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Punch International Closes Q3 with Positive Results

Press release from the issuing company

Lier, November 6, 2002 -- Punch International NV, EMS provider with registered seat at Sint-Martens-Latem, today announced that it has closed the third quarter with positive results, in spite of the continuing economic recession. The company succeeded in achieving the promised margin enhancement, one of its most important objectives; the EBITDA margin increased by 27.1 % when compared to the same period in 2001. Turnover rose significantly to EUR 44.29 million, which is an increase of 89% by comparison with the third quarter of 2001. Internal growth totaled 20.6% during this period, which is in line with expectations. In addition, Punch International completed its planned capital increase of EUR 20 million on 30 September. The results for the third quarter clearly confirm the tendency towards positive results, which already started during the previous quarters. Turnover rose by 56.4% to EUR 117 million. Cash flow also increases, rising from EUR 7.5 to 11 million, which is a 46.5% growth. The financial results are lower than during the same period in 2001, which is mainly attributable to the withdrawal of the bridging finance for the take-over of Xeikon (which has now been refinanced). Graphic Systems Business Unit The Graphic Systems business unit achieved 43% of group turnover during the third quarter. This significantly higher percentage can be explained by the inclusion of Xeikon’s results. Digital printing specialist Xeikon experienced a less favorable third quarter, with a very weak summer holiday month of August. The sales of consumables meet expectations and the sales of machinery are slowly but steadily taking off. Besides, Xeikon’s results for this quarter were also impacted by restructuring costs. Strobbe Graphics managed to remain on scheme. The company performs well and expects a strong third quarter.