Mecalux speeds up growth by increasing sales in the 1st semester by 19%

26/07/2007

The growth of Mecalux accelerated and the company managed to close the first semester of the year with an increase of 19% in sales which rose from 252.1m in the first semester of the previous year to 301m euros this year. Mecalux has exceeded its own expectations of growth thanks to its excellent progress in new markets, the expansion of the automated division and the growing needs in storage management in all markets. Of particular interest was the sharp increase in orders in hand for the automated warehouse division, which increased by 59%, reaching 56m in the first semester of 2007. The company is investing in automation as the future of the storage.

Positive development of key results
EBITDA increased by 26%, rising from 37.7m euros in 2006 to 47.6m euros in the first semester of 2007 and pre-tax profit increased by 67% from 19.1m to 32m euros in the first semester of 2007. Elsewhere, the company gained a net profit of 24.2m euros in this first period of the year, representing 100,000 euros less than in the same period for the previous year. This was because the Group capitalised tax deductions and tax losses in 2006 in its Polish and US subsidiaries to a total of 19m euros which represented a positive result of 5.2m euros in the corporate tax amount.

Growth in all markets

EUROPE.
In the markets of Southern Europe (Spain, France, Italy and Portugal) the increase in sales continued at a rapid pace of 15%. In Central and Eastern Europe growth was very high, at 67%.

NAFTA AREA.
Sales grew by 19%. In the United States, Mecalux managed to rapidly increase market share, and in local currency the growth was 23%. In Mexico, sales rose by 26%.

MERCOSUR AREA.
Growth was 41% in general terms, a very high rate which in the case of Argentina reached 55% while in contrast in Chile it was 7%. The excellent progress of the Brazilian subsidiary is particularly worthy of note as it tripled invoicing by winning important projects in the area.

% sales over total consolidated sales
Southern Europe: 71%
Other European markets: 6%
NAFTA: 15%
MERCOSUR: 8%

% increase over the same period for 2006
Southern Europe: + 15%
Other European markets: + 67%
NAFTA: + 19%
MERCOSUR: + 41%

Debt
The Group continues to improve its balance sheet ratios, with a net debt ratio over net equity of 0.78. By semesters, net debt was higher than that of the same period for 2006, rising from 152.9m to 162.9m euros in the first semester of 2007, but it improved with respect to the situation at the close of the year when it was at 173m euros. This positive development is due to the sustained positive generation of cash flow.