Mecalux keeps up its growth of 16% and duplicates the sale of automated warehouses

24/04/2007

Mecalux‘s sales increased by 16% in the first quarter of 2007 rising from 124m euros in 2006 to 143.6m for the same period for 2007. The company had already consolidated the previous buyouts (Esmena and the ThyssenKrupp Group subsidiary) and so this growth is organic and is due to the increase in sales in all markets. Mecalux is maintaining its expected rate of growth by investing in new storage technologies, greater geographical diversification and increasing market share in all the areas in which operates. In addition, the market has reacted positively to the takeovers already made and the announcement of the future buyout of UFC Interlake Holding Co. The good economic climate and the process of logistics automation in many sectors are contributing to the excellent functioning of the business.

Of particular importance is the progress of the automated warehouse division and its contribution to the rise in the Group’s sales: the orders in hand of this division almost doubled in the first quarter of 2007 with respect to the same period for the previous financial year, rising to EUR 41m.

Increase in profits
EBITDA grew by 12% from 18.8m euros to 21.1m and pre-tax profit increased by 52% rising from 9m euros to 13.7m euros. Net profit, however, increased by 3%, rising from 11.1m euros to 11.4m euros. This increase was lower than the other results because in the previous period of 2006 fiscal credits were activated in the subsidiaries of Poland and the United States which represented a positive amount and a fiscal profit which is not reflected in 2007.

Increase in sales by geographical areas

EUROPE
In the markets of Southern Europe (Spain, France, Italy and Portugal) the increase in sales continued at a rapid rate of 12%.
The progress of the markets of Central and Eastern Europe was very positive, with Group revenue increasing by 50%, especially due to the growth of sales of the Polish subsidiary. Turnover generated in this area represented 5% of the total sales of the Group.

NAFTA AREA
The increase in sales in the North American markets at a consolidated level was 8%, although the effect of the revalorisation of the euro in this rise should be noted.
The rise in local currency sales in the United States was 18% over the same period for 2006, demonstrating that the Mecalux group is continuing to rapidly capture market share. In Mexico, the growth in local currency sales was 21% in local currency.
The Nafta area maintains its weight within the consolidated invoicing of the Group, representing 17% of turnover, thus contributing to the geographical diversification of the business.

MERCOSUR AREA
Growth was significant in South American markets, and sales increased by 55% at a consolidated level. Specifically, in Argentina, where the Mecalux Group is market leader, sales increased by 78% in local currency. In Chile, in contrast, turnover was stable.
The buyout of Esmena has furnished the Group with a subsidiary in Brazil. In the first quarter of 2007 it managed to practically double turnover.
Summarising the above, the geographical distribution of sales of the Mecalux Group on 31/03/2007 was the following:

% sales over total consolidated sales
Southern Europe*: 70%
Other European markets: 5%
NAFTA: 16%
MERCOSUR: 10%

% increase over the same period for 2006
Southern Europe*: + 12%
Other European markets: + 50%
NAFTA: + 8%
MERCOSUR: + 55%

* Includes exports from Spain to countries where the group has no direct commercial presence. It works in these countries through dealers.