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DJ DGAP-Adhoc: Leoni recorded significantly reduced sales and earnings in the 4th Quarter 2008 due to the slump in demand in the automotive industry

DJ DGAP-Adhoc: Leoni recorded significantly reduced sales and earnings in the 4th Quarter 2008 due to the slump in demand in the automotive industry

Leoni AG / Preliminary Results/Dividend 04.02.2009 Release of an Ad hoc announcement according to § 15 WpHG, transmitted by DGAP - a company of EquityStory AG. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. =-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leoni recorded significantly reduced sales and earnings in the 4th Quarter 2008 due to the slump in demand in the automotive industry Extensive cost cutting programme started - Plan to trim the dividend to EUR 0.20 Nuremberg, 4 February 2009 - Based on preliminary calculations, Leoni generated sales of EUR 2.9 billion in the 2008 financial year. The year-on-year sales growth of about 21 percent (EUR 2.4 billion in 2007) was solely due to the acquisition of the former wiring systems division of Valeo. The sales crisis in the automotive industry resulted in a decline of consolidated sales in the 4th quarter of 2008 of about 25 percent on the average of the first three quarters. Based on preliminary figures, the specialist for wire, cable and wiring systems generated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounting to EUR 55 million (2007: EUR 129.6 million). The company expects net income to be in the medium single-digit millions (2007: EUR 86.2 million). It is planned to pay a reduced dividend of EUR 0.20. Leoni's most recently issued forecasts for fiscal 2008 were sales of approximately EUR 2.9 billion and EBIT of about EUR 95 million. Due to the dramatic slump in demand in the automotive industry and various other market sectors in the 4th quarter 2008 the previously projected EBIT was distinctly missed. Another and main reason for this variance was a negative contribution to operating income amounting to approx. EUR 21 million coming from an extremely sharp fall in copper prices in the same period of time from EUR 4.57 per kilogramme to EUR 2.16 per kilogramme, which on its own resulted in inventory writedowns. The free cash flow after the dividend payout, acquisitions and share buy-back will probably amount to a negative sum of EUR 58 million and will result in net debt as of 31 December 2008 of EUR 531 million (2007: EUR 473). Despite the payout for the share buy-back (EUR 29 million) and the strong decline in earnings a positive free cash flow of about EUR 14 million in the 4th quarter 2008 is expected. On the basis of the strong decline in net income, the Management Board and Supervisory Board will propose to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on 14 May 2009 to reduce the dividend to EUR 0.20 per share (2008: EUR 0.90). Due to the persistent sales crisis in the automotive industry, Leoni reduced the number of employees by approx. 3,000 to about 50,500 in the 4th quarter 2008 already. At the beginning of fiscal 2009 substantial capacity adjustments at the majority of facilities worldwide were implemented by reducing weekly working hours, introducing short-time work as well as by further personnel measures. At the same time an extensive cost cutting programme was initiated at all works and central divisions. The strong downward trend in the automotive industry expected for 2009 notwithstanding, Leoni feels itself to be well equipped for the future. The current start-up of new car models - in particular in the small and compact car segment as well as in the low and upper middle class - will lead up to a partial suspension of the decline in sales and further increased market share in Europe. Today's announcement replaces the release of the preliminary figures that was originally scheduled for the middle of February 2009. A comprehensive report with more detailed statements will be provided upon presentation of the final fiscal 2008 figures at the balance sheet press conference on 24 May 2009 as well as the analyst and investor conference on 25 May 2009. Contact person for journalists Sven Schmidt Public & Media Relations Phone +49 (0)911-2023-467 Fax +49 (0)911-2023-231 E-Mail [email protected] Contacts for analysts and investors Frank Steinhart/ Susanne Kertz Investor Relations Phone +49 (0)911-2023-203/ -274 Fax +49 (0)911-2023-209 E-Mail [email protected] Contact: Sven Schmidt Leoni AG Public & Media Relations Tel: +49 (0)911 / 2023-467 E-mail: [email protected] 04.02.2009 Financial News transmitted by DGAP =-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Language: English Issuer: Leoni AG Marienstraße 7 90402 Nürnberg Deutschland Phone: +49 (0)911 20 23-274 Fax: +49 (0)911 20 23-209 E-mail: [email protected] Internet: ISIN: DE0005408884 WKN: 540888 Indices: MDAX Listed: Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard), München; Freiverkehr in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart End of News DGAP News-Service =--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 04, 2009 07:57 ET (12:57 GMT)

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