Gelsenkirchen, 20 April 2009. The 2008 financial year for Masterflex AG was dominated by the strategic realignment and restructuring of the Group. At the end of the year, further necessary value adjustments were made following the write-downs carried out during the year. At the same time, our operating business - particularly the core business unit High-Tech Hose Systems - continued to post stable and profitable performance, which allowed us to generate a significant positive free cash flow.
The extensive impairment tests were carried out on projects and goodwill in order to remove all unsuccessful and unprofitable business from the Company and to adjust goodwill to current performance. These measures are designed to ensure that the Company remains sustainable in the future and to protect the Group from possible risks. The consolidated financial statements were produced for continued operating activities in accordance with IFRS guidelines, and therefore did not include DICOTA GmbH, which was sold in December 2008.
In the 2008 financial year, despite the difficult economic environment, consolidated revenue decreased only slightly from EUR 88.9 million to EUR 88.3. The write-downs of the past year and other non-recurring charges, which amounted to EUR 13.3 million, had a considerable impact on the balance sheet. As a result, in 2008, we posted consolidated income before taxes and interest (EBIT) from continued business units totalling EUR 7.0 million. With the EUR 7.7 million loss from the discontinuation of the Mobile Office Systems segment and the above non-recurring effects, a consolidated net loss after minority interests of EUR -15.7 million was recognised. At the Annual General Meeting on 11 August 2009, in order to secure our business performance, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board of Masterflex AG will propose that a dividend should not be paid for 2008.
In 2008, primarily as a result of non-recurring effects and losses from the de-consolidation of DICOTA GmbH, consolidated equity decreased by EUR 19.9 million from EUR 34.7 million to EUR 14.8million. As a result of the high financial liabilities totalling EUR 69.1 million assumed as a result of the substantial expansion of operating activities in recent years, clear distortions in the capital structure were recognised in the balance sheet as at 31 December 2008. In 2008, in order to improve the ability of Masterflex AG to continue operating and to expand its successful core business, the Group began to develop a sustainable plan for restructuring Group financing in conjunction with banks and advisers. In 2009, optimisation of the capital structure will remain our top priority.
The Executive Board of Masterflex AG does not expect 2009 to be an easy year. However, it foresees a range of opportunities, largely because the necessary conditions for these were created in the 2008 financial year. The market launch of a range of high-value hose innovations has been planned for the current 2009 financial year. In March 2009, also a new sales company was set up in Sweden as part of the further internationalisation of the Group.
The complete, audited 2008 financial statements will be published on 30 April 2009.