Trelleborg's Capital Markets Day 2004: Solid industrial platform gives strengthened competitiveness; increased presence

“Trelleborg has now completed the first year with its new structure. We can affirm that we have a solid foundation, from which we will continue to grow,” said Trelleborg’s CEO, Fredrik Arp, at the Group’s Capital Markets Day in Stockholm today. “In recent years, we have established a stable industrial platform for the future. We have achieved a balanced structure and are delivering an increasing degree of value added to our customers, while simultaneously maintaining a global presence.” Fredrik Arp also affirmed that the Trelleborg Group, which now has an industrial focus and has achieved average annual growth of 18 percent during the past ten years, delivers advanced solutions to key segments in the process, offshore, aerospace, automotive, agricultural, construction and infrastructure sectors. These are areas in which the Group is strongly competitive through its broad applications know-how and high technological level. “This gives us major opportunities to provide innovative customer solutions that seal, damp and protect processes, structures and people,” said Arp. “This is crucial for our organic growth, which currently amounts to between 4-7 percent in four of our five business areas.” For the future, Arp perceives opportunities for an increased presence in Eastern Europe and Asia, where the Group already has almost 4,000 employees. Challenges include dealing with rising prices for input materials within Automotive and the restructuring of tire production. Claus Barsøe, President of the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions’ business area, described the customer and R&D-focused view that characterizes the business area and provided examples of technological development at a high level – seals used on the rovers being used by NASA to explore the surface of Mars. He also emphasized efforts in global supply management, with the establishment of logistics centers in Asia and the US during 2005. Claes Barsøe also announced that a letter of intent has been signed regarding the acquisition of a small distribution company in India. Maurizio Vischi, President of the Trelleborg Wheel Systems business area, outlined efforts behind improved profitability, the restructuring of agricultural tire operations and how it is possible to successfully offset the effects of increased prices for input materials. Vischi also provided information on efforts in growth markets, including China. Trelleborg Automotive is a consolidated business area with leading positions in AVS that is focusing on cost- and production efficiency while aggressively increasing its presence in growth markets. According to George Caplea, President of the business area, this is being achieved through an increased focus on input-material prices, increased production and purchasing in low-cost countries, including a new plant in China and a Technical Center in Shanghai. Peter Suter, President of the Trelleborg Building Systems business area accounted for operations that have been extended to include pipe seals. Suter also described how Trelleborg Building Systems has developed a number of solutions for a comfortable indoor environment and to protect buildings and facilities from moisture. These are successful concepts that are now being rolled out in several European countries and China. Trelleborg Engineered Systems, which offers a number of solutions in demanding areas within offshore and infrastructure, is constantly reviewing its portfolio and selects the segments in which results can be optimized. Here, Trelleborg Engineered Systems develops systems solutions through in-house R&D and complementary acquisitions, while also establishing relevant global market coverage. According to Peter Nilsson, President of the business area, this is a decisive factor behind the successes that have been achieved. In conclusion, Group CFO Bo Jacobsson reconfirmed the margin targets announced on the 2003 Capital Markets Day, with the exception of Automotive where expectations have been dampened, at the same time as target levels for Trelleborg Wheel Systems have been raised. He also confirmed the Group’s financial targets, among other things an annual growth of 8-10 percent, cash flow in line with EBITA and a debt/equity ratio of 75-125 percent. Bo Jacobsson also commented on the ongoing capital-rationalization project, which is intended to provide a relative improvement of slightly more than SEK 450 M, which will be realized during 2004-2005.