Nabaltec AG: Preliminary financial figures for Financial Year 2008

(PresseBox) ( Schwandorf, )
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- Revenue rose 9.3 % to EUR 96.3 million;
- Revenue growth in both divisions;
- EBIT rose from EUR 4.0 million to EUR 4.1 million

The Nabaltec AG, a leading supplier of mineral-based flame retardants and raw materials for technical ceramics, has been able to stay on its growth curve also in 2008, according to preliminary figures. Revenue rose 9.3 %, from EUR 88.1 million to EUR 96.3 million. Both business divisions contributed to this increase. The "Functional Fillers" division, which focuses on mineral-based flame retardants, which are used e.g. in the plastics industry for cables, in tunnels, airports, high-rise buildings and electronic devices, reported 6.8 % revenue growth. The "Technical Ceramics" division, which supplies the refractory industry with materials e.g. for blast furnace linings and other ceramic applications, reported 14.1 % revenue growth in 2008. Nabaltec raised its prices in 2008, but this increase was not enough to fully offset the rising cost of raw materials, transportation and energy.

This revenue growth was generated entirely through internal growth. "We will continue to pursue this strategy. In addition to continuing the growth in our existing market segments, we plan to open up new markets in the plastics industry in 2009 with our new business unit "Additives". All over the world, there has been a clear trend towards replacing stabilizers containing heavy metals, which are still predominant in PVC processing, with eco-friendly additives, a trend which has taken the form of statutory requirements and voluntary commitments by the industry. Our mineral-based and eco-friendly products meet these requirements," said Gerhard Witzany, a member of Nabaltec AG's Management Board.

The company's 2008 revenue total, EUR 96.3 million, is the highest in company history, and slightly higher than the most recent estimate, EUR 95 million. As of 31 December 2008 Nabaltec Group had a total of 347 employees including trainees (2007: 314).

Nabaltec's earnings remained stable in 2008. Earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved from EUR 8.4 million to EUR 9.3 million, an increase of 10.7 %. After deducting depreciation and amortization, Nabaltec's operating earnings (EBIT) were EUR 4.1 million, up from EUR 4.0 million last year.

In order to strengthen Nabaltec AG's equity base and expand its financial maneuvering space in connection with the upcoming investment projects the General Meeting will be proposed to carry forward total net profit as of 31 December 2008 to new account.

"Our rate of growth slowed in the fourth quarter of 2008. We expect a tough period with respect to incoming orders in the first half of 2009 as well, as the uncertainty on the market takes its toll on ordering and customers reduce their inventories to historic lows. We expect a gradual improvement beginning in the second half of 2009", Witzany continued. In view of the current economic downtrend, which Nabaltec cannot escape entirely, we generally expect 2009 sales and earnings to come in lower than in the previous year. Based on our current estimates, our markets will regain their long-term growth trends beginning in 2010. Accordingly, we believe that the basis for our growth strategy is still intact despite the current economic crisis.

Nabaltec has decided to adapt its investment and expansion plans in light of the tough market environment, analyzing all of its projects once again with respect to return on investment and market opportunities. As a result, some investments will be distributed over a longer period of time. Investments from 2008 up to and including 2010 have been secured by credit commitments from banks, development loans, an investment grant from the government of Upper Palatinate and equity. Total investment volume through 2010 is over EUR 60 million, including EUR 20.4 million in 2008.

The company's detailed and final financial data will be published in the 2008 Annual Report on 28 April 2009, once 2008 data is ascertained in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as well as the 2007 data were recorded on a retroactive basis in accordance with IFRS.
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