euro adhoc: SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG / SW Umwelttechnik reports preliminary results for 2002 (E)

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SW Umwelttechnik reports preliminary results for 2002

  • Revenue almost held steady
  • EBITDA 11% down
  • One-time impairment writedowns weighed on profits
  • Good prospects for new products and south Budapast site

For SW Umwelttechnik 2002 was a year of restructuring, against a difficult market backdrop, and of product launches, heavy investment and one-time charges which weighed on results.

The preliminary results according to IAS show revenue for the year edging down by 1.8% to EUR 68.6 million (m). The fall reflected developments in Austria where action was taken to streamline the product range, and SW Umwelttechnik faced a negative market environment. In Hungary, the company did not entirely make up the ground lost when the general election caused delays in contract awards.

The share of total revenue accounted for by Hungary increased from 58% to 62%, while Austria’s slipped from 34% to 31%. Germany and other neighbouring countries generated the remaining 7% of sales. There was also a shift in the segmental breakdown of revenue, with the contribution of the company’s Infrastructure sector rising from 27% to 30%. The Water Conservation sector was responsible for 41% of total revenue, and Engineering for 29%.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) retreated from EUR 3.1m to EUR 0.5m. This steep decline was caused by the economic downturn, as well as restructuring expenses and EUR 1.5m in one-time impairment writedowns of property, plant and equipment, and goodwill. A like-for-like comparison after stripping out these one-time effects shows a fall in EBIT from EUR 3.2m to EUR 2m.

The main measure of the company’s financial strength, EBITDA, fared better, slipping by 11%, from EUR 6.9m to EUR 6.1m.

Due to the sale of a minority interest in a Hungarian company, UAB-Holding, finance cost decreased from EUR 1.1m to EUR 0.1m, cushioning the fall in the profit on ordinary activities (POA), which dropped to EUR 0.4m from EUR 1.9m in 2001. Like-for-like POA, excluding one-time effects, declined from EUR 2.4m to EUR 1.3m.

The total headcount shrank to 773 as a result of rationalisation measures. Revenue per employee advanced from EUR 86,000 to EUR 88,000.

Capital expenditure

In 2002 capital expenditure was stepped up from EUR 7.7m to EUR 8.2m.

The main focus of investment was Hungary — where the new south Budapest factory was further expanded as planned — which attracted 75% of total spending. Completion of the works brought SW Umwelttechnik leadership in the precast element and hollow core plank segment. At existing plants production was refocused and the product range streamlined.

In Austria and Germany the company invested in rationalisation measures designed to support its cost reduction programmes, and in new production equipment for the Water Conservation (e.g. to manufacture rainwater reclamation systems) and Infrastructure sector (e.g. masts).

Equity and corporate structure

The structure of the group was simplified in order to strengthen its market position. The Hungarian Rocla subsidiary, in the Water Conservation sector, can now be fully integrated in the group following an increase in SW Umwelttechnik’s holding from 46% to 100%. Merging the Lambach operation with the parent company has also led to significant increases in efficiency at the Austrian sites.

The acquisition of the remaining shares in Rocla raised IAS capital and reserves from EUR 17.6m to EUR 18.3m, and the book value per share is now approx. EUR 32. The equity ratio including minorities is 31%.


Management is cautiously optimistic about the outlook for 2003.

The Hungarian economy is growing fast, and a huge volume of investment will be required to catch up with EU environmental standards. However, the country is faced with growing budget deficits, and the Government has responded by tightening the screw on public finance. In Austria and Germany planned public spending cuts and slack construction activity mean that stabilisation at a low level is the best that can expected.

Despite a poor first quarter due to severe weather conditions, in the light of the company’s strong market position, the restructuring exercises undertaken and the fact that order backlog is at the previous year’s levels management anticipates revenue growth and a considerable improvement in earnings in 2003.

* In Hungary the additional capacity at the south Budapest site should lead to a significant increase in SW Umwelttechnik’s market shares.

* New products developed in Austria and Germany (water conservation and biogas systems, and masts) should sell well.

* Preparations are being made for phased entry to the markets of other EU candidate countries. Construction of a factory in Romania will start in 2003.
Meanwhile the company has won its first engineering contract in the country, for a wastewater treatment plant and a sewerage network. An engineering subsidiary has been founded in Slovakia.

Further inquiry note:
DI Heinz Wolschner, Vorstand der SW Umwelttechnik
Tel.: 0043/463/32109-0, Fax: 0043/463/37667
MMag. Christian Riel, Finanzen/Investor Relations
Tel.: 0043/664/4337105, Fax: 0043/1/3688686,
Tel: 0043-463-32109
FAX: 0043-463-37667

end of announcement euro adhoc

Emittent: SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG
Bahnstraße 87-93
AT-A-9020 Klagenfurt
Tel: 0043-463-32109
FAX: 0043-463-37667
ISIN: AT0000808209
WKN: 080820
Indizes: ATX Prime, ViDX, WBI
Börsen: free trade Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse, Berliner Wertpapierbörse, Börse Düsseldorf; official dealing Wiener Börse AG Branche: Technology
Sprache: Englisch