Von Roll: Successful first half-year 2008 highlights Von Roll's growth strategy

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4 August 2008

  • Sales up 12% to CHF 343 million
  • Operating income up 21% to CHF 34 million
  • EBIT margin target of 10% achieved
  • Outlook confirmed for the whole of 2008

Von Roll Holding AG, one of Switzerland's longest established companies, has demonstrated its strong growth potential with a successful first half-year 2008. The Swiss global market leader in insulation products was able to increase sales by 12% to CHF 343 million in the first six months of the current year. Adjusted for currency effects, sales rose by as much as 19%. Order intake also showed double-digit growth of 11% to CHF 382 million compared to the first half-year 2007. The operating income (EBIT) was up 21% on the previous year to CHF 34 million, thus achieving the EBIT margin target of 10%. The net income / profit after tax improved by 22% to CHF 28 million.

Thomas Limberger, CEO of Von Roll, said "Our growth strategy is so solid that we have grown twice as strongly as the market. Our expertise in implementing operational measures has enabled us to significantly increase our first-half results compared to the previous year."

Both business units on a successful path

Both business units, Electrical and Industrial, have contributed to Von Roll's growth. The crucial factors contributing to this growth were the continuous streamlining of production and sales processes as well as the new products that were extremely well accepted by the market.

Around 1,500 employees in the Electrical unit contributed to sales of CHF 257 million, a 10% increase on the previous year. The operating income of this segment improved by 14% to CHF 28 million. The ever-increasing worldwide need for electricity will continue to lead to an ongoing demand for Von Roll products and efficient solutions for generating power.

The Industrial unit generated sales of CHF 86 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 17%. The operating income improved above average by 29% to CHF 8 million compared to the same period in the previous year. There is every reason to believe that sales and profit in the second half-year will also remain above the level of the previous year. Thanks to the measures introduced to increase productivity and profitability, all production sites are profitable again for the first time in years. Furthermore, numerous innovations for the future use of alternative raw materials have also been launched and promoted.

Asia remains a growth engine

At 53% growth, adjusted for currency effects, following the acquisition of Shenzhen Mica in China, Von Roll has secured itself an excellent position on the Asian market. Good relations with key customers in Europe and the USA are important for the rapidly increasing number of contracts in Asia.

On the American continent, Von Roll was able to record 24% growth adjusted for currency effects. The optimisation of sales processes and of the cost of production sites, as well as market share expansion, particularly in South America, contributed to this success in the first half-year.

Von Roll continued to strengthen its position as the market leader in Europe's high-voltage market. Despite the general downward economic trend in Western Europe, the chemical legislation REACH prompted a boom specific to the area where Von Roll is active with its environmentally friendly resins and varnishes. This enabled the company to increase its sales in Europe by 9% adjusted for currency effects.

Bank formation on schedule

Preparations for the announced formation of a bank are running according to plan. Subject to the approval of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, the bank is scheduled to start operations in early 2009. Shareholders of Von Roll Holding AG will be offered shares in the bank proportionally to their previous shareholdings. Once the transaction has been completed, Von Roll Holding AG plans to keep no more than 5% of its shares in the bank.

Positive outlook for 2008 confirmed

The positive half-year results form the foundation for the implementation of Von Roll's dual growth strategy. The Electrical and Industrial units will continue to grow and active portfolio management will become a key strategic pillar. The Von Roll portfolio is to be expanded through acquisitions focusing on key technologies, which will play an increasingly important role due to the global trends "demographic change" and "urbanisation".

Thomas Limberger said, "We are convinced that our growth strategy will be successful. Thus we will continue to build on our recent business development in the second half-year. As far as the next few months are concerned, we are extremely optimistic and confirm our positive outlook for the whole year 2008."

The conference call and the chart presentation will be broadcast live at 10.00 a.m. CET under http://vonroll040808-live.cyber-presentation.de.

About Von Roll Holding AG:
As one of Switzerland's longest established industrial companies, Von Roll Holding AG focuses on products and systems for power generation. Von Roll is the global market leader in insulation products, systems and services and is represented at 32 locations in 18 countries with around 3,000 employees.

This press release is based on information currently available. Unforeseeable risks and influences may lead to discrepancies in the details provided here. Rounding differences may result in discrepancies in the published figures.

Further inquiry note:
Sven Ohligs, Head of Corporate Communications,
T: +41 (0)44 204 3031, F: +41 (0)44 204 3039, E: press@vonroll.com

end of announcement euro adhoc

emitter: Von Roll Holding AG
Steinacherstrasse 101
CH-8804 Au / Wädenswil
phone: +41 (0)44 204 50 51
FAX: +41 (0)44 204 30 39
mail: tanja.fischer@vonroll.com
WWW: http://www.vonroll.ch
sector: Misc. Industrials
ISIN: CH0003245351
indexes: SPI, Midcap Market Index
stockmarkets: official dealing: SWX Swiss Exchange
language: English