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AVT Senses Economic Upturn With $3.5 Million Q1/2002 Orders

Press release from the issuing company

Hod-Hasharon, Israel, May 3, 2002 - Advanced Vision Technology Ltd. (Neuer Markt: VSJ, securities identification number: 931 340), the world's leading provider of machine vision-based automatic inspection systems for the printing industry, increased its sales by 6 percent to $2.5 million during the first quarter 2002 compared to the same period of financial year 2001. The operating loss declined from $1.75 million during the first quarter of 2001 to $1.12 million. Earnings were better than expected as order intake continued to develop particularly well, showing a 12 percent increase to $3.5 million over the same period last year. Fourth quarter 2001 sales were exceeded by 8.3 percent – higher than in any of the five previous quarters. The European market was especially strong, being the source of 48% of first quarter 2002 sales. The North American market accounted for 37% of sales, with a further 5% each coming from South America and sales in the Rest Of the World (ROW). Customer support activities contributed the final 5% to the sales total. Earnings also developed positively. Compared to the same period last year, the operating loss was reduced from $1.75 million to $1.12 million. The net loss improved from $1.27 million during the first quarter 2001 to $0.83 million. The loss per share is now $0.15 compared to $0.24 for the same period last year. These results reflect the positive trend in the economic environment, which has been apparent for several months now. Potential customers are increasingly abandoning their guarded investment behavior. This can also be observed with regard to the order intake of $3.5 million, a 12 percent increase over the first quarter of 2001. As a result, the book-to-bill ratio reached 1.4, which represents the foundation for positive developments during the upcoming quarters. "During the first quarter 2002, AVT has continued the strategy adopted at the end of November 2001, focusing its efforts on the core markets of packaging printing and label printing," explained Mr. Shlomo Amir, President & CEO. "Following the successful launch of several new products in the packaging printing industry, product launches during the second half of 2002 will focus on the label printing market." Gross expenses of $853,000, for research and development, represent a decrease of 11.3 percent compared to the same period last year. However, at 34% of sales, they remained at a level to ensure the company's traditionally high rate of innovation. With an overall liquidity of more than $34.7 million, AVT's solid financing situation remains unchanged. Mr. Amir continued: "We are cautiously optimistic regarding the second quarter 2002. The business recovery expected for the second half of 2002 seems to be materializing earlier than expected." "Based on current trends, the company management expects a better business environment for 2002 than was forecast at the beginning of the year, barring unexpected events," Mr. Amir concluded.

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