Turnaround successfully completed/"Respectable result" achieved one year ahead of projection
Karlsruhe. Based on an initial overview of earnings for financial 2004, the EnBW Group ended the year with strong pre-tax earnings (EBT) in the order of 707 million euros. Following the prior-year loss of minus 1,094 million euros mainly due to inherited burdens, earnings before tax are therefore up by 1.8 billion euros. The Group succeeded in achieving a turnaround in earnings before tax and interest (EBIT) from minus 190 million euros to 1,217 million euros. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) more than doubled, rising from 1,014 million euros in financial 2003 to 2,223 million euros in the 2004 reporting period. In view of the earnings figures outlined above, the Management Board at EnBW believes that the turnaround has been successfully completed, even though further substantial cost-cutting measures and earnings growth are targeted and planned for financial years 2005 and 2006. Despite the excellent trend in earnings, EnBW CEO Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen still warns of the need to remain modest and to continue to concentrate on the challenges of the coming years: "These figures show that we have not only succeeded in posting the "acceptable result" targeted for 2004 but that we have in fact achieved the "respectable result" originally only projected for 2005". This is a great success for our superb workforce and also excellent news for the energy industry in Baden-Württemberg, as we have now laid a firm foundation for the important investments in power stations in the years to come. This means it is all the more important that we do not let up in our efforts to continue to improve our performance on the operating front but that we keep our sights focused on long-term profit continuity and the steady improvement of earnings." The above initial overview of earnings is subject to review and confirmation by the auditors and the Supervisory Board. The balance sheet press conference will take place in Karlsruhe on March 11, 2005 and will be followed by an investors' conference.