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Press Release 27 September 2006 Financial results for the first half of 2006 •

Turnover € 991 million, a like-for-like increase of 10.2%

Operating result € 139 million, a like-for-like increase of 33%

Good level of demand throughout Europe reflected in improved performance despite steadily increasing raw material prices in first half

Lower volumes in North America, but stronger result due to sustained recovery in prices and margins following weakness in early part of 2005

Improved results in Asia, but trading in Australasia more difficult

Full year’s results for 2006 will be presented under IFRS for the first time

The unaudited consolidated accounts for the first half of the year 2006 were presented to the Board of Directors at its meeting held on 22 September.

COMMENTS Profit and loss account The Group’s turnover in the first half of 2006 was € 991 million, an overall increase of 13.7% on the same period of 2005. After eliminating the impact of changes in the scope of the consolidation and exchange rate movements, the like-for-like increase was 10.2%. The Group completed the acquisition of Dux Industries Limited and Aquadux Pty Limited, in New Zealand and Australia respectively, in March 2006. These acquisitions increased turnover by 0.6% during the period, and the strengthening of the Group’s major trading currencies added a further 2.9%. The most significant exchange rate movements were in the Canadian and US dollars, which were stronger by 11.8% and 4.3% respectively, and the New Zealand dollar, which weakened by 6.7%. The operating result was € 139 million, an overall increase of 36.1% compared with the first half of 2005, and a like-for-like increase of 33%. The acquisitions had only a marginal impact on the result, and the strengthening of major trading currencies added 2.9% to the operating result. In Europe, the Group enjoyed good growth in demand in most of its markets. An improved performance was achieved despite a steady rise in raw material prices and continued competitive pressures in retail DIY markets, the most important of which are in Germany and the UK. The German economy began to show signs of recovery after several difficult years, and demand in Eastern Europe improved significantly compared with the first half of 2005. Sales volumes in North America were lower, reflecting weaker demand in the residential housing market. Prices and margins, however, remained resilient with raw material prices stable at a high level and little evidence of the weakness seen in the same period of last year, in spite of a further deterioration in the Canadian dollar/US dollar exchange rate. Trading activity in the Group’s Asian markets improved. The anticipated slowdown in the New Zealand economy led to more difficult trading conditions, and increased competition in South Africa made margins harder to maintain. The financial result in the period was a charge of € 16 million (2005: € 24 million), all of which represented net interest charges (2005: € 21 million).


In view of the adoption of IFRS-IAS for the full year 2006, there was no goodwill amortisation charge for the period (2005: € 18 million). Taxes amounted to a charge of € 45 million (2005: € 26 million), representing an effective tax rate of 36% (2005: 33%). The Group share of net profit for the period was € 80 million (2005: € 33 million). The Group share of net current profit and net current cash flow was € 80 million (2005: € 52 million), representing € 0.94 per share (2005: € 0.61 per share) and € 113 million (2005: € 87 million), representing € 1.32 per share (2005: € 1.01 per share) respectively. Balance sheet Intangible Fixed Assets and Goodwill decreased by a net € 6 million during the first half of 2006 as a result of currency translation adjustments (principally arising from the weaker Canadian dollar at 30 June), partially offset by the goodwill on the acquisitions made during the first half. Tangible fixed assets decreased by a net € 10 million during the first half of 2006, reflecting € 29 million of capital expenditure during the period, a depreciation charge of € 33 million, and a reduction of € 6 million arising from currency translation adjustments. Non-Cash Working Capital increased by € 142 million (2005 first half increase: € 154m) compared with the level at 31 December 2005, reflecting the normal seasonal pattern of trading which results in a higher level of trade receivables and inventories at the end of the second quarter of each year. The Group share of Capital and Reserves increased by € 54 million during the six-month period, representing the Group share of net profit for the period (€ 80 million), less currency translation adjustments (€ 26 million). Net debt at 30 June 2006 was € 639 million compared with € 566 million at 31 December 2005, an increase of € 73 million. Excluding the impact of exchange rate movements, the increase was € 78 million. The increase in net debt results principally from the seasonal increase in working capital and capital expenditure during the period, offset by cash generated from operations. A significant proportion of the Group’s debt is denominated in foreign currencies pursuant to the Group’s balance sheet hedging policy.

PROSPECTS FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2006 In Europe, the stronger demand experienced in the first half of the year is expected to be maintained in the second half, although it may be restrained by higher interest rates imposed in response to growing inflationary pressures. Economic prospects in Canada appear to be robust despite some softening in the level of new housing starts. Recent evidence in the USA, however, indicates a sharp fall in the residential housing sector, which has been a key element in US GDP growth in recent years. If this trend continues into the second half of the year, there is a risk of slowing demand both in the USA and the wider global economy. However, there has so far been no material impact on the Group’s performance, and trading in North America in the second half of 2006 is expected to remain at a good level, although it may not reach the level of the second half of 2005, which was influenced by exceptional factors.


SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED ACCOUNTS First half 2006

First half 2005

Inc/(Dec)

Full Year 2005

Turnover

991

872

119

1,834

Operating result

139

102

37

231

14.0%

11.7%

(16)

(24)

Summary Profit and Loss Account (€ million)

% of turnover

Financial result: Interest charges Other Financial Income/(Charges)

(16) -

Goodwill amortisation

(21)

5

(3)

3

-

Extraordinary result Taxes Profit from equity interests Net profit ■ Group

Net current profit, Group share * Net current cash flow, Group share *

(38) (38) -

(18)

18

(37)

-

(1)

1

(19)

(45)

(26)

(19)

(49)

3

1

2

5

81

Attributable to: ■ Minority interests

12.6%

8

34

47

93

1

1

-

2

80

33

47

91

80

52

28

147

113

87

26

213

% € per share, Group share **

Inc/(Dec)

Net current profit

0.94

0.61

54.1%

1.72

Net current cash flow

1.32

1.01

30.7%

2.48

* Net current profit and Net current cash flow exclude goodwill amortisation and the extraordinary result. ** calculated based on the total number of Aliaxis S.A. shares in issue, less those shares held by the Group as Treasury shares.


Summary Balance Sheet (€ million)

June 2006

Intangible Fixed Assets

December 2005 15

June 2005

9

12

Goodwill

465

477

493

Tangible Fixed Assets

523

533

510

Financial Fixed Assets

42

41

33

1,045

1,060

1,048

24

22

19

475

333

479

1,544

1,415

1,546

Total Fixed Assets Treasury Shares Non-Cash Working Capital TOTAL Capital and Reserves Attributable to:

■ Group ■ Minority Interests

781

727

656

769

715

644

12

12

12

Provisions and Deferred Taxation

124

122

131

Net debt

639

566

759

1,544

1,415

1,546

TOTAL

Aliaxis, an international group of businesses with a worldwide presence, is dedicated to the manufacture and sale of plastic pipe systems and related building and sanitary products used in residential and commercial construction and renovation, as well as in a wide range of industrial and public utility applications. Contact: Yves Mertens (Group Finance Director) Don Bailey (Group Corporate Development Manager) Tel. 32-2-775 5050 – Fax. 32-2-775 5051 E-mail: aliaxis@aliaxis.com


aliaxis press release 2006