Bielefeld. In the third quarter of 2002, world-wide demand for machine tools continued to develop with little vigour. The course of business at GILDEMEISTER was also subdued during this quarter. Sales amounted to Euro 225.9 million, and, at Euro 712.1 million during the first nine months, was 10% less than in the comparable period of the previous year. In the third quarter we were able to achieve another small increase in the intake of new orders to Euro 251.1 million. As of September 30, 2002, new orders totalled Euro 737.1 million. As previously announced, profitability suffered particularly in the third quarter, which was due primarily to smaller sales figures during the holiday season as well as innovation-related higher costs of material and the impact of tax. As of September 30, loss on ordinary activities amounted to Euro -17.5 million, whilst earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were Euro 0.5 million.
The fourth quarter will be closed with a profit. If business in the last three months of the year develops according to plan, it is still possible to achieve a profit on ordinary activities for the overall year 2002. It must be assumed that, in all, the group will show an annual deficit, taking into account tax on earnings. From today's point of view we can therefore not expect distribution of a dividend for the financial year 2002.
In comparison with the previous quarter, we intend to close the fourth quarter with yet another increase in orders. Despite the weak global demand for machine tools we expect to reach an order intake of Euro 1 billion. Sales will again exceed the Euro 1 billion.
GILDEMEISTER plans for the financial year 2002 with caution. However, this year's results have been affected by our extensive investment outlays in the development of new products and in the expansion of our own marketing and service organisation. These safeguarding measures for the future prepare us well for the expected revival of the market during the financial year 2003.
The Executive Board
Bielefeld, November 7, 2002