BWT AG: Announcement according to paragraph 15 WpHG

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BWT- Best Water Technology: Strong turnover and earnings increase during the first half year

BWT - Best Water Technology - Group, Europe's market leader in water treatment, continued its successful development during the first half of the 1998 business year. Our high expectations for the current business year were met not only in terms of turnover growth but also regarding results.

Group turnover grew to ATS 1.55 billion or by 20.1% compared with the previous year

During the first half of the 1998 business year, consolidated turnover of BWT Group increased by 20.1% compared with the previous year, to ATS 1,549.9 million. Organic like-for-like growth amounted to 6%, the remainder stems from newly acquired companies (Kennicott, Aqua Engineering). All the business areas with the exception of commercial and industrial technology were able to record commendable increases. The development of the individual business areas was as follows:

in ATS million Business area 1998 1997 +/-% Domestic technology 461.1 358.3 +28.7% Commercial and industrial technology 270.0 268.2 + 0.7% Project engineering 526.9 384.9 +36.9% Service, Fittings, Swimming Pool 291.9 279.2 + 4.5% TOTAL 1,549.9 1,290.6 +20.1%

The strong growth recorded in the area of domestic technology largely results from the new limescale protection device "AQA total", the revolution in water treatment technology, which generated total turnover of ATS 97.8 million in Austria, Germany and Belgium during the first half of 1998. The launch into the Italian market is imminent, and cooperation agreements for distribution in the U.S.A. are in preparation. Business in commercial and industrial technology continued to be affected by reluctance to invest on the part of industry, but growth impact is expected to be gained from new AQA total plants with a capacity of up to 28 m3 per hour.The increases in the areas of project engineering during the first six months are mainly due to the newly consolidated companies in this business area, Kennicott Water Systems and Aqua Engineering. A period of stagnation in demand for service and spare parts combined with growth rates of 7% each in swimming pool technology and fittings, resulting in an overall growth of 4.5% in the business area of Service, Fittings, Swimming Pool. The Austrian companies increased their turnover by 13.5% during the first half of 1998, the German companies by 15.6%. Belgium, at 41.6% and Eastern Europe, at 58.4%, were significantly above average with regards to their business expansion. France, Italy and Spain experienced very moderate increases of 2%.

Order book as of 30 June 1998: ATS 705 million (+74% compared with previous year)

Orders on hand at mid-year and expected to be invoiced during 1998 amounted to ATS 705 million, an increase of 74.3% over the comparable date of the previous year. The main drivers behind this increase were the newly acquired project engineering companies Kennicott and Aqua Engineering.

Operating result up 44.8%, Result from ordinary activities up 12.1%, net profit up 34%

Compared with the previous year, the operating result increased from ATS 78.3 million to ATS 113.4 million (+44.8%) during the first half of 1998. The relative increase in the cost of materials, a result of the significant growth in the proportion of the project business, was more than compensated for by lower personnel costs as a percentage of turnover. Financial results decreased due to lower income from securities and participations, from an income of ATS 11.5 million to a negative result of ATS 12.7 million. Earnings from ordinary operating activities, however, rose to ATS 100.7 million (previous year: ATS 89.8 million). Net profits grew by 34%, from ATS 54.4 million to ATS 72.9 million. Despite a significant increase in marketing outlay for AQA total, our goal of raising earnings by more than turnover was attained.

Number of employees as of 30 June 1998: 1561

The number of employees increased by 104 during the first six months of the current business year; when comparing the end dates of the first half of the respective business years, the comparable increase amounted to 154. The addition was mainly due to employees joining from the newly consolidated companies.

Investments in tangible assets increased to ATS 63.6 million

During the first half of 1998, group-wide investments amounted to ATS 63.6 million. Of this, more than ATS 21 million represented assets acquired by Kennicott, U.K. Also, the new distribution centre for BWT Polska in Warsaw was completed during the reporting period; additionally, work started on the new production and R & D centre for AQA total at our Mondsee headquarters. We have budgeted a total of ATS 100 million for this project.

Target for 1998: Group turnover of ATS 3.1 billion

The very positive developments during the first six months of the current business year and the current order position appear to provide a good basis for the achievement of our planned group turnover of ATS 3.1 billion (up 18% on the previous year). Intensive marketing and further development efforts, in particular for the revolutionary IQ-Technology in the AQA total domestic water treatment device, will continue to ensure our market leadership role in Europe and provide the bases for further internationalisation of the business. The BWT - Best Water Technology - group of companies expects ÖVFA earnings of ATS 220 million.

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