 280.1 million.
EBIT EUR 17.7 million, +8.8% y.o.y. Consolidated earnings EUR 12.2 million, +39.4% y.o.y. EBIT rose by 8.8% - driven largely by the turnaround in the AST segment - and accounted for 7.2% of sales (PY: 6.7%). In the first half-year, the AET segment achieved an EBIT margin of 10.9% and the AST segment one of 0.7%. In the second quarter, margins of 11.5 and 2.6% were achieved in the AET and AST segments respectively. Earnings before taxes were EUR 17.0 million, 12% higher than in the first half-year of 2004 (EUR 15.2 million). Consolidated earnings after minorities increased by 39.4% to EUR 12.2 million, earnings per share were EUR 0.68 (PY: EUR 0.49).
Cash flow from the result EUR 17.1 million (previous year: EUR 15.6 million) Gearing: 59.5% (previous year: 60.9%) The rise in consolidated earnings increased the cash flow from the result from EUR 15.6 million by 10% to EUR 17.1 million in the first six months, the cash flow from operations declined from EUR 9.1 million to minus EUR 1.0 million. Net debt rose from EUR 78.9 million to EUR 86.0 million. However, thanks to the increased Group equity (EUR 144.7 million as against EUR 129.5 million in June of the previous year), gearing declined from 60.9% to 59.5%.
Investments in tangible and intangible assets rose by EUR 1.1 million to EUR 4.6 million year-on-year.
The number of employees in the BWT Group rose by 141 people year-on-year from 2,696 to 2,837 as at June 30. The rise in staff numbers in the AET segment relates largely to the expansion of servicing activities, while the focus in the AST segment was on the further internationalization of operations (Asia, South Africa and USA).
Outlook The results for the first half of 2005 confirm the planning of the Management Board for 2005. The BWT Group in its current form is anticipating slight growth in sales to more than EUR 500 million (PY: EUR 488 million) for 2005 as a whole, as well as strong earnings growth, achieving consolidated earnings of more than EUR 20 million after EUR 16.8 million in 2004.
Spin-off of the AST segment preserving the share capital structure - IPO as "CWT"
On June 27, 2005, the BWT Management Board and the Management Board of CHRIST signed the spin-off agreement, firing the starting shot for hiving off Christ Water Technology AG with its industrial and municipal business of Aqua Systems Technologies (AST). Subject to the approval of the spin-off by the Annual General Meetings of BWT AG and Christ Water Technology AG, the objective of this is that Christ Water Technology AG manages the segment as an independent company in the future under the globally renowned "CHRIST" brand and notes it on the Vienna Stock Exchange alongside BWT. If this spin-off is successfully implemented, BWT AG shareholders will receive a free CWT share for each share held in BWT in order that BWT AG shareholders will maintain all the shares of Christ Water Technology AG after implementation of the spin-off.
The hiving off of CHRIST will mark a milestone in the company history of BWT/CHRIST, and create the foundations for profitable and dynamic growth on the different "Industry" and "Household Technology" markets. By each focusing on their respective market segment and selectively leveraging their resources as well as the capital market, both CHRIST (Industry) and BWT (Household Technology) will play a leading role on the water market, which is defined by consolidation. According to current planning, all legal steps required for the transaction and the IPO of CWT will most probably be completed by early November 2005.
The members of the Management Board of BWT and of CWT would be delighted if you, the shareholders, would continue to support our two companies and profit from our expansion, the excellent market position and the growth prospects offered by the global water and water treatment market.
BWT´s Letter to Shareholders on the 1st half of 2005 can be downloaded from www.bwt-group.com
BWT Best Water Technology today is the leading European water technology group, comprising 70 companies over 2,800 employees. BWT devotes its efforts to the entire water cycle, "from source back to earth". With its business segments Aqua Ecolife Technologies and Aqua Systems Technologies, the Group offers customised, sustainable products and solutions in the areas of drinking water, swimming pool water, process water, ultra-pure water, and waste water for individual homes, hotels, industry, and municipalities. With its third business segment Fuel Cell Membrane Technologies, BWT is well positioned as a premier supplier of innovative membranes for fuel cells.
All technologies for water treatment are part of the BWT product range, including filter, softener, water purifier, disinfection technologies such as UV and ozone, along with ion-selective membranes, electrical desalination plants, ion exchangers, membrane technologies (reverse osmosis, nano-filtration, micro-filtration, ultra-filtration), and the innovative AQA total technology - the first technology worldwide allowing drinking water treatment without the use of salt.
More information on BWT Best Water Technology can be downloaded from www.bwt-group.com
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ots Originaltext: BWT AG
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