euro adhoc: Valora Holding AG / Financial Figures/Balance Sheet / Valora: Turnaround in second half of 2007 ushers in encouraging prospects.

Geschrieben am 03-04-2008

Disclosure announcement transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer is responsible
for the content of this announcement.

annual report


• Sales up 3% • Improved kiosk results boost EBIT margins for 2nd
half of 2007 • Sound and healthy balance sheet with low debt and
equity cover of 45% • Board and Executive Management changes •
Rolando Benedick to be new Executive Chairman • Share buy-back
programme planned

The Valora Group generated net income of CHF 52 million in 2007. Net
sales last year were raised nearly 3% to 2 822 million, or CHF 2 947
including results from the production companies. Operating earnings
from continuing activities came in at CHF 55.9 million. With Own
Brands results included, the Valora Group achieved operating earnings
for 2007 of CHF 65.5 million. Compared to the same period of 2006,
operating income for the second six months of 2007 was up CHF 10
million, an improvement of more than 30%. Net financing results were
further improved. The Group´s net income of CHF 43 million from
continuing operations puts earnings per share for 2007 at CHF 13.
Equity cover was improved by some 3% to reach a level of 45.%.

Valora Retail - Swiss kiosk results stage recovery in 2nd half: Net
sales maintained at 2006 levels - operating income up CHF 6.5
million. Compared to 2006, the Retail division managed to increase
its revenues by some CHF 30 million to CHF 1 665 million. Thanks to
the expanding scale of their operations, the kiosks in Germany
achieved the highest rate of sales growth, reaching 13% year-on-year.
Kiosk Luxembourg and the convenience and filling station businesses
in Switzerland also advanced. While food sales at the kiosks in
Switzerland were also higher, this increased turnover was not
sufficient to compensate for the absence of sales from collectible
soccer picture cards and lower revenues from lottery ticket sales. In
addition to its ongoing implementation of a uniform IT architecture
featuring integrated, modern till systems at all kiosks and the rapid
implementation of measures to improve profitability in the Swiss
kiosk business, the division´s focus in the next few years will be
directed towards expansion-led growth in Germany and the further
strengthening of the fast-growing retail convenience business being
conducted under the avec. banner.

Valora Media - increased scope for service activities While the
division achieved a modest increase in its sales of newspapers and
magazines de-spite a contracting overall market for these products,
overall sales for the division, at CHF 553 million, were down about
1% on 2006 levels. The acquisition of magazine publishers Egmont
Ehapa and Marquard Media as new clients for the Austrian market,
expanding subscription service activities and the forthcoming season
of Euro 08 collectible soccer picture cards, all indi-cate that
significant growth can be expected to be achieved in 2008.

Valora Trade - consolidating its position in Europe The Trade
division´s distribution business generated net sales for 2007 of CHF
791 million, an increase on the year of nearly 6%. The greatest
increases were achieved in the Nordic region, where Denmark and
Finland did particularly well, with Austria following not far behind.
A greater volume of business conducted with internationally active
principals raised costs, thus slightly reducing operating margins.


Strategic goals confirmed, with priority on focused and accelerating
execution Valora sees itself as an economically robust trading Group
with a characteristic identity and a leading market position
operating on a Europe-wide scale. The strategy review which a
renowned consultancy firm began conducting on January 31, 2008
(following the extraordinary general meeting) has concluded that,
while the current strategic approach of focusing on the Group´s core
businesses is well-founded, it will need to be implemented in a
manner which is more consistent, goal-directed and expeditious.
"Valora is very well placed indeed to operate more successfully" is
the assessment which Rolando Benedick has reached after his first two
months as Board Chairman. The Board has confirmed its intention of
selling the production companies.

Corporate locations to be concentrated Valora is determined to
achieve sustainable and profitable growth by concentrating its
energies. This will be achieved partly through a critical review of
the complexities inherent in Valora´s current portfolio of
businesses, with structures being simplified where possible. This
growth will be supported by the introduction of a leaner organisation
based on efficient central functions. To achieve this, the current
three corporate locations (in Bern, Wallisellen and Muttenz) will be
concentrated on one single site at Muttenz over the next few months.

