MRI announces a new acquisition, a new service point and the 2007 group sales

  • Manuli Rubber Industries S.p.A. (MRI) announces the acquisition of 100% of the South-African company Powerforce Hydraulics Witbank, a leading distributor of hydraulic components for the mining industry.

  • New Fluiconnecto By Manuli service point opens in Johannesburg.

  • Group sales for 2007 were 304.7 million euros (up 8% from 2006).

The multinational group Manuli Rubber Industries S.p.A. (MRI), the European leader in components and systems for hydraulic and Oil & Marine applications, announced the acquisition of the entire capital Powerforce Hydraulics Witbank, the leading South African service company of hydraulic components and systems for the mining industry, and the opening of a new Fluiconnecto By Manuli service point t in Johannesburg.

Powerforce Hydraulics Witbank employs 25 people and in 2007 registered sales for 2.5 million euros.

The current management of Powerforce Hydraulics Witbank will continue to work in close contact with MRI headquarters and to support the company's development in the coming years. The company will initially use the Powerforce brand, while, in the future, sales activities will be integrated into MRI's Retail Business Group and developed under the brand Fluiconnecto By Manuli.

Manuli Rubber Industries' Retail Business Group is currently present in Argentina, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Baltic Countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, South Africa, Ukraine and Hungary, as one of the leading international service network for the distribution of hydraulic components, offering a complete range of high-quality hydraulic connectors as well as the relative know-how and added value.

Fluiconnecto By Manuli Ltd, the new Johannesburg-based subsidiary, will operate in South Africa and throughout all of Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing the MRI network to more than 110 company-owned service points.

"The recent acquisitions of HEBU and Powerforce", said Mr Dardanio Manuli, President and CEO of MRI, "have strengthened our global presence in the retail business, and will allow us to combine the advantages of a fully integrated line of products backed by quality services with a strong local presence".

The Board of Directors of Manuli Rubber Industries S.p.A. approved the 2007 financial statement draft, to be presented at the next Shareholders' Meeting.

MRI group ended 2007 with group sales for 304.7 million euros - up 8% from the previous year - 87% of which realized in foreign markets.

The EBITDA was 53.9 million euros (compared to 57.2 million euros in 2006) while the EBIT amounted to 35.0 million euros (42.5 in 2006). The contraction is due to exchange rates (the company is widely present in the dollar area) and to proceedings under way to determine the company's possible participation in agreements or concerted practices restricting competition in the field of flexible marine hoses, a marginal sector for MRI, representing approximately 3% of sales. Without considering the above not-operating costs, the EBITDA stands at 57.0 million euros and the EBIT at 41.1 million euros.

Results before taxes were 31.2 million euros, compared to 39.0 million euros in 2006.

Total investments in 2007 were 27.3 million euros, mainly directed at improving manufacturing operations in China, Poland and Italy.

Additionally, in January 2008, MRI Group's consolidation perimeter was significantly changed with the acquisition of HEBU, the leading distributor of hydraulic components in the Netherlands.

With that acquisition the Group's 2007 pro formaed sales would have been 326.4 million euros, up 16% from 2006, with a normalized EBITDA of 61.5 million euros, 4.3 million euros more than in 2006 (+7.5%).

The acquisition of HEBU Group brings the Fluiconnecto By Manuli retail network sales to 73 million (22.5% of the 2007 pro-formaed sales).

Manuli Rubber Industries (MRI) is a multinational group with a global organization based in Milan, focus on the design, production and distribution of machines and fluid conveying rubber and metal components and systems for high-pressure hydraulics and oil & marine applications. Manuli Rubber Industries operates through 36 subsidiaries and employs 2600 persons worldwide. In addition to its Italian manufacturing facility in Ascoli Piceno, MRI owns manufacturing plants in China, South Korea, France, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Poland, South Korea, Brazil and India.