Sartorius first-quarter earnings substantially improved over the year-earlier quarter


The positive earnings development last reported by the Sartorius Group continued in the first quarter of 2004. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, EBITDA, rose to EUR9.6 million from EUR2.6 million reported a year earlier. At EUR4.1 million, earnings before interest and taxes, EBIT, was also considerably higher than the year-earlier figure (-EUR2.9 million; adjusted, EUR2.1 million), which was negatively impacted by one-time restructuring expenses of approx. EUR5 million. Following an approx. balanced EBIT for the year-earlier quarter, first-quarter EBIT at EUR1.9 million significantly increased this year for the biotechnology Division. The Mechatronics Division also achieved a much better EBIT at EUR2.2 million than in the previous year (-EUR2.8 million).

In fiscal 2004, first-quarter sales revenue for the Sartorius Group rose 1.0% to EUR108.1 million from EUR107.0 million reported for the year-earlier period. Currency-adjusted consolidated sales revenue grew 5.4% to EUR112.8 million. The Biotechnology Division posted sales revenue growth of 3.5% to EUR54.6 million (year-earlier period: EUR52.8 million; currency-adjusted, 8.2%). First-quarter sales revenue for the Mechatronics Division slid 1.3% to EUR53.5 million (previous year: EUR54.2 million; currency-adjusted, +2.7%).

Concerning order intake, the Sartorius Group posted a first-quarter decline of 1.7% to EUR113.4 million from EUR115.4 million a year earlier, which was due to the impact of foreign exchange rates (currency-adjusted order intake: +4.9%). For the Biotechnology Division, order intake fell from EUR59.9 million to EUR54.9 million (-8.4%). Order intake for the Mechatronics Division rose 5.5% to EUR58.6 million (previous year: EUR55.5 million).

Net cash flow at EUR4.1 million continues to be positive (previous year: EUR6.9 million). In the period ended March 31, 2004, net debt shrank by EUR2.7 million to EUR102.3 million compared with the period ended December 31, 2003.

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