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SGL Group Profit Climbs 40% - Update

SGL Group (SGLFF.PK) reported Thursday a higher profit for full year 2011, helped by about 11 percent growth in sales mainly driven by performance of Business Area Graphite Materials & Systems segment. The German manufacturer of carbon-based products assumes the global economy to recover in the second half of 2012 and expects additional improvements in sales revenue and EBIT in the year. The company also said it intends to resume payment of performance-based dividend.

Robert Koehler, CEO of the company said, "Outstanding performance was achieved by the Business Area Graphite Materials & Systems, which generated its best results to date in 2011 and thus established itself as a second key income driver alongside Performance Products. 2011 was also the year in which carbon - our material - achieved significant public awareness. We fully intend to benefit from this trend in the coming years."

Operating profit, or EBIT, was 165.5 million euros, up 28.9 percent from the preceding year. Return on sales rose to 10.4 percent from 9.3 percent a year ago.

However, the company said it is currently difficult to assess whether it will be possible to reach the target of return on sales of at least 12 percent as of the end of fiscal 2012, but aims a return on sales of at least 12 percent in the course of 2013.

For the full year 2011, the company's consolidated net profit increased 40.2 percent to 73.2 million euros from 52.2 million euros reported last year. Basic earnings per share were 1.09 euros, higher than 0.80 euros per share a year ago.

Sales revenues for the year grew 11.5 percent to 1.54 billion euros from 1.38 billion euros in the prior year. Sales growth was mainly driven by performance of Business Area Graphite Materials & Systems, or GMS, with a revenue increase of 18 percent to 468.7 million euros.

Looking ahead to full year 2012, SGL expects sales revenue and EBIT to continue to improve. GMS sales revenues are expected to remain stable compared with the year 2011.

The company also said the Board of Management, with approval of the Supervisory Board, will propose to the Annual General Meeting on May 10, to pay a dividend of 0.20 euros per share entitled to participate in dividends for fiscal year 2011.

In Frankfurt's Xetra, SGL shares closed Wednesday's regular trading at 33.63 euros.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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