Group financial statement for first quarter of 2009

Solid profit growth and 5% sales growth in DKK in the first quarter. Full-year net profit outlook maintained. Sales outlook affected by low global economic activity.

Sales in the first quarter of 2009 were affected by the global economic downturn and a troubled US bioethanol industry, bringing sales in local currencies (LCY) on par with last year. This was below expectations. Expected full-year sales growth in LCY is now slightly positive, reflecting first-quarter sales and reduced expectations. The development in profits and cash flow was better than expected for the quarter. Expected 2009 operating profit margin is increased to 19–20%. Current exchange rates reduce full-year operating profit growth in DKK. Outlook for net profit is maintained.
 
“We entered 2009 knowing it would be a tough year, and sales in the first quarter more than confirmed this. The extent of the global economic downturn indicated by the first quarter has taken us and some of our customers by surprise. This, and declining sales to the US bioethanol industry, resulted in sales below expectations,” says Steen Riisgaard, President and CEO. “We're consequently reducing our 2009 sales outlook, to now only slightly positive growth. On a positive note, we expect to improve profit margins. However, overall, we still face high uncertainty as to what may lie ahead.”

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