RHI confirms good operating performance again in third quarter (ad hoc)

06. November 2003

Consolidated sales revenue amounted to EUR 920.7 million in the first three quarters of 2003 (previous year: EUR 988,9 million) the figure of the previous year still contains the Engineering Division (sold at June 30, 2002) with EUR 72.8 million. On a comparable basis, sales revenue was up 0.5% on the previous year; with a US dollar/Euro relation as in 2002, the increase would have been 2.6%. Group EBIT amounted to EUR 83.1 million in the first three quarters of 2003 (previous year: EUR 80.0 million), RHI thus surpassed the operating performance of 2002 despite the unfavorable US dollar/Euro relation.

RHI Refractories accounted for EUR 771.4 million (previous year: EUR 798.4 million) of consolidated sales revenue; the decline is due to the significant change in the US dollar/ Euro relation. The Refractories EBIT was EUR 87.0 million (previous year: EUR 84.7 million), the EBIT margin in RHI’s core business thus amounted to 11.3%, after 10.6% in the previous year, despite the negative effects of the weak US dollar in 2003

Heraklith (Insulating) reported sales revenues of EUR 123.9 million in 2003 (previous year: EUR 125.3 million). Declines in sales revenues in low-margin segments of the core markets were largely compensated by continuous sales growth from new product lines and export successes. Insulating EBIT was EUR 4.2 million (previous year: EUR 3.7 million).

Further IAS key data at 30.09.2003: financial result EUR –30.6 million (previous year: EUR -31.6 million), EBT EUR 52.5 million (previous year: EUR 48.4 million), result before minorities EUR 34.6 million (previous year: EUR 32.2 million), net income after minorities EUR 29.7 million (previous year: EUR 28.2 million), earnings per share EUR 1.48 (previous year: EUR 1.42).

The group’s equity improved by EUR 35.2 million at 30.09.2003 as compared to the previous year; financial payables were reduced by EUR 46.6 million to EUR 324.1 million in the first three quarters of 2003.

Although the US dollar is still weak, the earnings outlook for 2003 remains positive due to the leading technological position of RHI Refractories and the good earnings development to date. The level of incoming orders remains stable and does not indicate a deterioration of the global business situation in the short term.