Nobia acquires the leading Austrian kitchen manufacturer EWE-FM

* Nobia strengthens its foothold in the Continental European kitchen market
* EWE-FM's sales are around SEK 575 million and its Austrian market share is about 16 per cent
* EWE-FM is the leading kitchen manufacturer in the Austrian middle to upper kitchen segment
* The acquisition will be EPS positive from year one
* The integration of EWE-FM into the Nobia Group is expected to provide synergies
 
EWE-FM is Austria's leading manufacturer of rigid kitchens in the middle to upper segment. The company supplies kitchens to kitchen studios and furniture stores.
 
Around 75 per cent of EWE-FM's sales are in Austria and the remaining 25 per cent are in southern Germany, northern Italy, Switzerland and the CEE countries.
 
"EWE-FM is the leading kitchen company in Austria and will fit seamlessly into the Nobia Group. With EWE-FM, Nobia will have a strong position in the Alpine region and a platform for expanding our presence in Eastern Europe. EWE-FM provides synergies in purchasing and, with its well equipped factories, in component supply as well," says Fredrik Cappelen, Nobia's President and CEO. 
 
The company employs 470 people at its facilities in Wels and Freistadt in Austria. The company's headquarters is located in Wels.
 
EWE-FM- has two distinct brands - EWE and FM. EWE concentrates on modern design while FM's design is more traditional.
 
EWE-FM's sales of SEK 575 million, means the Nobia Group's sales will increase by 5 per cent. The EWE-FM acquisition is expected to enhance Nobia's earnings per share from year one.
 
The main strategic attraction of the acquisition is that EWE-FM will strengthen Nobia's presence in Europe and provide a strong market position in Austria.
 
Acquiring EWE-FM also gives Nobia a good chance to capitalise on the strong growth prospects in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. EWE-FM has to date expanded its business in this part of Europe and currently operates through 5 kitchen studios in these countries.
 
EWE-FM's successful strategy will not be changed via Nobia's acquisition. Wilhelm Pacher, the MD and main owner, will remain MD of the company.
 
The agreement is subject to the competition authorities approval of the transaction.
 
Invitation to telephone conference
 
Nobia will hold a telephone conference today at 11.15 CET, where the President and CEO, Fredrik Cappelen, and Executive Vice President, Lennart Rappe, will present the acquisition. The telephone conference will be held in English.
 
Time: 11:15 CET
Call in number: +44 (0)207 162 0190
Password: Nobia
 
Dial-In participants located in London need to use the dialling code to access the Telephone Conference.
 
Nobia AB
17 November 2004
 
For further information please contact:
Fredrik Cappelen, President and CEO, Tel: +46 8 440 16 00
Lennart Rappe, Executive Vice President, Tel: +46 8 440 16 00
 

About Us

Nobia develops and sells kitchen solutions through a number of strong brands in Europe, including Magnet in the UK; HTH, Norema, Sigdal, Invita and Marbodal in Scandinavia; Petra and A la Carte in Finland; as well as ewe, Intuo and FM in Austria and Bribus in the Netherlands. Nobia generates profitability by combining economies of scale with attractive kitchen offerings. The Group has approximately 6,100 employees and had net sales of about SEK 13 billion. The share is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm under the ticker NOBI. Website: www.nobia.com

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