ESI Group Q1 2003 Sales Up 22%



Paris, June 4 2003 : ESI Group (Euroclear 6584, ISIN FR0000065849), pioneer and world leading solution provider in virtual prototyping and manufacturing processes, announced today sales figures for the first quarter of the current financial year (three months ended April 30 2003).

Quarterly Sales

                               Q1 2003        Q1 2002        Change
Licenses                        7,824                6,428                +22%
Services and other        3,184                2,572                +24%
Total                                11,008        9,000                +22%
ESI Group’s fiscal year ends on January 31

ESI Group’s sales in the first quarter of its 2003 financial year came in at 11.0 m, an increase of +22% compared with the first quarter of the previous year. At constant exchange rates, the increase would have been +28%. At constant perimeter, turnover was slightly down -2%. At constant perimeter and exchange rates, the company generated organic sales growth of +4%.

The breakdown of sales between license and service revenues was stable (71%). Licence revenues were firm due to an increasing renewal rate (77% compared to 74% in the first quarter of 2002) for the installed base and strong growth in new business, driven by the good performance of new products resulting from acquisitions.

Alain de Rouvray, chairman and CEO of ESI Group, commented : The +28% increase in sales at constant exchange rates in the first quarter of our 2003 financial year, and the +4% rise at constant perimeter, are satisfying performances. Although the market remains tough, and is also being affected by rapid adverse movements in exchange rates, these figures show the resilience of our business, along with our success in integrating the three acquisitions we carried out in 2002.’

The geographical breakdown of sales in volume shows growth in Europe and Asia. Nevertheless, sales fell in America, due to the economic slowdown and postponed orders amplified by the slide in the dollar. However, acquisitions carried out in 2002 bolstered ESI Group’s position in America, with the proportion of sales coming from this market totalling 12% in Q1 2003 as opposed to 8% in the year-earlier period.

In the three months to April 30 2003, 81% of ESI Group’s sales came from outside France in accordance with the previous years.
Although the company’s earnings show limited dollar exposure, with dollar sales being offset by dollar expenditures arising from the US development centres, current exchange rate trends mean that a dollar hedging strategy would quickly be put in place to complement the existing yen hedging policy.

The company had net cash of 25.1m at end-April 2003, up from 23.7m at January 31, 2003.

Alain de Rouvray concluded: "Our performance in the first quarter means that we are cautiously optimistic about business levels in the current year, expecting double-digit growth, given the amplification of the seasonal effect specific to our business cycle, the traditionally limited significance of first-quarter figures with respect to the full year and the fact that the economic background has not yet stabilised.’

About ESI Group
ESI Group is a pioneer and world-leading provider of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes that take into account the physics of materials. ESI Group has developed an entire suite of coherent, industry oriented applications to realistically simulate a product’s behavior during testing, to fine-tune the manufacturing processes in accordance with the desired product performance, and to evaluate the environment’s impact on product usage. ESI Group’s products, which have a proven track record in manufacturing and have been combined in multi-trade value chains, represent a unique collaborative, virtual engineering solution, known as the Virtual Try-Out Space (VTOS), enabling virtual prototypes to be improved in a continuous manner. By drastically reducing costs and development lead times, VTOS solutions offer major competitive advantages by progressively eliminating the need for physical prototypes. ESI Group is listed on the Nouveau Marché ¯f Euronext Paris, and generated sales of almost 43m in 2002. The company employs over 400 high-level specialists worldwide, and covers more than 30 countries. For further information, visit www.esi-group.com.

Nouveau March鼦rsquo;R>Euronext Paris - FTSE 977- Euroclear 6584 - Bloomberg ESI FP - Reuters ESIG.LN - ISIN FR 0000065849



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