Biesse: dividend despite 2001 losses

2001 closed in the red for the Biesse group, whose divisions produce machinery for the glass, wood and marble processing industries.
The Italian group was listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in June…

2001 closed in the red for the Biesse group, whose divisions produce machinery for the glass, wood and marble processing industries. The Italian group was listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in June 2001. Despite losses of EUR 6.6 million, compared to a net profit of EUR 16.11 million in 2000, shareholders were to receive a proposal for the distribution of a dividend of EUR 0.09 per share, using part of Biesse“s extraordinary reserve. The goal of group management is to expand business in both traditional and related markets. Three direct acquisitions were carried out in the last three months of 2001 to boost its glass/marble, wood and numerical control (NC) operations. These included the purchase of diamond tools specialists Diamut Srl. The value of these operations is estimated to be in the range of EUR 11.1-12.5 million. Turnover for 2001 rose by 2.9% to EUR 353.8 million because of the downturn in demand and the delay in the approval of a law, which caused a moving to this year accounts of previously completed orders. The incidence of materials costs on revenues increased from 67% to 73.6% and that of labour costs from 22.4% to 25.6%. The gross operating margin thus slumped 43.9% to EUR 25.7 million, settling at 7.3% of revenues compared to 13.3% in 2000. The increase in amortization of 14.1% to EUR 10.4 million, following investments, meant an operating result of EUR 13.9 million (-59.9%), equal to a return on sales of 3.9%, compared to 10.1% the previous year. The decision to include, in 2001, all charges related to the listing (EUR 7.35 million), along with other extraordinary funding, caused the considerable increase in extraordinary costs from EUR 0.26 to EUR 15.41 million, resulting in a pre-tax loss of EUR 6 million.