Aareon AG: Annual result above target (DE)

Aareon AG, a subsidiary of Aareal Bank AG and Europe´s leading consultancy and systems house for the property sector, today announced that it concluded the financial year 2003 with positive results and therewith exceeded its own expectations. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to € 11.4 million (previous year: € 0.4 million). The consolidated profit after taxes increased to € 4.1 million (previous year: € -3.5 million).

This positive development is mainly due to Group-wide increases in effectiveness and efficiency. The company created the basis for this through considerable restructuring
measures in 2002. However net income is strongly affected by ongoing investments in the new software generation Blue Eagle. The cash flow tripled and was recorded at € 30.1 million (previous year: € 10.1 million). With around 1000 employees staffing levels remained stable over the course of 2003.

Group revenue declined slightly by 2.2% to € 163.5 million (previous year: € 167.2 million), which was due to the reduction of commission shares from the integrated banking business, which is handled jointly with Aareal Bank. On the other hand customers were holding back investments in the old software in expectation of the
introduction of the new software generation Blue Eagle.

For the first time since the establishment of the Aareon Group, the international business has reached the profit zone. Overall sales of the foreign subsidiaries have
increased by 5.2% to € 15.6 million. Among others, Aareon AG was able to acquire
France´s second largest property company in the social housing sector, SCIC Habitat, as a customer last year.

'The 2002 repositioning of the company shows its effect: We were able to significantly increase our profitability in Germany and abroad and are on the way to achieve an EBIT margin of about 15% again,' said Dr. Manfred Alflen, chairman of the management board of Aareon AG. 'At the same time, we are planning to develop new growth potential with the high investments in our products and services and to expand our market leadership position as a service provider for the property sector.'

Source: Aareal Bank

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