Costs continue to fall
The restructuring program initiated in 2003 continued
to generate significant cost reductions during
the second quarter of the year. Compared to the
second three months of 2003, for example, sales,
marketing and distribution expenses fell by a further
9 percent and administrative costs by 12 percent.
The most marked reduction was for research
and development where, as a result of the consolidation
of activities in this area, the Company saved
€ 4.9 million – around one third of all R&D costs.
Increased revenues and reduced costs combined
to produce significant improvements in margins.
Operating profit, for example, which excludes all exceptional
income, rose 39 percent to € 24.2 million
(€ 17.4 million). The sale of the Company’s SAP SI
stockholding raised € 24.5 million. As no restructuring
costs were incurred during the period, EBIT
totaled € 48.7 million (€ 17.4 million) – a 180 percent
increase over the same period in 2003. The
profit before tax rose from € 31.4 million to € 49.6
Net profit of € 39.4 million (€ 11.2 million) led to
increased earnings per share of € 1.45 (€ 0.41).
Organic cash flow nearly tripled to € 11.7 million,
11 percent of total revenues.