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The Board of Directors of Sasib SpA met today in Milan to approve the proposed 1999 statutory and consolidated financial statements.

1999 was a positive year for the Sasib Group, both in terms of volumes and of profits. This result is even more significant if it is seen against a very difficult international scenario for most of the year where signs of recovery were evident only in the last quarter.

Consolidated sales were ITL 1,036 billion, up by 5% compared with 1998 (987 billion). Increased sales were attributable to revenues brought by the new acquisitions.

Orders received were worth ITL 1,081 billion, compared with 960 billion in 1998 (+12.7%). As at the same consolidated basis the increase was 5.6%. The good performance of orders was seen in both business areas ('Wet Products' and 'Dry Products'), thanks to good results in the last quarter of the year which benefited from economic recovery in the principal markets.

The order backlog at 31 December 1999 stood at ITL 374 billion showing a growth of 13.8% compared with 31 December 1998 (329 billion).

The operating profit was ITL 45 billion, compared with 40 billion the previous year (+11.8%). This result is even more significant if one considers the strong pressure of competition which impacted price levels in all the markets.

The profit before taxes and extraordinary items resulting from the adjustment of the sale price of Sasib Railway to the Alstom Group was ITL 27.3 billion, compared with ITL 15.2 billion in 1998 (+79%).
The extraordinary charge which impacted the Income Statement of Sasib by ITL 11.6 billion determined a final pre-tax profit of ITL 15.7 billion.

The net profit before the above charge for the sale of Sabib Railway and before deferred tax credits was 15.3 billion, compared with 5 billion in 1998.

The final net result is plus 7.5 billion.

The net financial position at 31 December 1999 shows total indebtedness of ITL 162.1 billion, compared with 108.9 billion at 31 December 1998. This change is virtually all due to the impact of the new acquisitions.

Consolidated shareholders' equity as at 31 December 1999 was ITL 84.4 billion, compared with 68.5 billion at the end of 1998.

The number of employees in the group was 3,118 at 31 December 1999, against 2,922 at 31 December 1998. This increase is the result of incorporating the companies acquired (+283) and restructuring the Group (-87).

During the 1999 financial year, to complete the range of products and services the company offers its customers, Sasib successfully strengthened its principal areas of business through the following acquisitions: OXE (labelling machines), SPS (machinery for putting fillings into biscuits), pasta (the Braibanti brand) and bakery (the Simer brand) from the Braibanti Golfetto group. In the first few months of 2000, Sasib also acquired control of Elettric 80, leader in the development of automated systems for palletization, moving goods and logistics.

The completion of the product range offered by Sasib has been carried out thanks to the development of new technology and new products. In particular in the area of Wet Products it is worth mentioning the new generation of blowers for plastic containers and the new range of sterile linear fillers. In the Dry Products area the plan for machinery of the new series '1000' (average speed) has been completed and the series '2000' (high speed) has been completely updated for the biscuit sector.

As far as the foreign activities of the Group are concerned, mid September saw the inauguration of the Sasib headquarters in India in New Delhi, and shortly afterwards the opening of the new production plant in Beijing (China) which complements the centres of commercial activity and after-sales assistance that already existed in Beijing and Guanghzou. With the opening, on 16 November, of the new headquarters of Sasib North America in Plano (Dallas, Texas), which brings together the activities of both the Dry Products area and the Wet Products area, the plan of integration and strengthening of Sasib's presence in the USA is now complete.

In a market environment which is more favourable than that of the beginning of 1999, forecasts for 2000 are positive. The substantial portfolio or orders to start with, the new products developed within the Group and its future entry into new markets as the new acquisitions start to show results should allow revenues and profits to improve further.

Attached is a summary of the Balance Sheet (both the consolidated version and that for Italian legal requirements) and Income Statement (again both consolidated and for Italian legal requirements).

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Milan, 6 March 2000

6 March 2000