The Gränges Group Interim Report January-September 1999

Interim Report January-September 1999 Strong improvement in earnings *Net sales rose by more than 22 percent during the third quarter - and by 15 percent, to MSEK 8 874 (7,702), for the period as a whole *Operating profit rose 28 percent during the third quarter and was up by 18 percent compared with the corresponding period of 1998, excluding a nonrecurring gain *Profit before tax for the period amounted to MSEK 447 (388), up 27 percent during the third quarter, and by 15 percent compared with the first nine months of 1998, excluding the nonrecurring gain *Earnings per share rose 18 percent to SEK 8.50 (7.20) Gränges in brief Jan-Sep Jan-Sep Jan- 1999 1998 Dec 1998 Net sales, MSEK 8 874 + 7 702 10 249 15% 1 1 Operating profit, MSEK 514 + 435 589 18% 1 1 Profit before tax, MSEK 447 +15% 388 526 1 1 Return on capital 16,2 16,9 17,0 employed, % 1 1 Return on shareholders' 16,4 16,1 16,0 equity, % Debt/equity ratio, % 68 47 43 1) Before nonrecurring capital gain of MSEK 69 For further information, please contact Cecilia Lager, Vice President Investor Relations & Communication, tel. +46 70 666 59 41. This interim report is also available on Gränges' web site on the Internet: www.graenges.se STRONG GROWTH IN EARNINGS AND SALES Gränges' earnings continue to improve. Operating profit for the first nine months of the year totaled MSEK 514, an improvement of 18 percent compared with MSEK 435 in operating profit for the corresponding period of 1998, excluding the nonrecurring capital gain. The Group's operating margin was 5.8 percent, compared with 5.7 percent for the first nine months of the preceding year. The improvement was attributable to higher volumes, increased efficiency and a favorable mix of products with better value-added margins in the Extrusions and Strip & Foil business areas. The Autoplastics business area continued its restructuring work during the period and its earnings remained unsatisfactory. The operating margin for Extrusions was 8.5 percent, against 7.6 percent in 1998. Strip & Foil showed a margin of 5.6 (4.9) percent and Autoplastics a margin of 0.8 (1.9) percent. During the period, the Group's net sales rose by slightly more than 15 percent to MSEK 8,874 (7,702). The market for Gränges' products improved during the period. Gränges maintained its leading market positions and increased its share in most markets. Markets that developed particularly strongly included France, Germany and the Netherlands. The Autoplastics business area, which has made substantial marketing investments for a long period, showed strong sales growth of more than 44 percent, compared with the corresponding period of 1998. Of this, the merged operations from Norsk Hydro accounted for slightly more than 20 percent. In terms of volumes, approximately 217,100 (190,400) tonnes of value-added aluminium products were delivered during the period, an increase of 14 percent (for comparable operations, the volume increase was nearly 4 percent). The European market for extrusions and rolled aluminium increased by around 1.5 percent during the corresponding period. Profit after tax totaled MSEK 310 (265), corresponding to earnings per share of SEK 8.50 (7.20) and a 16.4-percent (16.1) return on shareholders' equity. The return on capital employed for the period was 16.2 percent (16.9). All figures for 1998 have been calculated prior to the nonrecurring capital gain of MSEK 69. ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1999/11/03/19991103BIT00110/bit0001.doc The full report http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1999/11/03/19991103BIT00110/bit0002.pdf The full report

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