The Board of Directors of the SOL Group has approved the company’s First Quarter Report 2008 results, profiting from an 8% rise in consolidated sales of €113.7m compared with the same period last year.

EBITDA of €26.3m rose 8.4% compared with €24.3m at 31st March 2007, while a good performance of gross operating profit equal to €26.3m and net operating profit of € 13.2m was reported by the company, despite the increase of the depreciation costs, due to the considerable investments made in 2007 and in the Q1 2008 and the continuous increase of energy costs.

The growth of sales is due to the strong development on sales abroad (up15.4%) and
the good trend of activity in Italy (up 4.1%). In comparison to the 31st March 2007 results, the technical gases business increased sales by 5.7%, while the home-care business, in which the group operates through VIVISOL, by 13.1%.

“We consider positive the results achieved in the first quarter of 2008,”
affirmed Marco Annoni, Vice President of SOL S.p.A.

He added, “The results show a significant growth. It is a significant signal that confirms our choices about production plant strengthening, internationalization and diversification in the home-care business.”

“In the year 2008, we expect to consolidate the increasing trend of turnover and to maintain the profitability of the group,” concluded SOL Chairman Aldo Fumagalli Romario.

In the First Quarter 2008 the investments made are equal to €17.9m, while the net financial debt is €118.7m compared with €114.2m at the same period last year. These are just some of the highlights specified in the First Quarter 2008 results approved by the Board of Directors of SOL S.p.A., a listed company on the Italian Stock Exchange.