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A.S. Création boosts first-half earnings by almost 70%

A.S. Création boosts first-half earnings by almost 70%

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A.S. Création boosts first-half earnings by almost 70%

On August 9, 2004, A.S. Création Tapeten AG, Germany"s largest wallpaper manufacturer, published its interim report for the six-month period ended June 30, 2004. A summary of the report is provided below:

Sales boosted by internal and external growth While first-quarter sales already increased by 9.3%, the second quarter of 2004 was even more successful, with sales growing by 16.9%. This means that A.S. Création generated consolidated first-half sales of Euro 69.1 million, up Euro 7.8 million or 12.8% on the previous year"s Euro 61.3 million. Of the total sales growth, Euro 4.3 million were attributable to the takeover of three wallpaper wholesalers in France and the Netherlands. The increase in sales reported in the first half of 2004 thus consists of 7.1% external growth and 5.7% internal growth. Both the Wallpaper Division and the Furnishing Fabrics Division contributed to this internal sales growth. The new wallpaper and fabrics collections were very well received by customers, who thus rewarded the company"s investments in the product range and, hence, its ability to innovate.

Sustainable improvement in financial and earnings position Compared to the first half of 2003, the company"s earnings position has improved noticeably in the current fiscal year. Together with the cost-cutting measures, the higher sales led to a strong increase in earnings. At Euro 5.1 million, first-half earnings before taxes were up 69.2% on the previous year"s Euro 3.0 million. Earnings per share amounted to Euro 1.12 in H1 2004, compared to Euro 0.66 in H1 2003.

It is gratifying to see that the Furnishing Fabrics Division managed the turnaround, reporting pre-tax profits of Euro 56,000 in the second quarter of 2004. This means an almost balanced divisional result for the first half of the year, compared to a loss of Euro 382,000 in H1 2003.

A.S. Création"s financial position also improved in the first half of 2004. Net financial liabilities (interest-bearing liabilities less cash and cash- equivalents) were reduced by Euro 1.0 million from Euro 19.8 million on December 31, 2003 to Euro 18.8 million on June 30, 2004.

At Euro 7.5 million, the gross cash flow was up 11.8% on the previous year"s Euro 6.7 million thanks to the improved operating result. The gross cash flow was thus sufficient to cover the Euro 3.7 million capex, which was reduced from Euro 8.1 million in H1 2003. The strong decline does not reflect a more restrictive spending policy. Rather, last year"s capex was unusually high due to the capacity expansion at the Wiehl-Bomig plant.

Outlook remains optimistic Against the background of the successful first half of 2004, the Managing Board confirmed its full-year sales and net profit projections of approx. Euro 130 million and roughly Euro 6.0 million, respectively.

A summary of the Group"s key figures for the first half of 2004 is provided below:

01.01. 01.01. -30.06. -30.06. 2004 2003 Change ---------------------------------------------- ------ ------ ------ Sales Euro"000 69,114 61,297 12.8% Earnings before interest and taxes(Ebit) Euro"000 5,870 3,770 55.7% Earnings before income taxes Euro"000 5,143 3,039 69.2% Net profit Euro"000 3,106 1,836 69.2% Dvfa/SG earnings per share Euro/share 1.12 0.66 69.7% Gross cash flow Euro"000 7,486 6,696 11.8% Capital expenditures Euro"000 3,724 8,053-53.8% Depreciation Euro"000 3,806 4,025 - 5.4% Number of employees (average) 633 611 3.6%

Gummersbach, August 9, 2004

A.S. Création Tapeten AG

The Managing Board

Inquiries: Maik Krämer, Director of Finance, phone + 49 - (0)22 61/542-387, fax + 49 - (0)22 61/542-304, e-Mail

The full interim report is available at or from: A.S. Création Tapeten AG, Frau Börngen, Südstr. 47, D - 51645 Gummersbach, phone + 49 - (0)22 61/542-350

end of message, (c)Dgap 09.08.2004 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WKN: 507990; Isin: De0005079909; Index: Listed: Amtlicher Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Berlin- Bremen, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, München und Stuttgart

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