On a consolidated basis, Sarantis Group has reported sales of 51,6 mio € for the first quarter of 2004, +6% versus year ago.
At the same time, pre tax and after minorities earnings showed a 47% increase climbing to 3,6 mio € compared to 2,4 mio € in the first quarter of 2003.
This increase can be attributed to the improvement of the gross margin of the Group, from 53,8% in 2003 to the level of 56,8% in 2004.
At the same time, the financial costs of the company have decreased to 1,1 mio € in 2004 versus 3,0 mio € in the first quarter of 2003.
During the same period, a sharp increase of 27% in promotional expenses is observed due to the pre planned investments of the Sarantis Group in Eastern Europe in advertising and promotion.
The key target of Sarantis management is to increase market penetration and shares in the key markets of Poland, Romania and Bulgaria in the Group΄s key categories which include fragrances, packaging products and shoe polish products. EBIT margin is reported to the 13% level compared to 16% for the same period last year.
The performance of the Group for the first quarter of 2004 is in line with management’s guidance for the whole year, which estimates sales of 246 mio €, +6% versus 2003 and net profit before taxes and after minorities of 21 mio €, +37% versus last year.