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Strong growth in revenues and earnings in fiscal year 2004, confident of further growth in 2005

Detailed results for fiscal year 2004 and fourth quarter 2004

austriamicrosystems (SWX: AMS), a leading supplier of high performance analog ICs for communications, industry & medical and automotive applications, announces detailed financial results for the full year 2004 and fourth quarter 2004.

austriamicrosystems recorded strong growth in revenues and earnings in 2004. Group revenues for the past fiscal year reached a record high of EUR 160.5 million, increasing by 19.4% or EUR 26.1 million compared to the previous year. Revenues for the fourth quarter 2004 were EUR 50.5 million, an increase of 12.2% (or EUR 5.5 million) compared to the same quarter 2003.

Gross margin for the full year 2004 rose to 43%, expanding considerably from 40% in the previous fiscal year. In the fourth quarter 2004, gross margin reached 44% compared to 45% in the same period 2003. With lower research & development and sales, general and administrative expenses as percentage of revenues for fiscal year 2004, the group result from operations according to IFRS (EBIT) for 2004 grew strongly to EUR 20.6 million. This is an increase of more than 300% (or EUR 15.7 million) compared to 2003. The group result from operations for the fourth quarter 2004 amounted to EUR 9.4 million, increasing by EUR 7.6 million compared to the same period 2003.

Net income for the fiscal year 2004 rose to EUR 3.7 million from EUR 0.6 million in the previous year, resulting in earnings per share for the fiscal year 2004 of CHF 0.56 / EUR 0.36. Net income for the fourth quarter 2004 was EUR 7.5 million, an increase of EUR 6.9 million compared to the same period 2003.

Net income for fiscal year 2004 was impacted by a one-time extraordinary non-cash adjustment to our deferred tax asset of around EUR 12 million in the second quarter 2004. Required by IFRS, this adjustment reflects the lowering of the Austrian corporate tax rate from 34% to 25% from January 1st, 2005. Excluding the non-cash tax adjustment, net income for the fiscal year 2004 would have reached EUR 15.8 million, equivalent to earnings per share of CHF 2.38 / EUR 1.54.

Cash and short term investments reached EUR 17.3 million on December 31, 2004 compared to EUR 14.9 million at the end of 2003. The accelerated paydown of long-term debt from the IPO proceeds resulted in net debt decreasing significantly from EUR 113.3 million at year-end 2003 to EUR 53.4 million on December 31, 2004 while financing costs for fiscal year 2004 were significantly lower compared to 2003. Cash flow from operations in the year 2004 amounted to EUR 38.9 million, an increase of 201% (or EUR 26.0 million) compared to 2003, while capital expenditures for the full year 2004 of EUR 21.0 million reflect a slight decrease from the previous year. Total backlog stood at EUR 45.3 million on December 31, 2004 compared to EUR 42.8 million at year-end 2003. The average number of employees was 819 for fiscal year 2004 compared to 808 for the year 2003, and 824 for the fourth quarter 2004.

All regions and business units contributed to austriamicrosystems’ strong revenue growth in fiscal year 2004. The increase in gross margin in 2004 reflects cost benefits from the further expansion of our 200mm fab, our ongoing focus on improving production efficiency and improved product mix. austriamicrosystems continued to invest in research & development in the last fiscal year, laying the foundation for future growth and innovation in the marketplace. Sales, general and administrative expenses for 2004 decreased as percentage of revenues indicating increased traction of austriamicrosystems’ international sales network.

austriamicrosystems’ business performed strongly in the past fiscal year. Its extensive analog design expertise, integration skills and advanced process technologies helped austriamicrosystems achieve significant market success with existing and new products for its expanding global customer base. As a result, austriamicrosystems was able to further strengthen its position in the worldwide analog semiconductor market.

Leveraging its know-how in low power consumption and high accuracy, austriamicrosystems brought a number of innovative new standard products and product families to the market in 2004. These included an industry-leading family of portable audio ICs for MP3-based media player applications, a novel lighting management solution for portable devices and an advanced rotary encoder sensor allowing contactless position and speed measurement.

austriamicrosystems also launched the new product segment Standard Linear, expected to become a significant growth driver for the company in coming years. Building on its strong IP base resulting from more than 20 years experience in analog chip design, austriamicrosystems last year introduced a broad portfolio of high performance Standard Linear products which continues to be expanded. To accelerate growth in its standard product business including Standard Linear, austriamicrosystems created a global network of leading distributors providing full market coverage in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Japan.

austriamicrosystems completed a further expansion step of its state-of-the-art automotive-qualified 200mm wafer fab in 2004, creating a strong platform to support future growth for years to come. austriamicrosystems’ business unit Full Service Foundry continued to operate successfully as a leading analog foundry focused on specialty processes. The introduction of an integrated ERP software system from SAP for major functional areas of the business was accomplished in record time and significantly strengthened austriamicrosystems’ internal systems going forward.

With innovative standard products and customer-specific developments, austriamicrosystems is strongly positioned in the global analog semiconductor market for further growth in its focus segments Power Management, Sensors & Sensor Interfaces, Car Access and Portable Audio.

austriamicrosystems is confident for 2005 and expects its business to develop positively in the current fiscal year with further growth in revenues and earnings. Based on currently available information, austriamicrosystems foresees revenue growth of between 10 and 15% and substantial growth in earnings for the fiscal year 2005.

About austriamicrosystems
austriamicrosystems is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs, combining more than 20 years of analog design capabilities and system know-how with its own state-of-the-art manufacturing and test facilities. austriamicrosystems leverages its expertise in low power and high accuracy to provide industry-leading customized and standard analog products. Operating worldwide with more than 800 employees, austriamicrosystems focuses on the areas of power management, sensors & sensor interfaces, portable audio and car access through its business units Communications, Industry & Medical, Automotive and Full Service Foundry. austriamicrosystems is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange in Zurich (ticker symbol: AMS).


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