Vetropack 2009 results prove earning power well maintained

During the 2009 fiscal year, which was characterized by falling demand because of the prevailing global economic crisis, Vetropack Group generated a consolidated revenue of CHF 671.5 million, laying 1…

During the 2009 fiscal year, which was characterized by falling demand because of the prevailing global economic crisis, Vetropack Group generated a consolidated revenue of CHF 671.5 million, laying 10.7%, exchange rate adjusted 2.0%, below the 2008 value (CHF 752.0 million). Operating earnings (EBIT) totalled CHF 100.9 million, CHF 29.0 million less than in 2008 with CHF 129.9 million. Consolidated annual profit reached CHF 78.4 million and therefore matched the previous year“s figure (2008: CHF 78.5 million). Additional Key Figures: o Net Debt: CHF 5.0 million compared to CHF 61.8 million in 2008 o Cash Flow: CHF 137.9 million compared to the 2008 figure of CHF 150.0 million o Cash Flow Margin: 20.5% (2008: 19.9%) o Gearing Ratio: 72.4% (2008: 66.4%) Demand did not stabilize until the third quarter, and did not match the 2008 level, with production obligingly slowed down at all sites to avoid stockpiling inventories. At CHF 671.5 million, Vetropack Group“s consolidated revenue dropped 10.7% from the previous year (2008: CHF 752.0 million). In real terms, the decrease in revenue only amounted to 2.0%, as 8.7% of the negative influences of foreign exchange differentials were due to the devaluation in the Ukrainian currency. During the year under review, Vetropack Group sold a total of 3.97 billion units of glass packaging, 7.0% less than the 2008 figure of 4.27 billion. Vetropack Group succeeded in expanding its export sales, thereby partially offsetting the fall in demand from domestic markets, with export ratio amounting to 36.7% compared to 33.0% in 2008. Vetropack Group realized EBIT of CHF 100.9 million (2008: CHF 129.9 million), due to reduced revenue and incomplete capacity utilization, while the EBIT margin reached 15.0% of gross revenue (2008: 17.2%). Consolidated annual profit reached CHF 78.4 million (2008: CHF 78.5 million). In 2009, Vetropack Group dedicated a total of CHF 39.8 million to investments (2008: CHF 96.6 million), which were mainly dedicated to the construction of a new electrostatic precipitator to filtrate exhausts and recover heat for the two furnaces at Vetropack“s facility in Slovakia. Vetropack Holding launched a share repurchasing programme to reduce its share capital on 21 January 2009, and on 13 May 2009 the Annual General Assembly resolved to cancel 3,295 bearer shares with a nominal value of CHF 164,750. The entire programme involves a maximum of 17,601 bearer shares. Forty-eight per cent of the planned volume had already been repurchased and cancelled as per 31 December 2009, and the next reduction in share capital will be proposed to the ordinary Annual General Assembly in 2011. During the Annual General Assembly of Vetropack Holding Ltd., to take place on Wednesday, 12 May 2010, 11:15, in Blach, the Board of Directors will propose setting a nominal dividend distribution of 70% (2008: 70%). This represents a gross dividend distribution of CHF 35.00 (2008: CHF 35.00) per bearer share and CHF 7.00 (2008: CHF 7.00) per registered share.