Bulach, 24 March 2009 - During the 2008 fiscal year Vetropack Group generated consolidated revenues of CHF 752.0 million, thereby exceeding the previous year's results by 7.5%. At CHF 128.9 million, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were CHF 3.1 million below last year's extraordinarily high figure. Due to negative foreign exchange differentials, consolidated annual profit fell to CHF 78.5 million (2007: 100.9 million).
Overall, 2008 was a successful year for Vetropack Group. It was characterised by healthy growth, and further strengthening of domestic markets. During the year under review, Vetropack Group sold 4.27 billion units of glass packaging. Over two thirds of sales were allocated to domestic markets (2007: 4.26 billion), and approximately one third to exports. All production locations operated at full capacity during the fiscal year.
With EBIT amounting to CHF 128.9 million Vetropack Group has exceptionally stable operational earning power. The EBIT margin reached a solid 17.2% of gross revenues (2007: 18.9%).
During the fourth quarter of 2008, the international financial crisis led to an extraordinary 60% devaluation of the Ukrainian currency (the Hryvnia) against both the Euro and the US dollar. Since the financing of the modernisation program aimed at enhancing OJSC Vetropack Gostomel's competitiveness was devised in USD loans, the collapse of the Hryvnia consequently reduced profits for the entire Group. The income statement was hit with a currency loss of approximately CHF 30 million. Correspondingly, consolidated annual profits fell by 22.2% to CHF 78.5 million.
In 2008 Vetropack Group made investments totalling CHF 96.6 million (2007: CHF 86.9 million). In addition to the cyclical furnace refurbishment at the Czech facility Vetropack Moravia Glass a.s., a green-glass furnace was replaced at the Croatian facility Vetropack Straža d.d. The latter resulted in increasing melting capacity from 180 to 230 tons per day. Additional capacity increases were also achieved by commissioning high-performance glass-blowing machines in the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, and Switzerland. Furthermore, Vetropack Nemšová s.r.o. in Slovakia commissioned a new state-of-the-art recycling facility, which can prepare up to 120,000 tons of glass cullets per annum for glass production.
Vetropack Holding Ltd
All business activities within Vetropack Group are consolidated under the umbrella of Vetropack Holding Ltd.
During the year under review, Vetropack Holding Ltd generated a net profit of CHF 71.7 million (2007: CHF 17.6 million). This significant profit increase is due to a change in the Group's internal dividend policy.
At the Annual General Assembly, the board of directors will propose setting a nominal dividend distribution of 70% (2007: 70%). This represents a gross dividend distribution of CHF 35.-- per bearer share and CHF 7.-- per registered share.
Vetropack Holding Ltd's Annual General Assembly will be held in St-Prex at 11.15 a.m. on Wednesday, 13 May 2009.
For further information, please contact:
David Zak, CFO
Vetropack Holding Ltd
Phone +41 (44) 863 32 25
Fax +41 (44) 863 31 33