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EskoArtwork strengthens its business during first half of 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium) – EskoArtwork, the leading supplier and integrator for packaging, printing and sign and display solutions, reports a strong performance during the first half year of 2010. Consolidated revenues for the first half year of 2010 amounted to 84.9 million euro, an increase of 25% over the first half year of 2009 and an increase of 7% over the same period in 2008. EBITDA for the first half year of 2010 ended at 17.0 million euro, a 149% improvement over the same period of 2009 and 42% higher than the results of the first half year of 2008.

Revenue for packaging products increased by 27% compared to the first half of 2009 and by 8% compared to the first half year of 2008. Customer services revenue for the entire business went up by 18% and 15% compared to the first half year of 2009 and 2008 respectively.

First half revenue growth came from all regions and product lines
The EskoArtwork strategy of offering integrated solutions has two major objectives; to enable customers to achieve greater efficiency and to drive growth.

Over the past six months the response from customers to the release of new and expanded solutions that are targeted at these goals has driven increases in sales. In particular, HD Flexo, a solution that offers flexographic printers quality and predictability that now matches gravure and even offset print quality, has been a major success, driving growth for EskoArtwork in this segment of over 30%. Similarly, the success of the Kongsberg XP production tables have exceeded expectations and exceed 2009 H1 results by close to 50%.

The release of Suite 10, the new global standard for Packaging Software, has been hailed by customers worldwide for its ease of use and powerful new features and has resulted in software growth by over 18%; whilst in the rapidly growing Sign and Display market, the latest release of EskoArtwork software to control design through production has been credited by customers for dramatic improvements in productivity.

Every region has shown excellent growth ranging from 26% in Europe, 21% in Asia Pacific and 16% in North America (excluding the exchange rate effect of the US$ to Euro).

Carsten Knudsen, CEO, says: "We are pleased with our first half year results. They confirm the underlying strength and direction of our corporate strategy. We continued to invest in innovation and development over the past eighteen months and the resulting product and solution introductions have strengthened our market position and boosted sales. Our more recent solutions for Brand Owners and the Sign and Display market have also seen very positive increases in business. Overall it has been a very satisfactory period and I anticipate that many of our investments over the past six months will continue to accelerate our growth in the short term."