GILDEMEISTER has increased intake of new orders by 5%
Bielefeld. World-wide, both economic development and demand for machine tools showed initial signs of recovery. This also applied to the course of business at GILDEMEISTER, where the intake of new orders in particular has picked up. The first quarter closed in accordance with plans. In the first three months group sales of Euro 222.7 million were roughly at the same level of the previous year (-1%). The intake of new orders was up to Euro 241.0 million and exceeded the corresponding preceding year's figure by 5%. At Euro 2.7 million, EBIT were positive; whilst EBT showed a slight loss of Euro 3.5 million, as announced (previous year: loss of Euro 3.8 million).
For the financial year 2004, GILDEMEISTER expects a steadily increasing recovery in demand. With a gradual improvement over the year, we are now planning for a 5% increase in new orders for the reporting year. Based on our orders on hand and the intake of new orders expected in the current financial year, we are planning for a 3-5% increase in sales. Due to our consistent pursuit of measures to improve our earning power and increase efficiency in sales, along with the reduced investments particularly in tangible fixed assets and materials, we are planning for a considerable improvement in EBT for the financial year 2004, thereby achieving a profit for the year. We aim to attain a better result in order to distribute another dividend.
In the first quarter, group sales reached Euro 222.7 million and were therefore roughly at the preceding year's level (Euro 226.0 million). Whilst domestic sales decreased by Euro 7.6 million or 7 % to Euro 106.7 million, international sales increased by Euro 4.3 million or 4% to Euro 116.0 million. The foreign quota amounted to 52% (same period of the preceding year: 49%). As to the following quarters of the year, we are planning for a sales development that should be above the level for the preceding year's quarters. Based on our orders on hand and the intake of new orders expected in the current financial year, we are planning for a 3-5% increase in sales.
In the first quarter of the reporting year, the order intake amounted to Euro 241.0 million, which is a considerable increase when compared with the same quarter of the preceding year (+5%). This development is due to the good incoming business in March. Following the 17% increase in February over the subdued incoming January business, March was our best month since the EMO in September 2001 and exceeded our projections. At Euro 115.8 million, our domestic orders were 5% or Euro 5.7 million above the benchmark figure for the preceding year. International orders amounted to Euro 125.2 million, which is also 5% or Euro 6.3 million more than in the corresponding period of the preceding year. This positive development in new orders continued throughout April. In the first four months the intake of new orders amounted to Euro 340.1 million (corresponding period of the preceding year: Euro 316.5 million). We expect rising bookings for the following quarters, due to major orders and buying stimuli triggered by the spring trade fairs - particularly the METAV in June, the German main trade fair in metal working. With a gradual improvement over the year, we are now planning for a 5% increase in new orders for the reporting year.
On 31 March 2004 orders on hand within the group amounted to Euro 277.7 million.
Performance development was according to plan in the first quarter. EBITDA amounted to Euro 11.6 million (previous year: Euro 11.0 million). At Euro 2.7 million (previous year: Euro 2.6 million) EBIT were positive; whilst EBT showed a slight loss of Euro 3.5 million as announced (previous year: loss of Euro 3.8 million). The quality of performance has therefore slightly improved against the corresponding figures for the previous year. GILDEMEISTER has recorded a post-tax net loss for the year of Euro 3.9 million within the group (previous year: loss of Euro 4.3 million).
The GILDEMEISTER share followed the upwards trend of the preceding years, reaching Euro 8.90 for a while. Its highest price of Euro 8.94 was recorded on 29 January. Following the press conference on financial statements that was held on 29 March 2004, our share moved to Euro 7.60. By the end of the quarter (31.03.2004) its price was at Euro 7.73, compared to Euro 3.35 at the same time last year. It is currently quoted at Euro 7.00 (04.05.2004).
On 31 March 2004, GILDEMEISTER had 5,051 employees, 182 of whom were trainees (31.03.2003: 5,048). The number of staff is therefore at the preceding year's level. At Euro 67.9 million personnel expense had decreased slightly by Euro 0.3 million when compared with the corresponding period of the preceding year.
For the financial year 2004, GILDEMEISTER expects a steadily increasing recovery in demand. We expect rising bookings for the following quarters. With this gradual rise we now intend to increase our order intake by 5% over the current financial year. Our planning is based on new innovative products, the continuing expansion of our world-wide market presence, a steady consumption in Asia, noticeable upward trends in America and initial indicators of a revival of the markets in Europe and at home. As a result of this and in view of our backlog of orders, we intend to increase our sales by approximately 3-5%. As to the later quarters of the year, we are planning for a sales development that should be above the level of the preceding year's quarters. Due to our consistent pursuit of measures to improve our earning power and increase efficiency in sales, along with the reduced investments particularly in tangible fixed assets and materials, we are planning for a considerable improvement in EBT for the financial year 2004, thereby achieving a profit for the year. We aim to attain a better result in order to distribute another dividend.
The Annual Report 2003 and the 1st Interim Report 2004 give further details on the development of the GILDEMEISTER group in the current financial year. Further information is available on the Internet at www.gildemeister.com.
The Executive Board
The Consolidated Interim Financial Statements of GILDEMEISTER Aktiengesellschaft were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Interim Report has not been audited.
Disclaimer, Forward-looking statement
Statements relating to the future:
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are based on current estimates of the management of future developments. Such statements are based on the management's current expectations and specific assumptions. They are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could lead to the actual future circumstances, including the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of GILDEMEISTER, differing materially from or being more negative than those expressly or implicitly assumed or described in these statements. The business activities of GILDEMEISTER are subject to a series of risks and uncertainties, which may result in forward-looking statements, estimates or forecasts becoming inaccurate. Should one of these factors of uncertainty or other unforeseeable event occur, or should the assumptions on which these statements are based prove incorrect, the actual results may differ materially from the results stated, expected, anticipated, intended, planned, aimed at, estimated or projected in these statements. Forward-looking statements must not be understood as a guarantee or assurance of the future developments or events contained therein.