WCM Group: decline of capital markets affects overall result

· EBITDA for the first nine months EUR 40,6 million
· Considerable improvement of result situation expected for 2003

The WCM Group is posting an EBITDA of EUR 40,6 million for the first nine months and a result from ordinary business activities of minus EUR 121,4 million.

In the third quarter the company achieved an EBITDA of minus EUR 30,8 million and a result from ordinary business activities of minus EUR 110,9 million in a very difficult market situation. The loss is largely the result of considerable adjustments of the valuation of WCM’s participation portfolio. The non-cash effective value adjustments became necessary due to the unsatisfactory economic situation in Germany and the strong decline of the capital markets.

In contrast to the development of share prices, the business of important WCM participations developed gratifyingly. In the past quarter Klöckner-Werke AG made a decisive strategic step towards becoming a single-source provider for Filling and Packaging technology for the entire food and non-food area globally. The subsidiaries KHS Maschinen- und Anlagenbau AG and Kisters Maschinenbau GmbH intend to bundle their global sales activities under a joint management and co-operate more closely in product development. The announced disposals of peripheral activities of Klöckner-Werke AG are developing as scheduled and will have been concluded by the first quarter 2003, at the latest. WCM holds an 82 per cent share in Klöckner-Werke AG. The economic development of IVG Immobilien AG, in which WCM holds more than 51 per cent of shares is also satisfactory. IVG expects a further rise in result against the previous year, despite the difficult economic situation. WCM will retain Commerzbank, its third largest participation, despite the difficult development. Commerzbank can already post initial successes with regard to the improvement of its cost structure. The banking landscape is currently undergoing structural change which will also positively affect the earnings situation of the company, medium-term.

The rental business in the Residential Property division remained stable. The sales revenue was EUR 203 million and was thus only slightly below the figure of the previous year, although fewer apartments were sold this year in the context of the privatisation of apartments, due to the overall economic situation.

The WCM Group will most probably end the 2002 financial year with a clearly negative result from ordinary business activities. The volume of the loss largely depends on the fact of whether and to what extent further value adjustments will become necessary to the year-end. The earnings situation of the operating subsidiaries will continue to develop positively in 2002. WCM expects a considerable improvement of the Group’s earnings situation for 2003.

(source: WCM Group)

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