BT Reports Results, Remains Stable in Uncertain Times


MJOLBY, Sweden, April 29, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- BT INDUSTRIES, January-March 2003

BT remains stable in uncertain times

                                   January - March
 Amounts in SEK m.                  2003      2002
 Orders received                   3,027     3,096
 Net sales                         2,923     2,936
 Income after net financial items    168       174
 Net income                          100       102
 Number of employees               7,782     7,794

The global market for industrial trucks is estimated to have increased slightly during the first quarter. This applies primarily to the segment for combustion-powered counterbalanced trucks. BT is mainly active in the electric-powered truck segment, where the market has remained uncertain.

Previous signs of a slight recovery in North America dissipated during the first quarter. On the other hand, demand for warehouse trucks rose slightly in Europe and a slight increase was also noted in the rest of the world.

BT's market share is estimated to have increased slightly in North America, while remaining unchanged in other market areas.

Impact of declining dollar

The Group's orders received amounted to SEK 3,027 m., a decrease of 2 percent compared with first quarter of the previous year. At comparable exchange rates, orders received instead rose by 6 percent.

Net sales amounted to SEK 2,923 m., which was unchanged compared with first quarter of 2002. At comparable exchange rates, net sales rose by 7 percent.

Income after net financial items decreased marginally to SEK 168 m.

"The decline in the U.S. dollar has significantly affected our sales and orders when measured in Swedish kronor," says CEO Per Zaunders. "But because BT is self-sufficient in both of its largest currency zones, with production in both Europe and North America, we are able to reduce the vulnerability of our earnings to exchange rate fluctuations."

Declining uncertainty

The global market was affected to a large degree during the first quarter of 2003 by the situation in Iraq.

"The cautious optimism in the second half of 2002 was replaced during the first months of 2003 by gradually increasing uncertainty," says CEO Per Zaunders. "Now that the acute war situation in Iraq appears to be over, we can hope for more stable economic conditions. In the years ahead a growing number of companies around the world are expected to again need to invest, which should impact our industry - as well as many others - positively.

For further information, please contact CEO Per Zaunders at +46 142 860 32 and CFO Hakan Dahllof at +46 142 863 38.

The complete interim report and other press material are available on BT Industries' home page,

General information can be obtained from Group Information & PR Coordinator Ingrid Gyhagen at +46 142 865 58 or +46 70 658 34 27.

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