GESCO raises targets after nine-month period

  • positive trend continues
  • incoming orders and sales up by around 13%
  • overproportionate growth in earnings
  • full-year targets raised

Wuppertal, 15 February 2005 – GESCO AG, which is listed in the Prime Standard, has enjoyed tremendous financial success in the nine-month period (1 April – 31 December 2004). A few Group companies benefited from special economic influences, developing much better than forecast. Therefore, GESCO has raised its targets for financial year 2004/2005 (01 April 2004 – 31 March 2005).

The GESCO Group recorded growth of 12.8% in incoming orders in the first three quarters, from EUR 130.5 million to EUR 147.2 million. In the same period, sales rose from EUR 123.5 million to EUR 140.0 million, which is a 13.4% increase.

Despite a higher rate of expenditure on materials, the EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) trend was clearly overproportional, with growth of 17.8% from EUR 11.5 million to EUR 13.6 million. As depreciation was practically unchanged compared with the same period in the previous year, EBIT rose by 33.4% from EUR 6.2 million in the previous year *) to EUR 8.3 million.

The financial result of EUR -176 thousand (previous year EUR -907 thousand) contains a positive one-off effect arising from the sale of an investment that had already been taken into account in the budget. The pre-tax profit climbed from EUR 5.3 million to EUR 8.2 million. After deduction of taxes and the profit shares paid out to our managing directors who have a stake in the respective company, Group net income rose from EUR 2.9 million to EUR 4.2 million. This equates to earnings per share of EUR 1.70 (previous year EUR 1.15) or DVFA/SG earnings per share of EUR 1.69 (EUR 1.15).

The number of employees had increased to 1,229 on the reporting date, compared with 1,210 the previous year.

Based on the nine-month figures, the company is increasing its sales forecast from EUR 176 million to EUR 190 million. Group net income of EUR 4.8 million, i.e. earnings per share of EUR 1.93, had been projected. Judging by the current situation, Group net income will probably be in the region of EUR 5.4 million. This includes a profit contribution of around EUR 0.2 million from the aforementioned cessation of amortisation on goodwill due to accounting changes, which was not taken into account when the targets were set. Thus earnings per share are likely to be around EUR 2.16.

GESCO announced that it was raising its targets in an Ad Hoc Press Release on 9 February 2005.

The annual financial statements for financial year 2004/2005 will be presented on 28 June 2005 at the Annual Accounts Press Conference.