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Textile Systems fuels Rieter 2006 sales growth

Mar '07
Winterthur – Both divisions of the Rieter Group achieved an increase in sales in 2006. Consolidated sales showed a striking increase to a new record, rising by 15% to 3 579.9 million CHF. Excluding special charges, the operating result before interest and taxes increased by 31% to 256.3 million CHF (195.7 million CHF in 2005).

Rieter's net profit increased by 14% to 157.4 million CHF, equivalent to 4.6% of corporate output. On the basis of the good net profit and the sound balance sheet, the Board of Directors will propose a 50% increase in the dividend for 2006 to 15.00 CHF per share (10.00 CHF in 2005).

The global economy as a whole developed well in 2006. The emerging economies – in particular the dynamically expanding markets of China and India – again provided substantial support for global economic activity in the year under review.

Market trends differed for our two divisions – Textile Systems and Automotive Systems – in the year under review. In the textile machinery sector the positive momentum that had already become apparent in the second half of 2005 continued throughout 2006. Demand for staple fiber machinery was especially strong in Asia.

By contrast, vehicle output by the automotive industry declined in Rieter's main markets of Western Europe and North America, also due in part to high fuel prices. Growth of automotive production was confined to the emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.

Growthin both divisions:

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