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The Andritz Group
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Graz, Austria, 09 May 2008 -- The Andritz Group showed a favorable business development during the first quarter of 2008. Sales amounted to EUR 750.9 million, an increase of 2.7% compared to the reference quarter of last year (Q1 2007: EUR 730.9 million). The EBITA amounted to EUR 44.3 million, an increase of 11.3% compared to the first quarter of 2007 (EUR 39.8 million). As a result, the profitability (EBITA margin) increased to 5.9% (Q1 2007: 5.4%). Net income excluding minority interests amounted to EUR 30.2 million, exceeding last year’s reference quarter by 6.0% (Q1 2007: EUR 28.5 million). Order intake, at EUR 1195.7 million, reached the highest value ever achieved in a quarter (Q1 2007: EUR 1031.0 million). Order backlog as of 31 March 2008 increased to the record level of EUR 4321.4 million (31 March 2007: EUR 3664.5 million). Thus, the Andritz Group has a solid visibility with regard to sales for the coming months.

Sales

In the first quarter of 2008, sales of the Andritz Group amounted to EUR 750.9 million, an increase of 2.7% compared to the reference quarter of last year (Q1 2007: EUR 730.9 million). Several projects, especially in the Pulp and Paper, Rolling Mills and Strip Processing Lines and the Environment and Process business areas, have been in their initial processing stages, thus making only low sales contributions. The Hydro Power business area continued the positive development of the last quarters and achieved a significant increase in sales of more than a third (EUR 217.6 million in Q1 2008 vs. EUR 162.0 million in Q1 2007).

Earnings

EBITA amounted to EUR 44.3 million, an increase of 11.3% compared to the first quarter of 2007 (EUR 39.8 million). Profitability (EBITA margin) in the first quarter of 2008 increased to 5.9% (Q1 2007: 5.4%), with the Pulp and Paper and the Hydro Power business areas showing a favorable margin development.

The financial result declined compared to the reference period of last year; net income excluding minority interests amounted to EUR 30.2 million, exceeding last year’s reference quarter by 6.0% (Q1 2007: EUR 28.5 million).

Significant increase in order intake and order backlog

Order intake of the Group during the first quarter of 2008 developed very favorably. At EUR 1195.7 million, it was 16.0% higher compared to the very high level of last year’s reference period (Q1 2007: EUR 1031.0 million). In particular, the Pulp and Paper, Hydro Power, and the Rolling Mills and Strip Processing Lines business areas were able to increase their order intakes considerably compared to the reference period of last year. Organic growth of the order intake in the first quarter of 2008 was 9.3%.

Order backlog as of 31 March 2008 amounted to EUR 4321.4 million, an increase of 12.4% compared to the end of 2007 (31 December 2007: EUR 3843.3 million). Thus, the Andritz Group has a solid visibility with regard to sales for the coming months.

Solid balance sheet structure

As of 31 March 2008, the Andritz Group’s total assets increased to EUR 2746.8 million (31 December 2007: EUR 2507.5 million). This was mainly due to the issue of a public EUR 150 million corporate bond (successfully placed in February 2008), which will supersede the Andritz EUR 100 million corporate bond 2002-2008 that will mature in June 2008. As a result, the equity ratio declined to 16.3% (31 December 2007: 19.2%). Net liquidity (cash and cash equivalents, and marketable securities, minus financial liabilities) amounted to EUR 303.1 million as of 31 March 2008, thus higher compared to the level as of the end of last year (31 December 2007: EUR 246.5 million).

Outlook

Project activity in all relevant markets for the Andritz Group (pulp, hydropower, steel, environmental, and feed technologies) remains at a high level. In the pulping area, several large projects are expected to be decided during the second half of 2008. In all business areas, business has developed favorably, and – based on the current economic environment – is expected to continue favorably during the coming quarters.

Wolfgang Leitner, president and CEO of Andritz, said, "Based on the results for the first quarter of 2008, the continued good project activities in all of our business areas and the high order backlog, we expect Group sales for the full year of 2008 to reach approximately EUR 3.5 billion and profitability (EBITA margin) to increase.”

The Andritz Group

The Andritz Group is a global market leader in the supply of customized plants, systems, and services for the pulp and paper, hydropower, steel, and other specialized industries (solid/liquid separation, feed, and biofuel). Headquartered in Graz, Austria, the Group has about 12,300 employees worldwide. It manufactures and sells its products and services globally.



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