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    Premuda S.p.A.: first semester 2000, results

At the meeting held on September 5, 2000 the Board of Directors of "Premuda S.p.A." approved the report related to first semester 2000.
The business trend for the year 2000 shows a poor start to the charter market in the first two months, followed by steady recovery and high profile performance is to be expected for the rest of this year and the next.
It should be noted that Group chartering in the two-month period July/August 2000 (normally a relatively slack season) topped first semester figures by 37%, consolidation of which is projected for the rest of the year.
Premuda, hence, closes the first semester 2000 recording 230m lire net pretax income, as against 1,074m lire for the first semester 1999.
The Group records consolidated income for the semester of 2,036m lire as against a 2,663m lire loss in the corresponding period the previous year.
Hereunder Parent Company "Premuda S.p.A." financial highlights for the semester:

the Income Statement shows 43.5bn lire value of production, over 38.8bn lire costs, and a subsequent gross margin from operations equal to 4.7bn lire, as against 3.2bn corresponding figure first semester 1999;
net financial charges, inclusive of exchange rate gains/losses, equal 4.5bn as against 2.1bn lire first semester 1999;
depreciation and amortization amount to 4,408m over 4,636m lire the first semester the previous year;
net fixed assets reach 267.2bn lire, 122.2 relating to the company-owned fleet;
net financial debt stands at 159.7bn lire, over 139.1bn as of December, 31, 1999;
corporate equity equals 108.5bn lire.

Group consolidated figures:

as against 99.6bn lire revenues, costs reach 82.6bn lire, yielding 17.0bn lire gross margin from operations;
net financial charges, inclusive of exchange rate gains/losses, rose from 4.3bn lire first semester 1999 to 11.2bn lire 2000;
net fixed assets reach 440.4bn lire, 369.7 relating to the fleet and 45.7 ongoing construction;
net financial debt equals 313.1bn lire over 205.5 as of December, 31, 1999;
Group equity stands at 130.2bn lire, 1.9bn of which to be referred to minority shareholders.

Premuda Spa Balance Sheet and Income Statement and the Group Consolidated Financial Statements as of June, 30, 2000, lire in millions, are presented, should any further perusal be required.
It is worth noting that the Board of Internal Auditors and Reconta Ernst & Young Spa external auditors - entrusted with the limited auditing of the Semester Report - are to complete the operation.
Supplementary information
In the course of the first semester 2000 the Group fleet maximum potential/modernization plan, embarked upon in 1998, proceeded with the placing of an order at the Korean Samsung shipyard for a second 160,000 dwt suezmax tanker type vessel, delivery 2003. The ship, a sister of the one already ordered for delivery in 2001, constitutes further capital expenditure of about 90bn Lire.
In the course of the first semester, February and April respectively, the first two new 72,500 dwt panamax type tankers built at Samsung began to operate, whereas the third vessel of this type will be ready in the first half of this September. Delivery date July, 13, 2000, the second of these vessels was sold to the Malaysian state oil group. The ship was the property of Premuda for fewer than three months, generating a 3.5bn Lire gain for the Group, to be reported in the second semester. Delivery early August, the two vessels Four Glens and Four Lochs were sold to Navigazione Italiana Spa, the agreement permitting the Group to charter the sole vessels for a period of five years. Premuda has reserved the option to buy the ships back at the close of each chartering semester: the agreed price of the operation would allow the Group to take full advantage of any market value increase for the ships.
The operation yielded a 7bn lire net gain, to be reported in the second semester. Delivery date August, 21, 2000 a 54,500 dwt panamax OBO, was purchased - renamed Four Astra, it is a sister ship of three already belonging to the group fleet.
Considering the renovations required to bring the ship up to Premuda quality standards, an overall estimated 12bn lire investment is envisaged. In the month of August the four vessels Four Winds, Four Skies, Four Seas and Four Tides, formerly the property of foreign subsidiaries, were transferred to Premuda and entered in the Italian International Register (Registro Internazionale Italiano). The operation demonstrates in concrete terms Premuda's appreciation of the 1998 regulation permitting considerable lowering of management costs for these ships, hence enabling them to be employed once more under the Italian flag.

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