AURELIUS half-year figures considerably better than expected

(lifePR) ( München, )
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- Group sales over six times as high at 298.9 million euros
- Group earnings rise 58 percent to 7.7 million euros
- Free cash flow clearly positive once again at 6.3 million euros

The industrial holding, AURELIUS, saw a significantly better end to the first six months of 2008 than previously expected. Both sales and earnings trends, as well as the Munich Group's liquidity situation, testify to the strength of the company's operations after the first six months of the financial year.

In the first six months, AURELIUS generated Group sales totaling 298.9 million euros compared with 41.2 million euros in the previous year (+625.3 %). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased from 7.9 million euros to 17.5 million euros (+121.0 %). Group earnings rose from 4.9 million euros to 7.7 million euros (+57.7 %). That corresponds to basic earnings per share of 0.86 euros (previous year: 0.57 euros).

The company's equity also continued to climb. At 84.0 million euros, it was up 11.4 per cent from 75.4 million euros compared with its level at the end of 2007, and thus fully covered non-current liabilities totaling 83.6 million euros.

Liquid assets also increased significantly. Cash holdings rose to 47.5 million euros compared with 36.9 million euros in the previous year (+28.8%). The Group's bank borrowings to the tune of 41.9 million euros are therefore fully covered by short-term liquidity.

The free cash flow was clearly positive as at June 30, 2008, as it had been at the end of the first quarter. It now stood at 6.3 million euros compared with -4.0 million euros at the end of the first six months of 2007.

As usual, earnings take account of both positive and negative non-recurring effects resulting from the initial consolidation of companies acquired. The positive non-recurring effects - the negative differences accruing from capital consolidation (badwill) during the initial consolidation - totaled 5.3 million euros in the first six months of 2008 (previous year: 2.5 million euros). In return, the negative non-recurring effects, resulting from the restructuring costs of the new Group subsidiary already accruing and the provision to be expected ran into 2.9 million euros (previous year: 1.3 million euros).

Dr. Dirk Markus, CEO of AURELIUS, is delighted with the all-round positive figures: "We have succeeded in significantly improving sales and performance even in what is currently a difficult market climate. Today, we have already outperformed the objectives we communicated for the entire year."

The Management Board of AURELIUS is expecting the company to perform considerably better than previously communicated due to the favorable business performance and the acquisition of Berentzen and RTL Shop at the beginning of the third quarter. On the basis of annualized Group sales, AURELIUS will overshoot its previous 2008 sales target of one billion euros by a long way. At the same time, Group earnings will likewise be considerably higher than the previous year's figure.

Moreover, another two to four acquisitions as well as the sale of at least one holding are scheduled for the current financial year.
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