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18.05.2006 – 09:01

USU Software AG

USU generates significant increase in sales and earnings

    Möglingen (ots)

    - Significant expansion in product business     - Moderate increase in Group costs     - Earnings growth exceeds sales growth     - Continued solid balance sheet structure     - Management Board confirms forecasts

    USU Software AG and its subsidiaries (referred to below as: "USU Group" or "USU") increased its year-on-year Group sales by EUR 890 k (18.5%) to EUR 5,694 k (PY: EUR 4,804 k) in the first quarter of 2006. Thanks to the expansion of the high-margin product business and moderate cost increases, the USU Group was able to continue the positive earnings trend of previous quarters: EBITDA thus increased from EUR -15 k in the first three months of the 2005 financial year to EUR 345 k in the three months ending March 31, 2006. EBIT improved by EUR 381 k to EUR 212 k (PY: EUR -169 k). The USU Group reported net income for the period of EUR 295 k in the first quarter of 2006, compared to a net loss of EUR -115 k the previous year. Earnings per share in the reporting period were EUR 0.03 (PY: EUR -0.01).

    The Management Board also confirmed its full-year forecast of an above-average market increase in Group sales and even higher percentage rise in earnings, as well as its announced aim of allowing the shareholders of USU Software AG to participate in the company's success through the distribution of a dividend for the current financial year.

    Significant expansion in product business

    In particular as a result of the acquisition of many new customers, including, for example, the BMW Group and VfB Stuttgart, orders from existing customers such as W&W Informatik, VR Kreditwerk and Infineon as well as the successful development of the partner business, the USU Group doubled its year-on-year license sales to EUR 734 k (PY: 367 k). At EUR 593 k, USU's maintenance revenue was 18.8% higher than the previous year (PY: EUR 499 k). With sales of EUR 4,333 k, the consultancy business generated growth of 14.1% (PY: EUR 3,799 k). Other income in the reporting period amounted to EUR 34 k (PY: EUR 139 k). At EUR 5,694 k, the USU Group generated overall year-on-year sales growth of EUR 890 k or 18.5% (PY: EUR 4,804 k).

    Moderate increase in Group costs

    Group costs increased less sharply than sales, rising by EUR 469 k (9.4%) to EUR 5,475 k (PY: EUR 5,006 k). The absolute increase in costs is essentially attributable to the expansion of the consultancy business and the resulting additional utilization of internal and external consultants. In addition to involving employees of the Czech subsidiary USU Software s.r.o. in consultancy projects, the USU Group has begun to expand its team of internal consultants by taking on a number of qualified consultants. Within the context of the above developments, the number of Group employees increased by 3.6% to 204 at the end of the reporting period (PY: 197).

    Earnings growth exceeds sales growth

    The expansion of the high-margin product business and moderate cost increases allowed the USU Group to continue the positive earnings trend of previous quarters. EBITDA thus increased from EUR -15 k in the first three months of the 2005 financial year to EUR 345 k in the three months ending March 31, 2006. Taking into account depreciation and amortization of EUR 133 k (PY: EUR 154 k), USU improved its EBIT by EUR 381 k to EUR 212 k (PY: EUR -169 k). After adjusting for net interest income of EUR 84 k (PY: EUR 93 k) and the income tax expense of EUR -1 k (PY: EUR -39 k), the USU Group reported net income for the quarter of EUR 295 k, compared to a net loss of EUR -115 k for the corresponding prior-year period. Earnings per share in the reporting period were EUR 0.03 (PY: EUR -0.01) on an average number of shares outstanding of 9,135,004 (PY: 8,605,593).

    Continued solid balance sheet structure

    The equity of the USU Group increased to EUR 36,344 k as at March 31, 2006, primarily as a result of the net income generated for the period (December 31, 2005: EUR 36,092 k). USU also reduced its liabilities to EUR 6,204 k (December 31, 2005: EUR 6,894 k). The equity ratio increased accordingly from 84.0% as at December 31, 2005 to 85.4% at the end of the first quarter of 2006. Cash and cash equivalents and investments climbed to a total of EUR 16,082 k as at March 31, 2006 (December 31, 2005: EUR 15,721 k).

    Management Board confirms forecasts

    The Management Board expects to achieve its set targets of generating a higher than market average increase in Group sales and an even higher percentage rise in earnings. In addition to the existing Group products, proprietary product innovations are also expected to contribute to a further expansion of high-margin license sales. An increase in maintenance revenue should also help generate additional earnings. The gradual expansion of the internal consultancy team and the efficient involvement of employees of the Czech subsidiary in customer projects are also expected to generate an increase in consultancy revenue. The growth in the Group's incoming orders to EUR 7,464 k at March 31, 2006, an increase of EUR 794 k (11.9%) compared to the comparable prior-year value of EUR 6,670 k, provides one indication of the success being achieved in this area. Finally, the Management Board has high expectations of its partner business, which is expected to further strengthen the Group's market presence within and outside Europe.

    In accordance with the Management Board's planning, Group costs are only expected to rise slightly. Consequently, the USU Group is targeting above-average earnings growth. To this extent the Management Board confirms its stated aim of allowing the shareholders of USU Software AG to participate in the company's success through the distribution of a dividend for the current financial year.

For further information please contact:

USU Software AG Investor Relations Falk Sorge Tel.: +49(0)7141/4867-351 Fax:  -49(0)7141/4867-108 Email: f.sorge@usu-software.de

USU Software AG Corporate Communications Dr. Thomas Gerick Tel.: +49(0)7141/4867-440 Fax:  +49(0)7141/4867-909 Email: t.gerick@usu-software.de

Original content of: USU Software AG, transmitted by news aktuell