Wuppertal, 25 June 2009 – The SDAX listed investment holding company GESCO AG can look back on another record year at the annual accounts press conference being held in Düsseldorf today. The company anticipates declines for the new financial year and sees good prospects in the medium-term. The 2008/2009 financial year (1 Apr. 2008 – 31 Mar. 2009) was still impacted by the lively development of the economy which lasted right into the autumn. The company was therefore able to easily achieve its guidance released in June 2008 and record an increase in Group sales of 13.6 % to € 378.4 million (previous year € 333.2 million). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) recorded an even stronger rise of 14.0 % and reached € 38.9 million (€ 34.2 million). Group net income after minority interest ultimately increased by 20.9 % to € 21.6 million (€ 17.9 million), while earnings per share according to IFRS rose from € 5.92 to € 7.16 in line with this development. The Group’s workforce grew by 4.8 % from 1,713 to 1,795 employees. Overall, 2008/2009 was the most successful year in the company’s history. Given the positive result, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board are proposing a record dividend of € 2.50 per share at the Annual General Meeting on 27 August 2009. In the previous year, the company paid out a total dividend of € 2.42 per share, which was composed of a base dividend totalling € 2.20 and a bonus amounting to € 0.22 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the stock market listing. In the face of the deep global recession, the company expects Group sales of between € 280 million and € 310 million as well as Group net income after minority interest of between € 7 million and € 10.5 million for the 2009/2010 financial year (1 Apr. 2009 – 31 Mar. 2010), corresponding to earnings per share in accordance with IFRS of between € 2.31 and € 3.47. The Group is taking extensive measures in an effort to cut costs, intensify sales and generate buying incentives with innovations. With healthy balance sheet structures and a comfortable cushion of liquid assets in the Group and the well positioned business models of subsidiaries, GESCO Group is well equipped to successfully overcome the recession and to benefit more than most from the next recovery move. GESCO Executive Board member Dr. Hans-Gert Mayrose on the company’s prospects: “Even if the concept of the ‘crisis as an opportunity’ is somewhat overused at the moment: We are confident that the operating subsidiaries and GESCO Group will have strengthened their competitive position by the end of the recession. We can also broaden our foundations for the recovery period by acquiring strategically attractive industrial companies. Every crisis comes to an end, and when the economy picks up, we want to be at the head of the pack again.” Read the full Annual Reporthere.