March 31, 2005

Fincantieri to pay first ever dividend

The Board of Directors of Fincantieri, meeting yesterday in Rome, approved the proposed financial statement for the year ending December 31, 2004

The statement reports a net profit of 99.5 million euros compared to 90.7 million in 2003 (profit before tax was 149.1 million euros compared to 82.8 million the previous year).

For the first time in the company's history the Board has decided to propose to the Shareholders' Meeting the payment of a dividend of 10,113,345.90 euros, equivalent to 3 percent of share capital.

The board reports that "financial availability and positive net financial credits, amounting to 278.3 million euros compared to 113.9 the previous year, confirm that positive cash flow has been generated."

Commenting on new orders, Fincantieri says that in 2004 and in the first three months of 2005, orders were gained for eighteen new vessels in the three business areas in which the company operates (cruise, merchant and naval), for approximately 4,000 million euros compared to 1,350 million euros in the January 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004 period.

The Fincantieri backlog now amounts to approximately 6,000 million euros with the total value of the company's order book being approximately 8,500 million euros.

Last year, Fincantieri delivered four cruise ships and two other commercial vessels and launched the future flagship of the Italian Navy, the aircraft carrier Cavour.

Fincantieri says it "intends to enhance its expertise in the areas where it is already prominent" and plans to gain further ground in the "contiguous markets" of cruise ship refurbishment, mega-yacht construction and marine systems.

"These new business areas, which have been identified by carefully selecting emerging opportunities, will be developed, where required, also by means of strategic alliances."


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