Consolidating core markets, reviewing scope for further expansion In
its core Retail and Media divisions, Valora will strive to achieve
faster rates of growth in its existing core markets in Switzerland,
Germany, Austria and Luxembourg. Scope for expansion into other
European markets will be reviewed. The prerequisite here will be a
reasonable prospect of attaining leading market positions in the
countries concerned. The focus of Valora´s Trade division will be
placed primarily on organic growth in its existing markets and on
possible complementary acquisitions to consolidate its existing

Changes in Group Executive Management Having successfully turned the
business around in the last few months, Peter Wüst has expressed his
desire to relinquish his position as CEO. The Board of Directors has
respected his wishes and is most grateful to him for the major
commitment he has shown over the last few years and for the work he
has done. During a transitional phase, he will remain actively
involved in supporting the Group. The search for a new CEO has been
initiated. With immediate effect, Rolando Benedick will, until
further notice, assume the role of Executive Chairman, supervising
the Group and driving it forward on its current strategic path.
Simultaneously, the search for a new Head of the Retail division will
be continued.

Board recommendations to the Annual General Meeting

At this year´s Annual General Meeting to be held on April 29, the
Board will recommend payment of a dividend of CHF 9 per share. The
Board will also seek authorisation to carry out a share buy-back
programme covering a maximum of 500,000 shares for the purpose of
reducing the company´s share capital. The liquidity which will remain
thereafter is adequate to meet the financing needs of the expansion
which is planned. In order to align Valora´s articles of
incorporation with modern corporate governance practice, the Board
will also recommend a significant change to their provisions. This is
that the terms of office of Board members be reduced from their
current duration of three years to one year.

Board changes Following shareholder approval of a reduction in Board
members´ terms of office, the following Board Directors, each
bringing with him the specific skills and experience listed against
his name, will be nominated for election until the 2009 General
Meeting: Rolando Benedick - Retail Markus Fiechter - Processes, IT
Conrad Löffel - Finance Franz Julen - Franchising, retail The
remaining members of the Board of Directors have declined to stand
for re-election.

Bernhard Heusler, born in 1963, will be proposed as a new Board
member at the next General Meeting. A business lawyer practising in
Basel, Bernhard Heusler began his legal career with the New York law
firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell on completion of his studies at the
University of Basel, before joining the Wenger Plattner practice,
which has offices in Basel, Bern and Zurich, in 1995. He has been a
partner at Wenger Plattner since 2000, specialising in advising
clients on M&A transactions and contractual matters as well as IT and
sports law.


Valora is a company with an economically sound portfolio of
businesses. The key objectives for 2008 are the determined pursuit of
the existing trajectory, with particular emphasis on continuing
implementation of the current project to upgrade the Group´s IT
architecture. By the end of 2008, the closed loop inventory
management system for the kiosks in Switzerland should be fully
implemented. A clear focus on execution and speedier implementation
of current projects are both crucial. Equally important are further
reductions in organisational complexity and the introduction of lean
and effective structures.

Things have got off to a good start in the first two months and this
not only paves the way for a successful financial year in 2008 but
also acts as a spur towards ambitious long-term objectives. Over the
next three years, the Valora Group has set itself the target of
achieving annual sales growth of 3 - 5% and of improving its EBIT by
10 - 15% each year. Retail activities will be the primary source of
this expansion.

Valora Telephone Conference - 2007 Full Year Results
Thursday, April 3, 16:00 CET

The management of Valora Holding AG will provide information about
the 2007 Valora Annual Report during a telephone conference. The
dial-in conference call will be held in English.

To participate in the conference: call one of the following numbers
(please call 5 to 10 minutes before the hour):

Dial-in numbers:
+41 (0)91 610 56 00 (Europe and rest of world)
+1 (1)866 291 41 66 (USA toll free)
+44 (0)20 7107 0611 (UK)

A playback (audio web cast) of the conference will be available on the
www.valora.com web-site one hour after the conference finished.

end of announcement euro adhoc

ots Originaltext: Valora Holding AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:

Information on April 3, 2008:

Questions relating to this media release will be answered at the media and
analysts´ conferences to be held on April 3, 2008.

The 2007 annual report and a presentation for the media and analysts´
conferences are available on www.valora.com

Branche: Retail
ISIN: CH0002088976
WKN: 208897
Börsen: SWX Swiss Exchange / official market
BX Berne eXchange / official dealing


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