Deufol AG in the first quarter 2011: Positive sales growth

Hofheim, (PresseBox) - .
- Sales € 75,8 million (previous year: 70,8 million)
- Operating profit (EBITA) € 1,7 million (previous year: € 2,2 million)
- Net profit € 0,12 million (previous year: € 0,63 million)
- Earnings per share € 0,003 (previous year: € 0,014)
- Financial liabilities € 77,8 million (previous year: € 80,5 million)
- Operating cash flow € 2,5 million (previous year: € 1,4 million)

Positive sales growth

Total sales in the first quarter of 2011 were at € 75.8 million 7.0 % higher than in the same period in the previous year. Adjusted for changes due to acquisitions, this means organic growth of 6.3 %. If one also takes into consideration the US dollar's appreciation against the euro of 1.3 % on average, the increase amounts to 6.0 %.

In Germany sales rose to € 42.5 million, growth of 11.2 % on the same quarter in the previous year, and in the rest of Europe they increased to € 21.3 million (+ 4.3 %). In the USA, at € 12.0 million sales were 1.8 % (3.0 % on a currency-adjusted basis) lower than in the previous year.

With a 56.1 % share of Group sales, the proportion accounted for by Germany increased by 2.1 per-centage points on the previous year. The share of sales realized elsewhere in Europe decreased slightly, from 28.8 % to 28.1 %, and the USA's share of sales fell by 1.4 percentage points to 15.8 %.

Result burdened by higher prices for raw materials

The operating result (EBITA) in the first quarter was at € 1.67 million 23.4 % below the level for the same period in the previous year (€ 2.18 million).

The decrease of € 0.5 million is mainly due to three effects: start-up losses of € 0.2 million for the new location in Roverbella (Italy), additional expenditure in the amount of € 0.1 million associated with the expansion of the Group's gift card business in the USA and increased commodities (wood) and mate-rials prices. These price rises led to an increase of at least € 0.5 million in expenditure. We are in talks with our customers, that if commodity prices remain high, to pass on gradually these higher purchas-ing costs. Likewise, the highly positive orders position for the remainder of this year will be reflected in an improved result in relation to the previous year.

The individual segments performed as follows: In Germany we recorded an EBITA decrease of 34.1 % to € 1.36 million. In the rest of Europe EBITA increased by 39.7 % to € 1.26 million. The USA / Rest of World segment realized an operating loss of € 0.42 million (previous year: - € 0.23 million). The EBITA loss of Deufol AG (Holding) was € 0.58 million (previous year: € 0.56 million).

Financial results showed a slight increase compared to the previous year, from - € 1.02 million to - € 0.94 million. This is attributable to slightly lower financial expenses and a slightly higher share of ear-nings accounted for by associates. Financial income was virtually unchanged at € 0.35 million. Ear-nings before taxes (EBT) in the first quarter were € 0.73 million (previous year: € 1.16 million). After income tax expenses (€ 0.50 million) the result is € 0.23 million, compared to € 0.75 million in the first quarter of 2010.

After deduction of the profit shares of non-controlling interests (€ 0.12 million), there is a net profit of € 0.12 million (previous year: € 0.63 million) attributable to the shareholders of Deufol AG. Earnings per share in the first quarter were € 0.003 (previous year: € 0.014).

Strong operating cash flow

The first-quarter cash flow provided by operating activities amounted to € 2.46 million and was thus significantly higher than the level in the previous year (€ 1.35 million).

The financial indebtedness of the Deufol Group decreased in the first three months of the fiscal year by € 0.4 million to € 77.8 million. As cash and financial receivables simultaneously decreased (- € 1.9 million), the net financial liabilities rose by € 1.5 million, from € 49.3 million at the end of the year to € 50.8 million.

On the liabilities side, equity (including non-controlling interests) fell in the first three months of 2011 on balance by € 0.5 million to € 98.5 million. This was due to other comprehensive income (- € 0.6 million). With a slightly increased balance-sheet total, the equity ratio decreased from 43.6 % to 43.4 %.

Outlook - Planning confirmed

Deufol AG confirms its planning figures published for fiscal year 2011 in its annual financial report. These envisage sales in a corridor between € 310 million and € 325 million and an operating result (EBITA) of between € 12 million and € 14 million.

The interim report is available on the internet at http://www.deufol.com.

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