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Please find below all Forbo media releases listed by year.
Eglisau, March 8, 2001
In the business year 2000, the Forbo Group recorded net sales of CHF 1 777 million (previous year: CHF 1 755 million). The Group's EBIT increased by 6 % to CHF 131 million. CHF 177 million of total net sales are accounted for by the Plastic Profiles, Decorative Films and Coated Textiles Business Units that were divested during 2000. With these divestments, Forbo has successfully followed its strategy to become a company focused on its core activities. Related to continued operations, sales rose by 4 % to CHF 1 600 million and EBIT could be increased by 12 % to CHF 138 million. The Group's profit reached an all time record of CHF 91 million (5 % of net sales). Net debt was further reduced by CHF 48 million to CHF 157 million. Thus, shareholders' equity to total assets ratio rose from 46 % to 53 %.
In context with the strategic renewal initiated last year, the cost associated with restructuring and divestments could mostly be absorbed by existing provisions. From the strategic provisions in the amount of CHF 70 million (after tax) set up in 1999, an amount of CHF 52 million has been utilized so far.
At the forthcoming Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose the distribution of an unchanged dividend of CHF 22.— per registered share. Furthermore, Forbo Holding AG announces its intention to buy back own shares in an amount of up to CHF 200 million. Forbo plans to buy back own shares by issuing listed put options which will be followed, at a later stage, by a further share buy back by establishing a second tradable line. Further details of the planned share buy back program will we defined until the Annual General Meeting on April 24, 2001.
With the shareholder-friendly buy back of own shares, Forbo intends to optimize its capital structure by preserving sufficient flexibility for further expansion through acquisitions in line with the defined strategy which is aimed at reaching net sales of CHF 3 billion in a few years.
Forbo is a global producer of floorings and industry specialties. It employs some 6000 people worldwide and has an international network of 28 production companies in 12 countries and 70 marketing organizations in 26 countries.
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: + 41 1 868 25 69
Fax: + 41 1 868 35 69