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Brock comments on Atlas Copco’s Q2 results 2004

July 16, 2004

Stockholm, Sweden, July 16, 2004: Today, the Atlas Copco Group reported its second quarter results. “We achieved strong sales growth in all regions”, says Gunnar Brock, President and CEO. “The Group’s profit margins improved and the Rental Service business area contributed with a sharp improvement, achieved mainly through internal efforts.”

Orders received were MSEK 12 599 (11 498) in the second quarter, corresponding to a volume increase of 11%. Revenues were MSEK 12 079 (11 148), up 10% in volume. The operating margin increased to 13.3% (11.7). Profit after financial items increased 25% to MSEK 1 518 (1 212), corresponding to a margin of 12.6% (10.9). Earnings per share were up 25%, to SEK 4.84 (3.87).


The Group continued to focus on the development of high potential growth markets and growing the aftermarket. The acquisition of Ingersoll-Rand Drilling Solutions was finalized in the quarter. “The acquired business has a perfect strategic fit and contributes with complementary products and market coverage to our already strong growth platform.”


Operating profit in the Rental Service business area improved 70% to MSEK 360 (212). “We are very pleased with the performance of our rental business. This comes from price and volume increases and improved efficiency, primarily through better asset utilization.”


Overall, the positive demand trend for Atlas Copco’s products and services is expected to continue in the near-term. “In North America, demand from the manufacturing and process industries is expected to increase, while the non-residential construction sector is expected to remain largely at present level. In Europe, demand is expected to continue to increase somewhat, with Eastern Europe still providing the best opportunities for growth. The strong development in Asia is foreseen to continue, but at lower rate than in the most recent quarters.”


Contact:

Cathrine Gustafsdahl, Communications Manager

+46 (0)8 743 8074 or +46 (0)70 349 8074

Atlas Copco is an international industrial Group with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2003, the Group had revenues of approximately SEK 45 billion (EUR 4.9 billion), 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.