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Vienna, 1 March 2007

PRESS RELEASE NO. 1/2007

SEMPERIT AG HOLDING RELEASES ITS PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR 2006

  • Sales growth in all segments
  • New record profit
  • Dividend increase planned
  • Profitable growth expected again in 2007

Semperit AG Holding, a global specialist in the rubber and plastics industry, has achieved its business targets for 2006. According to preliminary calculations, the consolidated net profit rose by 9.0 percent to EUR 40.0 million while the earnings before tax (EBT) increased by 1.3 percent to EUR 54.3 million and sales by 11.5 percent to EUR 574.1 million. The group has thus improved the consolidated net profit for the 16th consecutive year, clearly indicating the sustainability of growth at Semperit.

 

2005 2006 preliminary Change in %
Sales in EUR mill. 515.0 574.1 + 11.5
Earnings before tax in EUR mill 53.6 54.3 + 1.3
Consolidated net profit in EUR mill. 36.7 40.0 + 9.0
Number of employees 6,185 6,689 + 8.2

Several different factors shaped the development of sales and profits in the financial year just ended. Supported by a generally positive economic environment in Europe, the Semperit Group enlarged its share of that market considerably. The group maintained its market share in the United States and continued to grow in all other markets around the globe.

Rising raw material costs put a damper on profits. The price of rubber increased dramatically in the first half of the year but steadily declined thereafter. The prices for synthetic rubbers and other raw materials and for energy resources rose successively throughout the year, in some cases at double digit rates. This trend increased expenditure on materials accordingly and thus production costs as a whole. Another disadvantageous factor was the further devaluation of the US dollar against the euro, the Thai baht and other important currencies. This loss in value diminished profits in dollar markets.

With an ambitious cost-cutting program, Semperit succeeded in optimizing its production costs and in offsetting the higher cost of materials. The group applied its same three-prong corporate strategy in 2006, namely, cost discipline, concentration on core areas of business and globalization of production and sales structures. The group stepped up its research and development efforts, allowing it to optimize product quality and production processes.

INVESTMENTS

To support further growth, the Semperit Group undertook huge investments again in 2006, focusing in particular on enlarging its production sites in Asia.

  • The production capacity for medical examination gloves in Hatyai, Thailand, increased considerably in 2006 with the completion of what is now the third factory at this location.
  • Semperflex Asia, a hose manufacturer likewise located in Hatyai, Thailand, installed a new machine for producing spiral hose, allowing this higher value product to be manufactured in Thailand as well.
  • The new subsidiary Semperflex Shanghai, China, completed the construction of an ultra-modern hose factory in 2006 and commenced mass production. This project was carried out in close cooperation with experts from the main plant in Wimpassing, Austria.
  • Shanghai Rubber & Plastic, China, shifted its handrail production to a new factory on the Semperit premises. In the course of the move, the company increased its capacity substantially and modernized the equipment.

GROWTH VARIED FROM SEGMENT TO SEGMENT

Sempermed posted satisfactory growth in the value and volume of sales in 2006 and made full use of capacities. Livelier demand in Europe boosted mass business in examination gloves from the Thai production facility Siam Sempermed and the sale of surgical gloves from the main plant in Wimpassing. Segmentional profits were undercut, however, by the higher latex prices and the further decline of the US dollar.

Growth at Semperflex was powered by industrial hoses business in the year under review, while the pace of hydraulic hose sales decreased somewhat in volume. Capacities at all production sites were nonetheless fully utilized. Despite fierce competition, the segment increased its share of the elastomer sheeting market and boosted its sales figures for these products substantially.

All subsidiaries of Semperform reported a successful course of business in 2006 again. The German factory in Deggendorf put in a particularly strong performance, making an above average contribution to total profits by posting 35 percent growth in the value and volume of sales.

Sempertrans made full use of production capacities at all business locations thanks to a high level of orders. The segment saw a significant increase in sales and strong growth in profitability.

DIVIDEND INCREASE PLANNED

The management of Semperit AG Holding wants its shareholders to participate in this positive trend. It will therefore propose another dividend increase to the upcoming General Meeting of Shareholders for financial year 2006.

OUTLOOK FOR 2007

Given the full order books, the capacity enlargement completed last year in Asia and its stable market position, Semperit AG Holding projects to continue growth in 2007. The management expects further improvements in sales and profits. 

Please direct any inquieries to:

Semperit AG Holding
Investor Relations
Sybille Bernhardt
Tel.: +43 (1) 79 777-210
E-mail: sybille.bernhardt@semperitgroup.com

Contact

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