EANS-Adhoc: BENE AG / Bene announces results for first quarter of 2009/10.

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  • Decline in sales by 20 % to EUR 47.6 million
  • EBIT of EUR -0.8 million slightly negative
  • Still high equity ratio and low net gearing
  • Bond of EUR 40 million provides sufficient liquidity reserve
  • Package of measures as reaction to changed environment introduced

Vienna/Waidhofen an der Ybbs, June 24, 2009. The Bene AG, listed in the prime market of the of the Vienna Stock Exchange, could not escape the continuing difficult economic environment and had to record decreases in sales and earnings in the first quarter of the current business year (February 1 until April 30, 2009).

In total, in the first three months of the current business year, sales of the Bene Group dropped by 20.2 % to EUR 47.6 million (Q1 2008/09: EUR 59.7 million). In the home market Austria, the Bene Group´s sales decreased by 26.2 % to EUR 14.5 million (Q1 2008/09: EUR 19.7 million). In Germany, the largest European office furniture market, the decline in sales by 10.0 % to EUR 14.3 was moderate (Q1 2008/09: EUR 15.9 million). Despite the acquisition of several projects, due to the still weakened investment climate, UK sales fell by 22.2 % to EUR 5.3 million (Q1 2008/09: EUR 6.8 million). In Russia, Bene improved sales by 51.0% to EUR 5.1 million in the first quarter of 2009/10 (Q1 2008/09: EUR 3.4 million). Overall, the "other markets" segment recorded a 39.7 % loss in sales to EUR 8.4 million (Q1 2008/09: EUR 14.0 million).

In line with the sales development, earnings and profitability showed clear reductions. Compared to the previous year, the EBIT dropped by EUR 4.1 million to EUR -0.8 million (Q1 2008/09: EUR 3.3 million). The financial result deteriorated by EUR 0.4 million to EUR -0.5 million (Q1 2008/09: EUR -0.1 million). The EBT reached EUR -1.4 million and thus remained by EUR 4.6 million below the previous year´s reference value.

Through the issue of an EUR 40 million corporate bond, the Bene Group has a balanced balance sheet structure and an additional liquidity reserve for the coming years. As of April 30, 2009, the equity ratio of 33.5 % still remains at a high level (January 31, 2009: 46.8 %). On the same reference date, net gearing amounted to only 17.0 % (April 30, 2008: -3.1 %).

In the first quarter of 2009/10, total investments of the Bene Group for the finalisation and the start of operation of the research and innovation centre at the site in Waidhofen/Ybbs as well as the ongoing modernisation of the production facilities and the distribution sites added up to EUR 3.7 million (Q1 2008/09: EUR 4.0 million).

On the reporting date April 30, 2009, the Bene Group had 1.525 employees and thus 68 people or 4.7 % more than on April 30, 2008.

According to the current economic forecasts, no improvement is expected for the current business year 2009/10. In order to be able to react appropriately quickly and comprehensively in this environment, the Management of the Bene Group increasingly works with scenario models. From today´s point of view, no reliable outlook for the overall year 2009/10 may be provided.

Among others, this report contains statements on potential future developments, which were made on the basis of currently available information. Such statements, which reflect the current assessment of future developments by our Management, cannot be construed as guarantees for future performance and bear unforeseeable risk and uncertainty. There may be a variety of reasons for actual results and conditions to diverge from the assumptions, on which the statements were based.

The comprehensive quarterly report is available under www.bene.com.

emitter: BENE AG
Schwarzwiesenstrasse 3
A-3340 Waidhofen/Ybbs
phone: +43/7442/500-0
FAX: +43/7442/500-3380
mail: office@bene.com
WWW: www.bene.com
sector: Furnishings & Furniture
indexes: ATX Prime
stockmarkets: official market: Wien
language: English

end of announcement euro adhoc

Rückfragen & Kontakt:

Investor Relations:
Frank Wiegmann
Chairman of the Management Board

Schwarzwiesenstraße 3, A-3340 Waidhofen/Ybbs
IR Hotline: +43-7442-500-3100

Public Relations:
Ursula Grabher
Head of Public Relations
Renngasse 6, A-1010 Wien
Tel. +43-1-534 26-1265