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Financial year 2007: Continuation of profitable growth
- Sales, Order Intake, Order Backlog, and Net Income reach new record highs
- Increase of dividend planned
- Continuation of complementary acquisition policy
International Technology Group Andritz continued its profitable growth during the 2007 financial year, thus reaching the fifth record year in a row. Sales increased to almost 3.3 bn EUR (+21% compared to 2006). Both Order Intake, at more than 3.7 bn EUR (+30%compared to 2006), and Order Backlog, at over 3.8 bn EUR as of December 31, 2007 (13% up from 2006), reached new record highs. The Group s Net Income increased to 132.7 MEUR (+12%compared to 2006). In view of the positive results, the Executive Board will propose a dividend payment of 1.00 EUR per share (2006: 0.75 EUR per share) at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.
Strong Sales growth Sales of the Andritz Group amounted to 3,282.5 MEUR, increasing 21.1% compared to 2006 (2,709.7 MEUR). In particular, Sales of the Pulp and Paper, the Hydro Power, and the Feed and Biofuel Business Areas increased significantly compared to last year. Organic Sales growth of the Group was 9.4% in 2007.
Significant increase of the Order Intake; high Order Backlog ensures good Sales visibility The Order Intake of the Andritz Group amounted to 3,749.5 MEUR in 2007, increasing 29.7%compared to the very high level of 2006 (2,891.0 MEUR). The Rolling Mills and Strip Processing Lines, the Hydro Power, and the Feed and Biofuel Business Areas achieved particularly strong growth rates of the Order Intake. Organic growth of the Order Intake was approximately 14.7% in 2007.
The Group s Order Backlog as of December 31, 2007 surged to the new record value of 3,843.3 MEUR (+13.1%; 31.12.2006: 3,397.1 MEUR), giving Andritz good Sales visibility for the coming months.
Favorable Earnings development EBITA amounted to 201.3 MEUR (+23.7%; 2006: 162.7 MEUR) rising slightly more than Sales. Thus, the EBITA margin increased to 6.1% (2006: 6.0%). The Earnings before Interest and Taxes (EBIT)
increased to 192.6 MEUR in 2007 (+20.5%; 2006: 159.8 MEUR). All Business Areas showed a solid and satisfactory development of Earnings, thus offsetting the dilutive effect of VA TECH HYDRO on the Group s profitability, expected at the time of acquisition. At 5.9%, EBIT margin was unchanged compared to 2006. The tax rate increased to 31.3% for 2007 (2006: tax rate of 26.9%). The Group s Net Income (excluding Minority Interests) amounted to 132.7 MEUR, increasing 12.0% compared to 2006 (118.5 MEUR).
Unchanged solid net worth position and capital structure The balance sheet of the Andritz Group as of 31.12.2007 showed a solid capital structure with total assets of 2,507.5 MEUR (2,386.1 MEUR as of 31.12.2006). As of 31.12.2007, the Andritz Group had a gross cash position (cash and cash equivalents plus marketable securities) of 598.8 MEUR; after deduction of financial liabilities, net liquidity as of 31.12.2007 amounted to 246.5 MEUR (31.12.2006:
365.7 MEUR). The equity ratio as of 31.12.2007 was 19.2% (31.12.2006: 17.4%).
Dividend increase In view of the positive business development, the Executive Board will propose a dividend payment of 1.00 EUR per share at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on March 27, 2008 (2006: 0.75 EUR per share); this corresponds to a dividend payout ratio of 38.9% (2006: 32.5%).
Outlook for 2008
The weakening of the US economy and the turmoil on the international financial markets have so far not had any impact on Andritz s relevant markets. As matters are today, Andritz expects good project activity in all its Business Areas. Based on the high Order Backlog of over 3.8 bn EUR, Andritz has good Sales visibility and expects Group Sales to increase to approximately 3.5 bn EUR in 2008.Earnings are expected to increase at least at the same rate as Sales.
"Our major goals for 2008 are processing our very high Order Backlog according to plan and increasing the Group s profitability. We will continue to use our good market position for further organic growth, as well as continuing the strategy of acquiring complementary companies. We see interesting opportunities for each of the Business Areas," says Wolfgang Leitner, President and CEO of Andritz, about the targets for 2008.
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