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Ulm, 13.05.2014 - Shareholders‘ Meeting at Uzin Utz AG

Successful financial year in 2013 – Highly promising start to the financial year in 2014 – shareholders decide upon a dividend of 0.80 € per share

Uzin Utz AG is able – as already reported in April – to look back upon a successful financial year in 2013.  The sales revenue in the Group went up in 2013 to a new record turnover of 217.0 million EUR.  In spite of difficult economic circumstances and persistently poor weather across large tracts of Europe  the business managed to hold its own well during the first two quarters and earned itself very highly satisfactory figures all down the line.  The business also managed to increase the result from normal business activity adjusted by the special item produced by the sale of the Paint products for the processing trades division.

At the Company’s shareholders‘ meeting the chairman of the board Dr H Werner Utz explained the course of business over the past financial year.  Today Utz said to just under 200 shareholders in the Donauhalle in Ulm that looking back over the financial year 2013 he sees good cause to be pleased.  "In 2013 we undertook comprehensive investment for the future of our business.  Since thinking long-term has always been the bedrock of our approach.  We focus upon what today’s customers and the customers of tomorrow want and need and we always think one step ahead." We have, for example, achieved a new record proportion of new developments at Group level by increasing it from 55.4 percent up to 59.6 percent.  The Wirtschaftswoche journal didn’t nominate us as being the second most innovative SME in Germany for nothing last April.

"Uzin Utz AG and its employees have and have always had the courage to take on and get to grips with new challenges", according to the chairman of the board.  "This is also shown by the financial year 2013.  New ideas, courage and determination are needed to maintain the leadership of the industry.  We possess all these because our staff, the industry and our associates and customers are behind us.  A heart-felt "thank-you" is also owed in particular to our staff.  It is they who are the foundation upon which our future is to be built," emphasised Utz.

The Group’s sales revenue increased in 2013 – and this in spite of difficult economic factors, such as the persistently volatile economic and financial markets and the ever subdued economic growth in Europe and the rest of the world – about 4.7% or so above the figure of 207.3 million EUR for the previous year up to 217.0 million EUR.

The result from normal trading activity adjusted by the item produced by the sale of the Paint products for the processing trades division is 12.4 million EUR and has increased by 2.9% compared with the comparable figure for the previous year.

Thomas Müllerschön, responsible on the board at Uzin Utz for Financing and Sales said that 2013 had been a year full of energy, creativity and creative for the Uzin Utz Group, in which the Group had achieved a great deal. But he also said that 2013 had been a year in which Uzin Utz had made a rather slow start in many parts of Europe in the first two quarters due to the prolonged period of inclement weather. But he said that the Group was able to make up its deficit in the second half of the year, increase its turnover and improve its results.  All in all he said that the financial year 2013 had been another successful year for the Company.

"As a result we are able to submit record figures once more, such as a record turnover or a record figure for the proportion of applications which were successful. All in all, the Uzin Utz Group did very well to hold its own in a challenging economic environment and in important respects it did better than the competition.  In Germany, our domestic market, and in the Netherlands, we managed to consolidate our position as market leader and in some other European markets we succeeded in increasing our market share again.  This means that Uzin Utz AG has managed to extend its lead in its industry and earn encouraging figures across the board."  In addition to this the figures take into consideration a special financial burden in 2013 amounting to about 1 million EUR for special topics such as the BOP and Lavanior projects.
Today the Company has underscored its conviction that to continue to be as successful as it has been in the past, it is absolutely essential to invest in the future.  Altogether the Group invested 19.5 million EUR in 2013, which is attributable primarily to the projects in the USA, and in The Netherlands as well as at our headquarters here in Ulm. "The focus is now on maximising the potential of our operations throughout the world and by doing so continue to strengthen our position in our foreign markets.  Our objective is to be a local supplier with global experience, who develops and manufactures locally so that the customers are in each country are offered service packages designed to meet their individual requirements in line with national requirements.  This is how we earn the trust required to underpin long-term business relationships," emphasised Müllerschön.

Development in the first quarter of 2014 and Forecasts
Company development in the first quarter of 2014 has been very promising.  Uzin Utz has managed to achieve significant growth in both turnover and profits.  As a result the Group recorded an increase in turnover of 8.4% to about 55.7 million EUR (51.4).  The profits from normal business activity were 3.0 million EUR (last year 2.6) or 16.6% above the figures for the previous year. The focus for the coming years has been defined as the maximisation of potential.  The Company announced that as part of its global growth strategy it intended to raise its profile throughout the world and in doing so fully exploit the potential of all operations throughout the world, with the aim of strengthening its position in its foreign markets even more. In addition to Germany the targeted countries and regions specified defined are Asia, the Benelux states, France, Eastern Europe, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Great Britain and the USA.   
The expansion targets of the coming years will be supported by a recovery of the construction industry and housing sector in Germany and in many of the most important target markets of the Group, in particular in the USA as well.

The expectations in Germany are positive overall for 2014, since it is assumed that building investment will increase again in the coming months.  The increase in planning consents granted lead Uzin Utz to believe that the upward growth trend in the construction of housing will continue. The upwards trend in public sector construction has already begun and a survey conducted by the Central Association of the German Construction Industry has announced positive responses concerning business in the housing and commercial property construction sectors.  According to research conducted by the Ifo Institute, between 2013 and 2016 annual growth rates of between 5.4 and 8.7% can be expected for completed residential buildings in all the regions of Germany.  This means that the construction industry is once more developing into one of the mainstays of the economy.   

"Our core markets are Europe and the USA.  The opportunities for the USA and for the Uzin Utz Group are chiefly to be found in the American housing construction sector, which is benefiting from low interest rates and house prices increasing again.  The American economy will pick up again in 2014, as a result, in particular, of the low energy prices".  The chairman of the board drew attention to the fact that, "The forecasts for the construction industry are good in virtually all the regions which are important for the Group".

He said that this does not mean that Uzin Utz wants to grow "at any price", but is aiming instead at long-term profitability.  That is why not only all growth strategies but also the entire Group is based upon professional finance and risk management.

"We have ambitious goals and we shall achieve them too, since our progress is the result of courage.  To us courage means being proactive.  And we can be brave because we are acting together – on the basis of our tradition, our innovative prowess and our culture of sticking together", is what Müllerschön had to say. He went onto add that Uzin Utz, has always gone its own way –regardless of what the doubters in the industry have said, and this is also proven by the Lavanior project for creative wall design aimed at painters and the flooring internet portal BOP, which is aiming to tap the E-commerce sector by adopting an intelligent approach.

As of today the Company is assuming that 2014 will be another successful year for business based upon the good outlook for the construction industry and the economy throughout the world as well as in Europe.

Uzin Utz is optimistic about 2014 and it would like to establish itself against the competition in future as well with its unique creativity, customer proximity and innovation.

84.2 percent of the subscribed capital were represented at the shareholders‘ meeting.  The shareholders approved the proposal submitted by the supervisory board and executive board that as a result of 2013 having been a good year for business, a dividend of 0.80 Euro per share be distributed.  This is the equivalent of a dividend yield of 3.56 percent.  This means that the total dividend distributed will be 4,030,993.60 Euro.

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