euro adhoc: Sartorius AG / Group sales revenue declined in the first nine months of 2003 essentially due to the impact of foreign exchange rates / Positive third-quarter earnings (EBIT) / Cash flow significantly increased and debt continued to decrease / Outlook for the fourth quarter of 2003 positive (E)

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During the first nine months of fiscal 2003, Sartorius Group sales revenue fell 6.5% to 324.8 million euros (previous year: 347.3 million euros). Adjusted for the impact of foreign currencies, Group sales revenue nearly reached last year’s level. The Biotechnology Division posted a 9.4% drop in sales revenues (adjusted for the impact of foreign currencies: -3.2%) to 166.1 million euros from 183.4 million euros the year before. Sales revenue of the Mechatronics Division slipped 3.2% (adjusted for the impact of foreign currencies: +2.6%) to 158.7 million euros from 163.9 million euros a year ago. Group order intake dropped 8.5% to 318.6 million euros from 348.2 million euros reported a year ago. Order intake for the Biotechnology Division fell from 179.3 million euros to 160.7 million euros (-10.4%); that of the Mechatronics Division slipped from 168.9 million euros to 157.9 million euros (-6.5%).

In the third quarter, provisions of approx. 4 million euros that we set up in connection with the impending insolvency of our minority stake Diessel GmbH & Co. KG had a negative impact on earnings in particular. For this reason, third-quarter Group earnings (EBIT) at 1.4 million euros are indeed still positive, but are below the previous period’s figure of 4.9 million euros. In the nine-month reporting period, EBIT slid from 1.4 million euros to -0.7 million euros; EBITDA fell from 19.6 million euros to 16.6 million euros.

As a result of our consolidation drive, we significantly increased net cash flow in the first nine months from 1.6 million euros posted for the year-earlier period to 26.6 million euros. Therefore, we were able to reduce our net debt from 133.1 million euros to 110.7 million euros (reporting date of December 31, 2002, compared with September 30, 2003).

For both the Biotechnology and Mechatronics Divisions, we expect that demand will pick up significantly by year-end. However, in view of the restraint seen so far in the development of order intake and contrary to our former forecast, we no longer assume that we can earn a good 10% higher sales revenue in the second half over that of the first half. Considering our earnings, we anticipate that in the last three months, we will have the best quarter of fiscal 2003. However, because of the negative impact on earnings accumulated so far during the fiscal year, it will be extremely difficult to increase EBIT against that of the previous year (13.5 million euros), as planned.

As of this afternoon you will find our complete Interim Report at

Further inquiry note:
Rainer Lehmann

Phone +49(0)551.308.4034
Fax +49(0)551.308.3153
Tel: +49 (0)551 308 0
FAX: +49 (0)551 308 289

Emittent: Sartorius AG Weender Landstr. 94-108 DE-37075 Göttingen Tel: +49 (0)551 308 0 FAX: +49 (0)551 308 289 Email: WWW: ISIN: DE0007165607, DE0007165631 WKN: 716560, 716563

end of announcement euro adhoc

Indizes: CDAX, Prime All Share, Prime Standard, Technologie All Share
Börsen: official dealing Niedersächsische Börse zu Hannover, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse; free trade Berliner Wertpapierbörse, Bayerische Börse, Hamburger Wertpapierbörse, Bremer Wertpapierbörse (BWB), Börse Düsseldorf, Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse Branche: Biotechnology
Sprache: Englisch