Interim Results Show Substantial Improvement In Sales And Profit

Results for the NSG Group, announced in November, showed a substantial improvement in both sales and profit. The first six months of the year also demonstrate improved performances in both the Building Products and Automotive Business Lines in most regions.

Interim results for the NSG group, covering the first six months of the financial year, were released to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on 21 November. The results include the performance of the Pilkington operations for the full six-month period, compared to only three months in the previous year.

This consolidation difference, combined with underlying profitability improvements, pushed the NSG Group’s total net sales up 59 per cent to around 434 JPY billion (£1,822 million) for the half year. Operating income (profit) for the Group was up 214% to 27.0 JPY billion (£113 million). Cash-Flows from operating activities were 13.8 JPY billion (£58 million).In the Flat Glass business, BP operating profit was up £35 million to £112 million, while in Automotive, operating profit was up £16 million to £91 million; £7 million ahead of budget. Both the IT and Glass Fiber businesses in Specialty Glass recorded slightly higher sales than the previous year.

Katsuji Fujimoto, President and CEO, said: “We have made a good start to this important business year. Overall Group performance is being driven forward by strong results in Europe and other regions including South America, boosted by strong construction demand. The half-year result for the NSG group as of September 2007 showed a substantial improvement in both sales and profit compared to the same period in 2006. This reflected the consolidation of Pilkington for the full six-month period and also strong performance improvements we have seen in many of our businesses.

"We expect the second half of the current financial year to be in line with the interim result and with the original target. Our main focus over the coming months continues to be on the maximization of the integration synergies in all parts of the group”.

COO Stuart Chambers said: “Our primary objective at present is to continue to reduce net debt and we are currently ahead of schedule on our debt reduction targets. Key contributory factors influencing this outcome in the second half will be to meet our budgets, generate cash and keep working capital levels to a minimum. Our input costs are bound to rise, with pressure on oil prices and other commodities, so we need to maintain focus on running all our businesses as efficiently as possible”.

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