München, 13.05.2004 - Disclosure announcement transmitted by euro adhoc.The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement.
BayWa AG Report on the first quarter of 2004The BayWa Group raises the result of ordinary activities
Munich, 13 May 2004 - In the first quarter of 2004, the BayWa Grouphas raised the result of ordinary activities by EUR 1.2 million yearon year. The Group?s result of ordinary activities is still in theminus at EUR-1.9 million which is seasonally induced and typical ofthe Group?s business. Consolidated sales of EUR 1.23 million arecurrently only 2.2% below last year?s figure. Whereas the Agricultureand Construction segments have already outstripped last year?sperformance, the Energy segment is in the process of catching up andimproving its income, which is currently lower in a year-on-yearcomparison.
In the Agriculture segment, quarterly sales, which came in at EUR 641million, were slightly higher against the previous year?s quarter.The Group has already made good spring's hesitant burgeoning throughthe sale of agricultural products and equipment. The downtrend in theAgricultural Equipment business is slowing. The segment?s result ofordinary activities improved due to the good market for agriculturalproducts and as a result of slashing costs by EUR 3.6 million to EUR9.65 million in the Agricultural Equipment business unit.
The Construction segment raised sales by one percent to EUR 255million as against the first quarter of 2003. The Group can use itsstrong market position and brisker business in rural areas to raiseincome, particularly in the building materials trade. The DIY andGarden Center business unit is currently making good for the delay inthe gardening season. As the Group makes only 14% of its total volumein trading with building materials in the first three months of theyear its result of ordinary business, which is still in the minus atEUR 13.5 million, is typical of its business at this time of year.
Sales in the Energy segment at the end of March were around 10 %lower than the previous year?s figure which is primarily due to theprice-induced demand distortions last year caused by the Iraq war.The result is expected to even out over the course of the year. Thedisparate trends of the quarters being compared is also reflected inthe segment's result of ordinary activities of EUR 1 million, whichcurrently corresponds to a minus of EUR 3.3 million.
Sales in the consumer goods business remained stable at EUR 66million. The Other Activities segment result of EUR 0.9 million isEUR 0.8 million higher year on year.
Raising efficiency and cutting costs on an ongoing basisThe integration of WLZ is having a notable effect in the areas ofpersonnel and interest. The former WLZ head office in the centre ofStuttgart now stands empty, and the regional administration assignedto other BayWa locations. All business segments have cut costssubstantially in the first quarter. In 2004, the new SAP inventorycontrol system is to be installed in a number of other business unitswith the concurrent positive effect on optimising processes andmanaging the various businesses. The concept for streamlining theAgricultural Equipment business unit has been initiated with ananalysis on improving efficiency, the aim being to raiseprofitability long term.
Growth within the Group, rationalisation and optimising processesmean that the number of employees and how the workforce is organisedis constantly changing. As per 31 March 2004, the BayWa Groupemployed a workforce of 15,241. As against 31 December 2003, thisrepresents reduction of 299 jobs. Above all, the amalgamation withWLZ has enabled changes to the Group?s workforce in the wake ofreorganisation, new management and new sales and distributionstructures.
Good outlook for 2004The performance in the first quarter underpins the goals of the Groupfor 2004, which include the stabilisation of sales and the steadyimprovement of the operating result. The goal has been set at 40million plus x. That this goal can be achieved is substantiated bythe results achieved by the end of March, along with the uptrend insuccessive weeks in the Group?s segments, greater expectations for agood harvest and the significance of the increase in the number ofbuilding permissions for parts of the Group.
Sec. code no. 519 406; DE 0005194062
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WKN: 519406, 519400ISIN: DE0005194062, DE0005194005Marktsegment: CDAX, Classic All Share, Prime All Share, PrimeStandard, official dealing Bayerische Börse, FrankfurterWertpapierbörse