PRESS RELEASE NO. 3/2005

116th SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETING APPROVES HIGHER DIVIDEND CONTINUED GROWTH AT SEMPERIT IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2005 

1. BUSINESS YEAR 2004 
DIVIDEND WAS INCREASED FROM 54 EUROCENTS (52 %) TO 70 EUROCENTS (67 %)
In keeping with the strong earnings in business year 2004, today’s General Meeting of Shareholders of the listed Semperit AG Holding approved a motion by the Management Board to raise the dividend from 54 eurocents to 70 eurocents per share. This dividend corresponds to a distribution of 67 % based on paid-in share capital. 

Key Company Figures

2003 2004
Sales (in € million) 463.5 477.4
EBIT (in € million) 43.2 48.2
PBT (in € million) 44.3 52.0
Return on sales (in %) 9.6 10.9
Return on total capital employed (in %) 13.3 14.6
Return on equity (in %) 28.5 28.6

2. COURSE OF BUSINESS IN 2005
FURTHER GROWTH
The Semperit Group is continuing on its successful course of growth again this year in spite of cyclical difficulties on the horizon for the overall economy. As indicated in the quarterly report released today, first quarter sales increased on the previous year by some 5 % to
€ 124.8 million while profits for the same period were about 8 % higher, totaling € 12.5 million. For 2005 as a whole, the management once again expects an increase in profit for the 15th consecutive year.

SEMPERIT AT A GLANCE (in € million)

Q1 01 Q1 02 Q1 03 Q1 04 Q1 05 Diff. 05/04
Sales in € million 94.1 107.1 115.0 118.6 124.8 + 5.2 %
PBT in € million 9.3 10.1 10.5 11.6 12.5 + 7.8 %
Employees as of March 31 5,467 5,560 5,818 5,679 5,935 + 4.5 %

The company’s largest segment Sempermed (36% of consolidated sales) made full use of capacity in the period under review. The parent factory in Wimpassing, Austria, performed as expected, recording higher sales and profits on a rising level of orders. Supplemental new orders from Europe pushed capacity utilization at the factories in Thailand and China to the limit. Our US sales company Sempermed USA launched a proactive campaign on the market aimed at bringing about a substantial boost in sales.

Business at Semperflex (29% of consolidated sales) continued to expand apace, with especially dynamic growth reported for hydraulic hose. Semperflex Optimit, the Group’s up-and-coming Czech hose factory, entered the final phase of major investments in capacity expansion and modernization. This facility handed in another impressive performance, achieving above-average growth in output.

Production operations for industrial hose at the parent factory in Wimpassing, Austria, increased overall sales despite ever more aggressive pricing by competitors from low-wage countries. Roiter, the segment’s Italian factory, improved its market position in southern Europe. The value and volume of sales reported at the Semperflex Asia hose factory in Thailand were considerably higher than last year. Capacity expansion there is proceeding on schedule.

Semperform (18 % of consolidated sales) continued to report diverging trends in its individual units. Overall, however, first quarter sales were substantially higher than in 2004. In Wimpassing business grew as planned, with above-average expansion for the railway superstructure and ski equipment segments. The same can be said of business in profiles, ropeway rings and filter membranes. Sales at Semperform Hungary remained at about the same level as last year.

The German construction profile factory in Deggendorf stepped up its efforts to gain back lost market share by landing new accounts and targeting new markets. The percentage of exports thus increased, as the slumping construction industry in Germany continued to contract.

Within Sempertrans (17 % of consolidated sales), Sempertrans Belchatow in Poland continued to be the largest company and the most potent market player. The current business year began in nearly all markets and segments with substantial and higher than expected increases in sales and profits. The Group’s French company S.F.B.T. did not get off to such a rosy start this year. It continues to struggle with regionally induced structural weaknesses and a decline in demand for metal belts. The Indian company Sempertrans Nirlon topped its targets for nearly all key figures. Demand is so high that the production operations are already reaching the limits of their capacity.

Vienna, May 2005

To top

Contact

Monika Riedel
Director Group Communications and Sustainability
T +43 1 79777-620