Bielefeld. Worldwide demand for machine tools continues to be on a positive level. Business development at GILDEMEISTER developed according to plan in the first quarter of 2004. Sales revenues reached Euro 239.6 million, which represents an 8% rise compared to the first quarter of 2004. Higher rates of increase could be achieved in the order intake, which rose by 17% to Euro 281.0 million. EBITDA amounted to Euro 12.9 million (previous year: Euro 11.6 million). At Euro 5.8 million, EBIT was positive (previous year: Euro 4.3 million); as announced, EBT showed a slight loss of Euro -1.8 million (previous year: Euro -1.9 million).
GILDEMEISTER confirms its forecast for the financial year 2005. We expect fresh stimulus from the EMO 2005 (14 – 21 September) in Hanover, the most important trade fair for machines tools worldwide. For the entire year we are planning for an order intake of more than Euro 1,150 million. In view of our good order backlog, we intend to increase sales revenues to just under Euro 1.1 billion. For the financial year 2005, we expect EBT to exceed Euro 25 million and an annual profit of more than Euro 10 million. Due to the business and performance prospects, which are currently seen as positive, we intend to resume the distribution of a dividend for the current financial year.
In the first quarter, sales revenues amounted to Euro 239.6 million, which is 8% above the figure for the previous year (Euro 222.7 million). International sales revenues rose by 22% to Euro 141.5 million. Domestic sales revenues decreased by 8% to Euro 98.1 million. Exports were 59% of our total sales revenues (corresponding period of the previous year: 52%).
In the first quarter, order intake increased by 17% to Euro 281.0 million, thereby exceeding the figure for the previous year by Euro 241.0 million. Along with our successful in-house exhibitions at Pfronten and Bielefeld, this positive development is also due to our expansion in the international markets. In the reporting period, international orders increased by 26% to Euro 157.9 million (previous year's quarter: Euro 125.2 million). The international share thereby rose to 56% (previous year's quarter: 52%). However, domestic orders also increased by 6% to Euro 123.1 million (previous year's quarter: Euro 115.8 million).
On 31 March 2005, the group's order backlog amounted to Euro 363.3 million.
Performance development was according to plan in the first quarter, but as yet not satisfactory. EBITDA was Euro 12.9 million (previous year: Euro 11.6 million) and EBIT amounted to Euro 5.8 million (previous year: Euro 4.3 million). As announced, EBT of Euro -1.8 million showed a slight loss (previous year: Euro -1.9 million). A slight improvement was achieved at EBITDA or EBIT level. GILDEMEISTER still shows an annual loss after tax of Euro 2.7 million (previous year: Euro -2.3 million).
On the first trading day of 2005, the GILDEMEISTER share was quoted at Euro 5.20. It reached its peak of Euro 5.73 in the first quarter on 1 February 2005. By the end of the quarter (31 March 2005) the price was Euro 5.57. Our share is currently quoted at a Euro 5.45 price level (10 May 2005).
On 31 March 2005, GILDEMEISTER had 5,234 employees, 144 of whom were trainees (31 December 2005: 5,174). Compared to the year-end reporting date, 60 employees were taken on. For the first time, this includes the newly established companies in Russia and Turkey with 15 and 13 employees respectively, who are primarily working in the Services segment. In addition, the number of employees was increased by 28 at the Pleszew production site. Due to the increased number of staff and increased expenses for commissions and extra-work, personnel costs amounted to Euro 72.8 million (corresponding period of the previous year: Euro 67.9 million).
GILDEMEISTER confirms its forecast for the financial year 2005. We are planning for an order intake of more than Euro 1,150 million for the entire year. For this purpose we will focus on the last four months of the year, when the EMO takes place in September in Hanover. This most important of trade fairs worldwide plays a trendsetting role for the machine tool industry and its customers, and provides GILDEMEISTER with a perfect forum to present its innovations and almost its entire production programme. In view of our good order backlog and the expected order intake for the current financial year, we intend to increase sales revenues to just under Euro 1.1 billion. Due to an ongoing optimisation of our cost and process management, we expect a noticeable strengthening of our profitability. The "GILDEMEISTER 2010" efficiency programme is intended to support the sustained earnings growth. For the financial year 2005, we expect EBT to exceed Euro 25 million and an annual profit of more than Euro 10 million. Due to the business and performance prospects, which are currently seen as positive, we intend to resume the distribution of a dividend for the current financial year.
The Annual Report 2005 and the First Quarterly Report 2005 give further details on the development of the GILDEMEISTER group in the current financial year. Further information can be obtained on the Internet at www.gildemeister.com.
The Executive Board