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Brock comments on Atlas Copco’s Q1 results 2004

April 27, 2004

Stockholm, Sweden, April 27, 2004 - Today, the Atlas Copco Group reported its first quarter results. “We have achieved a robust volume increase, and profit margins have increased,” says Gunnar Brock, President and CEO. “Without support from the market, the volume improved slightly in the Rental Service business area. We are proud of the strengthening of our position, and of the positive price development.”

In the first quarter, orders received were MSEK 11 577 (10 903), corresponding to a volume increase of 11%. Revenues were up 9% in volume, and amounted to MSEK 10 858 (10 400). The operating margin increased to 12.1% (10.3). Profit after financial items increased 27% to MSEK 1 211 (956), an 11.2% (9.2) margin, despite a continued negative currency development.


Compressor Technique had a very strong first quarter for all product ranges. “It is encouraging to see the strong growth in Asia continuing, and also the healthy sales of portable compressors.”


Industrial Technique had a good profit development in the first quarter. “We have gained further market share within the motor vehicle industry with our industrial tools. We are also increasingly benefiting from the restructuring activities that took place last year.”


Construction and Mining Technique has signed an agreement to acquire Ingersoll-Rand Drilling Solutions. The purchase is subject to various approvals. “The acquisition is a perfect strategic fit for Atlas Copco; the business to be acquired complements Atlas Copco’s current business in terms of product range, market coverage, and in the aftermarket organization.”


Overall, the positive demand trend for Atlas Copco’s products and services is expected to continue in the near-term. “We expect the manufacturing and process industries to continue to increase their investments and demand more aftermarket products and services. We foresee that the recent general improvement in demand for construction equipment will continue, even though the activity level in the important non-residential building sector in the United States is expected to remain largely flat. Demand from the mining industry is expected to remain high.”


CONTACT:

Annika Berglund, Senior Vice President, Group Communications

Phone: +46 8 743 8070 or +46 70 322 8070


Mattias Olsson, Investor Relations Manager

Phone: +46 8 743 8291 or +46 70 518 8291, e-mail ir@se.atlascopco.com




Atlas Copco is an international industrial Group with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2003, the Group had revenues of approximately BSEK 45 (BEUR 4.9), with 98% of revenues outside Sweden, and about 26 000 employees. The Group produces and markets compressed air equipment and generators, construction and mining equipment, electric and pneumatic tools, and assembly systems and offers related service and equipment rental. The Atlas Copco Group includes famous brands such as Atlas Copco, RSC, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Chicago Pneumatic, and AEG Power Tools. More information can be found on www.atlascopco-group.com.