ots Ad hoc-Service: BWT AG BWT 3rd Quarter 2000

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    Mondsee/Österreich (ots Ad hoc-Service) -      BWT - Best Water
Technology - Group of companies records turnover and earnings growth
in line with expectations for 2000

    As Europe's market leader in the field of water treatment technology, BWT - Best Water Technology Group - continues to be on course for the attainment of this year's business goal at the end of the first nine months.

    Group turnover EUR 195.1 million (+11.3% compared with the previous year) Consolidated group turnover increased to EUR 195.1 million and is 11.3% above that of the previous year's (EUR 175.3 million). During the third quarter, turnover was EUR 58.9 million, achieving a growth rate of 10%. The individual business divisions developed as follows:

                                                          1999         2000      +% 00/99
Domestic Technology                            55.4         63.7      +14.9%
Commercial/Industrial Technology        29.5         33.1      +12.2%
Project Engineering                            55.4         55.5      + 0.3%
Service, Fittings, Swimming Pool        35.0         42.8      +22,2%
TOTAL                                                 175.3        195.1      +11.3%

    The domestic technology division (+14.9%), the commercial and industrial technology division (+12.2%) and the service, fittings and swimming pool division (+22.2%) achieved above average growth rates, while the project engineering division only achieved marginal growth of 0.3%.

    Sales of the limescale protection device "AQA total" increased by 21.7% to EUR 15.8 million. Domestic technology sales without "AQA total" rose by 9.8%; this development was largely due to BWT France. The positive trend change in the commercial and industrial technology division begun during the 2nd quarter of the year continued during the 3rd quarter. This business area benefited from a rise of over 30% in the domestic business of BWT France and the newly begun hospital and pharmaceuticals business by BWT's UK subsidiary, Kennicott.

    Turnover in the Project Engineering division only grew by 0.3%. Behind this trend was a decrease in turnover at the German Loesch Filter and in France which was equalised by the newly consolidated van der Molen Group.

    Turnover in the Service, Fittings, Swimming Pool division continued to be dynamic. The Service and Spares business shrank, but the swimming pool business grew by 57.2% and the product group Fittings increased by 10.2% as a result of the new "WET-Technology" which is part of the "BWT-fresh" Wellness fittings. Analysing turnover by region, the companies located in Austria accounted for about one third of the growth, the German and Eastern European companies for 20% each. Of the total growth of 11.3%, about 6% stem from acquisitions, the remainder from organic growth.

    Order backlog stable at EUR 73.1 million (- 0.1% compared with the previous year)

    As of 30.9., the total order backlog of BWT Group amounted to EUR 73.1 million, almost equal to that of the previous year's. Orders received during the 3rd quarter amounted to EUR 54.5 million, representing a decrease of 4.7% compared with the previous year. The van der Molen Group expects the start of two secured contracts during the current business year, one for the delivery of food and beverage production plants with a total volume of almost EUR 40 million, which will be completed over the next two years.

Earnings rise overproportionately Net profit of EUR 10.3 million (+ 18.4% compared with the previous year)

In EUR million                                                  1999         2000          
Operating profit                                                13.5         16.7      
Financial result                                                -1.9         -2.0
Earnings from ordinary activities                    11.6         14.7      
Net profit                                                          8.7         10.3      

    Earnings development during the first nine months was in line with expec- tations. The operating profit rose from EUR 13.5 million by 23.6% to EUR 16.7 million. The improvement was again due to the lower materials usage which in turn was as a result of an increased proportion of total sales in standard products. An increase in the level of interest rates made itself felt in a slight worsening of the financial result. Earnings from ordinary activities, at EUR 14.7 million, were better by 26.9% compared with the previous year, and net profit increased by 18.4%, from EUR 8.7 million to EUR 10.3 million, as a result of an increased tax burden.

    Number of personnel at 30. 9. 2000: 1843 employees The number of employees amounted to 1843 at the end of September and thus hardly changed compared with the end of the previous year (1839). The growth compared with 30.9. of the previous year (1673) stems from the increase in the production capacities and the newly consolidated van der Molen Group.

    Investments in fixed assets at EUR 3.4 million During the first three quarters, BWT Group invested a total of EUR 3.4 million in fixed assets; this compares with the previous year's figure of EUR 5.6 million. The current year's investments are largely aimed at replacement and rationalisation measures. The German subsidiary FuMA-Tech saw an expansion in its membrane production facilities.

    Outlook for 2000: ÖVFA earnings goal unchanged at EUR 17 milllion On the basis of the current year's turnover and earnings increases and the current order situation, BWT Group expects ÖVFA earnings of EUR 17 million for the year (+13% compared with the previous year's earnings of EUR 15 million).

    BWT focuses on three growth markets on the basis of its recently introduced "Global-2000-Strategy":

    a) AQUA ECOLIFE TECHNOLOGIES: High tech domestic products for water treatment (such as AQA total, filters, softeners etc.) will become almost compulsory in every household - just like PC's. BWT is trying to catch the mass market in water technology using intelligent products.

    b) AQUA SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGIES: Plant for economically and ecologically optimised customer-specific solutions for industry and municipalities.

    c) FUEL CELL MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGIES: The latest development by BWT's subsidiary FuMA-Tech (Germany) represents the central function of the future growth industry "fuel cell". Climate changes, greenhouse effect and not least the higher oil prices call for alternative energy sources. Fuel cells are viewed as THE energy converters of the 3rd millennium. Soon this will result in a "billion-EURO-market". Fuel cells are capable of propelling buses and cars, laptops and mobile telephones and even of supplying electricity and heat to households. The only "waste product" is pure H2O. Many well-known multinational companies are working on the quick commercialisation of this technology and BWT/FuMA-Tech opens up unique new possibilities with the invention of its "PEM" (proton exchange membrane). This concentration of strengths will continue to lead to further dynamic internationalisation of the BWT Group of companies.

    End ----------------------------------------------------- Internet:

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