euro adhoc: BayWa AG / Quarterly or Semiannual Financial Statements / Report on the first quarter of 2004 The BayWa Group raises the result of ordinary activities (E)

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Munich, 13 May 2004 - In the first quarter of 2004, the BayWa Group has raised the result of ordinary activities by EUR 1.2 million year on year. The Group’s result of ordinary activities is still in the minus at EUR -1.9 million which is seasonally induced and typical of the Group’s business. Consolidated sales of EUR 1.23 million are currently only 2.2% below last year’s figure. Whereas the Agriculture and Construction segments have already outstripped last year’s performance, the Energy segment is in the process of catching up and improving its income, which is currently lower in a year-on-year comparison.

In the Agriculture segment, quarterly sales, which came in at EUR 641 million, were slightly higher against the previous year’s quarter. The Group has already made good spring's hesitant burgeoning through the sale of agricultural products and equipment. The downtrend in the Agricultural Equipment business is slowing. The segment’s result of ordinary activities improved due to the good market for agricultural products and as a result of slashing costs by EUR 3.6 million to EUR 9.65 million in the Agricultural Equipment business unit.

The Construction segment raised sales by one percent to EUR 255 million as against the first quarter of 2003. The Group can use its strong market position and brisker business in rural areas to raise income, particularly in the building materials trade. The DIY and Garden Center business unit is currently making good for the delay in the gardening season. As the Group makes only 14% of its total volume in trading with building materials in the first three months of the year its result of ordinary business, which is still in the minus at EUR 13.5 million, is typical of its business at this time of year.

Sales in the Energy segment at the end of March were around 10 % lower than the previous year’s figure which is primarily due to the price-induced demand distortions last year caused by the Iraq war. The result is expected to even out over the course of the year. The disparate trends of the quarters being compared is also reflected in the segment's result of ordinary activities of EUR 1 million, which currently corresponds to a minus of EUR 3.3 million.

Sales in the consumer goods business remained stable at EUR 66 million. The Other Activities segment result of EUR 0.9 million is EUR 0.8 million higher year on year.

Raising efficiency and cutting costs on an ongoing basis
The integration of WLZ is having a notable effect in the areas of personnel and interest. The former WLZ head office in the centre of Stuttgart now stands empty, and the regional administration assigned to other BayWa locations. All business segments have cut costs substantially in the first quarter. In 2004, the new SAP inventory control system is to be installed in a number of other business units with the concurrent positive effect on optimising processes and managing the various businesses. The concept for streamlining the Agricultural Equipment business unit has been initiated with an analysis on improving efficiency, the aim being to raise profitability long term.

Growth within the Group, rationalisation and optimising processes mean that the number of employees and how the workforce is organised is constantly changing. As per 31 March 2004, the BayWa Group employed a workforce of 15,241. As against 31 December 2003, this represents reduction of 299 jobs. Above all, the amalgamation with WLZ has enabled changes to the Group’s workforce in the wake of reorganisation, new management and new sales and distribution structures.

Good outlook for 2004
The performance in the first quarter underpins the goals of the Group for 2004, which include the stabilisation of sales and the steady improvement of the operating result. The goal has been set at 40 million plus x. That this goal can be achieved is substantiated by the results achieved by the end of March, along with the uptrend in successive weeks in the Group’s segments, greater expectations for a good harvest and the significance of the increase in the number of building permissions for parts of the Group.

Sec. code no. 519 406; DE 0005194062

Further inquiry note:
Lothar Schönberger
Tel.: +49 (89) 9222 3692
Tel: +49 (0)89 9222 0
FAX: +49 (0)89 9222 3698

Emittent: BayWa AG Arabellastraße 4 DE-81925 München Tel: +49 (0)89 9222 0 FAX: +49 (0)89 9222 3698 Email: WWW: ISIN: DE0005194062, DE0005194005 WKN: 519406, 519400 Indizes: CDAX, Classic All Share, Prime All Share, Prime Standard Börsen: official dealing Bayerische Börse, Frankfurter

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Branche: Agriculture
Sprache: Englisch