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Bene world sales up in 1st Qtr

Monday 23 June 2008

With a significant rise in sales and a huge improvement in earnings in the first quarter of 2008/09, the Vienna, Austria publicly listed Bene AG increased its profitability and further strengthened its position in Europe.
Sales increased 9.6% to $92.9 million in the first quarter of 2008/09.

In the first three months, the Bene Group\'s sales in Austria rose again by 18.8% to $30.6 million. In Germany, sales grew by 16.0 % from $21.3 million to $24.7 million in the year over year quarter. After an extraordinary good first quarter last year, UK sales decreased by 22.5 % to $10.5 million due to the subdued investment climate and to the shifting of various projects.

The decline in sales of the Russia segment to $5.2 million was the result of project delays. With a sales growth of 60.8 % to $21.7 million, the Bene Group\'s \"Other markets\" segment achieved an impressive improvement.

The earnings key figures and thus the profitability of the Bene Group improved even better than sales. In the first quarter of the present year, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased by 35.2 % to $5.1 million. Thus, compared to the previous year\'s reference period, the Bene Group significantly improved its EBIT-margin from 4.5 % to 5.6 %.

A large part of the Bene Group\'s investments in the total amount of $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2008/09 arose from the expansion and the modernization of their factory as well as from the adaptation and modernization of the distribution sites.

The Bene Group has 1.457 employees, which corresponds to an increase of 4.7% over the past year.

After the solid first quarter of 2008/09, executive said they are optimistic concerning increased sales and at the same time further improve earnings of the entire business year.

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