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KWS on the Track to Growth

Corn segment grows with two-digit rates – Market position developed –
Annual surplus and dividend on last year's level

(Einbeck, 02/12/04, No. 15/gf) KWS (ISIN: DE0007074007) has sold in the business year 2003/2004 (key day 30.06.) again more seeds. The group sales has increased by 4.6 percent to € 443.7 Mio (previous year € 424.3 Mio). Without the drop with the exchange rate of the US Dollar the sales figures would have been even higher by € 15 Mio. In the expired business year KWS has significantly developed its distribution network in South East Europe and North America and again reinforced its activities in cultivating. Despite these additional measures KWS reached an annual profit of € 28.3 Mio. and ranged only just below the previous year's value of € 28.9 Mio. The dividend shall remain unchanged at € 11.

"KWS could manage to develop the market position in all product segments – especially welcome was the growth of corn sales. There has been an increase by more than 11 % with a contribution to the annual business volume by 43 %", said Dr. Andreas J. Büchting, speaker of the board of directors at KWS SAAT AG. The high demand for new types was the reason for this successful business as well as the intensive development of the market in areas with big growth rates. "In 2004 we received approvals for more than 230 new types, which is the result of intensive research work and a good indicator of our innovative strength." said the CEO of the worldwide fifth ranking plant cultivator. KWS reached a revenue abroad of € 316 Mio. (previous year € 295 Mio.) respectively 71 (70) % of the sales. The company is active in 68 countries.

Solid Finance Structure

The Einbeck based company has reduced during the running business year their accounts payable by € 17 Mio down to € 52.2 Mio. The cash flow (DVFA/SG) reached the value of

€ 48.7 (€ 52.1) Mio. The equity capital quota has increased to € 57.5 % (previous year:

€ 52.5). Büchting described the capital structure as "stable and sufficient in order to have the financial basis for future growth".

Corn Segment Growth with Two-digit Rates

In the corn segment KWS noted a clear growth rate of 11 % based on € 191 Mio. With sugar beet KWS could develop its world leadership. Negative currency effects and more sales due to weather conditions in the previous year caused a decrease of sales of sugar beet by 1.8 % to € 193.1 Mio. The grain sales has increased by 6,3 % to € 52.7 Mio.

The Business Segments in Detail:

Mio. €




sales (group)



+4,6 %

sugar beet



-1,8 %




+11,1 %




+6,3 %

breeding & services



+3,1 %

company profit (group)



-4,8 %

sugar beet



-10,6 %




+85,4 %




+ 43,7 %

breeding & services



-33,0 %

company profit (group)



-2,1 %

Changes in the Share Holder Structure

A 25 % KWS block of shares will be relocated under the management of HypoVereinsbank. The Südzucker AG (approximately 10 %) and the HypoVereinsbank (15 %) stated on November 26th 2004 that they want to sell their shares at KWS. KWS appreciates the increase in spread ownership to approximately one third of the shares as a result.

Job Opportunities Created in Germany

KWS has again increased the number of employees by 180 persons (+7.7 %) to 2,516 employees in the expired business year. 1212 of them work in Germany where 11 new jobs were created.

Positive Outlook into the Future

For the business year 2004/2005 KWS expects again an increase in sales and a stable profit. KWS will continue to develop the market position especially in the corn segment and in the regions of North America, South and South East Europe and grow faster than the competitors.

The business report 2003/2004 as well as speeches held during the balance press meeting on 2.12.2004 in Hannover can be visited under http://www.kws.de.

Person to contact

Georg Folttmann

Phone: 05561 / 311 – 640

Fax: 05561 / 311 – 510

e-Mail: g.folttmann@kws.de