euro adhoc: VA Technologie AG / Quarterly or Semiannual Financial Statements / Third quarter 2004 shows record order growth and higher sales (E)

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The exceptionally positive market developments in the iron and steel industry, as well as the systematic application of the Group strategy of exploiting the opportunities provided by international growth markets led to a 15% increase in third quarter order intake to a new record level of EUR 3.6 bn. Order backlog rose by 15% to EUR 4.9 bn. The largest increases in new orders came from Metallurgy (+73%) and Infrastructure (+12%).
In order to achieve a simpler and clearer presentation of Group results, notional interest from the balancing of advance payments made and received has no longer been allocated to sales. Consequently, results in the operating area (EBIT and EBITA) are lower, while the financial result is up by a corresponding amount. Earnings before taxes (EBT) and the net result are unaffected by this alteration.
VA TECH sales in the first nine months of 2004 were raised by 6% to EUR 2,847 m. If one-off effects (resizing expenses and book gains/losses from the sale of assets and investments amounted to EUR minus 50.5 m) are included, the operating result (EBITA) for the first nine months of 2004 totalled minus EUR 21.8 m (Q1-3 2003: EUR 16.6 m). However, if the one-off effects are omitted, EBITA amounted to EUR 28.7 m, which was more than double the figure for the same quarter of 2003.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in the period under review amounted to minus EUR 50.1 m (Q 1-3, 2003: minus EUR 13.5 m). Following the deduction of taxes and minority interests, the result for the period amounted to minus EUR 59.2 m, following minus EUR 22.2 m in the first nine months of 2003. This fall was largely the result of the increase in one-off effects derived from reszing and the amortisation of goodwill. Net liquidity improved to EUR 168 m. Group free cash flow of minus EUR 78 m resulted for the first nine months of the year (Q1-3, 2003: minus EUR 5 m).
The basic improvement in the climate of investment within the capital goods industry is expected to continue for the remainder of the current year. Positive impetus is evident in both the metallurgical and energy sectors, as well as from industry.The main operative goal is the completion of reorganisation within the Group and the exploitation of the opportunities offered by the international growth regions. Water Systems resizing will be concluded by the end of the year, together with the correction of the loss-making situation in the transformer segment.
A sum of EUR 65-70 m, of which around 50% is cash effective, has been required for the adjustments in capacity needed in the course of transformer production plant resizing.
The published result forecasts for 2004 and 2005 remain unchanged. Further guidance will be provided in due time.

Further inquiry note:
Bettina Pepek
Press Officer

phone: 43 1 89100 3400 fax: 43 1 89100 4103 emitter: VA Technologie AG Turmstraße 44 A-4031 Linz ISIN: AT0000937453

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sector: Technology language: English