Tentative results 2005 2004 Difference
Sales in € millions 515.0 477.4 +7.9%
PBT in € millions 53.6 52.0 +3.0%
Consolidated net profit in € m. 36.7 30.8 +19.2%
Number of employees 6,185 5,710 +8.3%

We continue to be strongly positioned on international sales markets, but our earnings growth was inhibited by several external factors:

  • The sharp downward shift in the value of the US dollar that began in mid-2001 was slightly corrected in 2005 but the difference still amounts to about 30 %. Since we invoice a large portion of our international business in US dollars, the conversion to euros continues to give a highly distorted view of our performance as compared with previous years.
  • Further sharp increases in energy and raw material costs also cut deeply into earnings, as Semperit was unable to cover them in full in the calculation of sales prices.

We consistently pursued our successful long-standing corporate strategy again in 2005. Along with carefully planned steps to increase productivity and reduce costs, this strategy involves a concentration on core business and the globalization of production and sales structures. Research and development efforts were intensified to assure the optimization of product quality and production processes.

With this sharply focused business policy, the Semperit Group has succeeded thus far in attaining a leading competitive position on world markets in virtually all product segments. It either improved or at least successfully defended these positions in the year under review.

 

SEMPERMED EXPANDS CAPACITIES IN THAILAND

Sempermed, one of the world’s leading suppliers of medical surgical and examination gloves, remained on its successful growth course in 2005 by achieving healthy increases in the value and volume of sales for examination gloves. However, the latest upsurge in natural and synthetic rubber prices that began in mid-2005 unleashed fierce price competition and had a noticeable impact on our glove production. The company worked meticulously to cut further costs in production processes in order to offset these cost increases.

In response to strong demand for examination gloves, the first production lines at what is now the third glove factory in Hat Yai, Thailand, began going on line in autumn 2005. These new dip lines involve technological advances that draws on expertise from operations in Thailand and in Wimpassing, Austria.

The course of business in surgical gloves was satisfactory. The sales volume of industrial and protective gloves was on target.

 

NEW SEMPERFLEX FACTORY IN SHANGHAI

The dynamic growth trend at Semperflex was mainly attributable to business in hydraulic hose, where capacities were fully utilized at all locations. The markets of Europe, North America and Asia all saw a marked increase in sales volume and value.

Sales in industrial hose grew at a somewhat slower rate. Aggressive competition from Asia was keenly felt in business in elastomer sheeting from Austrian factories.

To cover Chinese and other Asian markets more effectively, the segment launched its first Chinese hose production operations in June 2005 at the newly founded company Semperflex Shanghai Ltd. This initial configuration stage involves approximately 200 employees, who will produce hydraulic hose mostly for export.

Following its recent expansion in capacity, Semperflex Optimit, the group’s Czech hose factory, began taking steps to further increase its annual capacity to 25 million meters to meet strong demand. Semperflex Asia, the group’s Thai factory with an output of 20 million meters per year, also hit the limits of its capacity and launched a further expansion program.

 

MODERATE SALES GROWTH AT SEMPERFORM

The development of business at Semperform was as varied in the year under review as the range of products was wide. Overall, however, results were satisfactory, with improvements in both sales and earnings.

At the parent factory in Wimpassing, Austria, growth was recorded primarily in the segments railway superstructure, cableway rings and ski technology. The rubber factory in Deggendorf, Germany, expanded its exports to Eastern European countries and Great Britain to offset the shrinking German domestic market. To bolster growth, an additional ultra-modern high-capacity extrusion plant was put into operation in mid-2005. This step substantially increased the production capacity for profiles used in window and façade construction.

The Chinese handrail factory SRP continued to benefit from the shift in production capacities by international escalator manufacturers to China.

 

ROBUST GROWTH AT SEMPERTRANS BELCHATOW

With its three factories, the Sempertrans Group is one of the largest manufacturers of conveyor belts in the world. The strength it has built up in recent years comes in part from its complete range of transport and conveyor belt products.

The Polish conveyor belt factory Sempertrans Belchatow led the way in production growth again in 2005, achieving double-digit increases in the volume of steel-cord and textile belts particularly in the former CIS countries. Earnings increased at an even faster pace thanks to tireless efforts to manage costs and a strict focus on increasing productivity.

The situation at the French group subsidiary S.F.B.T. remained unsatisfactory. Business at Sempertrans Nirlon, the group subsidiary in India, was inhibited by a lengthy strike but still managed to post above-target earnings.

 

OUTLOOK 2006

Basic business conditions are expected to be favorable. This fact, coupled with the capacity expansions underway or already completed in all segments, leads the management to expect a further improvement in sales and earnings for the 16th consecutive year. All four segments will have a part in this performance.

 

Contact

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