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Please find below all Forbo media releases listed by year.
Increase in sales for all businesses – strong rise in raw material prices affects results
Eglisau, March 21, 2006
Forbo increased its sales in 2005 by CHF 79.7 million to CHF 1,702.0 million. This equates to an improvement of 4.9 %, or 4.4 % in local currency. All three of Forbo's businesses contributed to this growth. The operating income before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA, before special charges) decreased by 5.6 % in comparison with the previous year, to CHF 135.1 million. The consolidated loss fell substantially to CHF -16.5 million (previous year: CHF -157.4 million) due to lower restructuring costs.
Increase in sales, particularly in the second half-year
Following the decline in sales in the first quarter of 2005, they grew more strongly than expected in the second half of the year. Primarily, the robust development of the economy in the USA and the dynamism of growth in the Asian markets generated the pleasing growth in sales.
High raw material prices affect profit
The operating result before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA, before special charges) declined from CHF 143.1 million to CHF 135.1 million. Responsible for this reduction were, above all, higher raw material and market entry costs. The operating profit (EBIT, before special charges) improved despite the sharply higher raw material prices due to lower depreciation and amortization than in the previous year and amounted to CHF 64.7 million.
The net profit was affected by non-recurring costs of CHF 40.8 million (previous year: CHF 161.9 million), within the framework of the CHF 200.0 million which were announced at the time. No further special charges are expected for 2006. The loss (including special charges) fell significantly and amounted to only CHF -16.5 million.
The net financial expenses developed favorably. They fell from CHF 26.8 million to CHF 18.8 million, primarily due to the impairments of securities that were recorded in the previous year and a higher interest income. The tax expenditure reduced too, from CHF 44.8 million in the previous year to CHF 21.6 million in 2005.
Increase in free cash flow
The free cash flow amounted in the reporting period to CHF 88.5 million (previous year: CHF 66.8 million). This rise of CHF 21.7 million was attributable on the one hand to the cash inflow from operating activities (CHF +17.1 million) and, on the other hand, to a reduction of CHF 4.6 million in investment activities.
Further reduction of net debt
The net debt at the end of the year amounted to CHF 109.3 million (previous year: CHF 131.0 million). For the first time, actuarial losses were recorded in the balance sheet under staff welfare and pension liabilities. This led to a reduction of equity by CHF 25.6 million to CHF 558.1 million at the end of the year. The equity ratio at the end of 2005 was 35.1 % (previous year: 35.8 %).
Dividend recommendation to the Annual General Meeting
The dividend policy of the Forbo Group is orientated to the development of net profit. In view of the consolidated loss, the Board of Directors intends to recommend to the Annual General Meeting of April 28, 2006 that no dividend distribution be resolved for the 2005 financial year.
Development of business units
The flooring business achieved an increase in sales in 2005 for the first time in the last five years. They reached CHF 747.0 million. This represents growth of 1.3 % compared with the previous year. In local currencies, the increase was 1.0 %. Particularly pleasing were sales of linoleum in North America and Eastern Europe. Whilst the business with vinyl floor coverings for the commercial business increased overall, the residential market in Western Europe recorded a decline, partly due to a rationalization of the range of products. The operating result before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA, before special charges) amounted to CHF 86.2 million and rose by CHF 9.1 million in comparison with the previous year.
The adhesives business increased its sales by 8.8 % to CHF 628.5 million or 8.1 % in local currencies. Whilst the European markets only recorded a positive development in the second half of the year, sales in the USA and exports to Asia showed generally impressive growth. The sharply higher raw material prices had a negative effect on the operating result before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA, before special charges) which fell by 21.6 % to CHF 42.0 million.
The belting business increased its sales in 2005 by 6.4 % to CHF 326.5 million. Growth in local currency was 5.9 %. Contributions to growth were made particularly by sales in the USA at an all-time high. Weaknesses in Asia and higher raw material and market entry costs led to a further decline in profit. The operating result before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA, before special charges) at CHF 16.8 million was 19.2 % lower than that of the previous year.
Outlook for 2006: Confirmation of the turnaround
Assuming a further positive development of the economy, 2006 is likely to bring a doubling of the net profit before special charges.
Forbo is a leading manufacturer of flooring, adhesives and belting. The organization employs about 5,500 people and has an international network of production companies and sales organizations in a total of 31 countries. The headquarters of the company is in Eglisau / Switzerland. In 2005, the Group achieved sales of CHF 1,702 million. The parent company, Forbo Holding AG, is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange (registration no. 354151, ISIN CH0003541510, Bloomberg FORN SW, Reuters FORN.S).
This E. Schneider
Delegate of the Board of Directors and CEO
Tel: + 41 58 787 25 49
Fax: + 41 58 787 20 49