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MAN Roland Profits Rise to $3.9 million in 2004, Comments on Streamlining Process

Press release from the issuing company

Westmont, Illinois — The Printing Systems Division of MAN AG, parent of MAN Roland Inc., raised its operating profits to $3.9 million (3 million euro) in 2004, representing a $38 million (29 million euro) gain over the previous year. In a recently released report to investors, MAN AG indicated that the year-end figures signify the division’s return to the growth track. “Printing Systems achieved an operating turnaround,” the report stated. “The highly profitable web-fed sector and the sheetfed presses, which were able to reduce their losses, both contributed equally to this improved performance.” New press orders rose 20%, from $2,081 million (1,575 million euros) in 2003 to $2,491 million (1,885 million euros) in 2004, indicating that MAN Roland is positioned to continue its winning ways. Sales rose 7% from $2,003 million (1,516 million euros) in 2003 to $2,141 million (1,620 million euros) last year. “The Printing Systems Division will benefit from its high backlog of orders for web-fed presses and a series of additional major orders in this segment, as well as from cost-reduction measures and the steps taken to streamline the sheetfed facilities in Offenbach,” MAN AG declared. “The sheetfed sector is expected to break even in 2005.” Streamlining Production MAN Roland’s ongoing initiative to streamline its sheetfed manufacturing operations Germany is contributing to the positive trend. The company’s sheetfed press facility in Offenbach handles the majority of production and assembly functions, while two satellite plants are located in nearby Mainhausen and Geisenheim. In November, the company finalized a special wage agreement at Offenbach operations, but it was not signed for the Mainhausen and Geisenheim operations. The company is currently considering ways to streamline its sheetfed manufacturing, but no decisions on either building new plants or expanding or eliminating existing facilities has been made at this time. “Some recent rumors have attempted to put a negative spin on our latest achievements,” said Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc. “These are the facts: We already have turned the corner. And we will continue to drive costs out of our manufacturing processes, so we can be more responsive to our customers’ needs.” Rogivue declared that any company that wants to succeed in the graphic arts has to work continually to improve its processes: “The first law of business in our industry is to make sure that every aspect of your operation is as cost-efficient as possible. We help our customers to achieve that goal through innovation. And we will continue to look at ways to improve our own performance in that area to make sure printers get maximum value from our systems.” The Printing Systems Division was singled out in the MAN AG report as one of the company’s leaders in R&D achievements. The newly developed MAN Roland COLORMAN XXL is now providing the efficiency of extra-wide printing to the newspaper market. And DirectDrive, which was introduced at Drupa by MAN Roland, is poised to provide the next quantum improvement in sheetfed makeready efficiencies. Meanwhile, the stock performance of MAN AG in Germany’s DAX continues to reflect well on the continued growth of the company. MAN share prices have more than doubled over the past two years. The per share price was up 18% in 2004, considerably more than the 7% rise in the DAX. More recently, the value of MAN AG shares in the first two months of 2005 has climbed from under 30 euros to over 35 euros a share.