Sol\\$quot;s board of directors has approved the first half 2006 results

At the close of business on 30 June 2005 reported consolidated sales were up 9.5 per cent to €174.2m from 2004. This year, 2006, consolidated sales reached €196.4m, an increase of 12.8 per cent on the same period of 2005.

Consolidated net profits took a tumble due to a fine of €6.8m by the Italian Antitrust Authority. 2006 reported net profits reached €8.4m in relation to 2005\\$quot;s €9.4m

Excellent growth in sales is due to the strong development on sales abroad and in Italy has increased drastically by 16.2 per cent and 11.2 per cent respectively. In comparison to the first half 2005, the technical gases business increased the sales by 11.4 per cent, while the home-care business, operated through VIVISOL, by 16.2 per cent.

Marco Annoni, vice president of SOL S.p.A affirmed; "The results show a significant growth and good profitability, despite the continuous increase of the energy costs. It is a significant signal that confirms our choices about production plant strengthening, product and service range enlargement, internationalisation and diversification in home-care business."

"In the year 2006",concluded SOL chairman Aldo Fumagalli Romario, "we expect to consolidate the increasing trend of turnover and to maintain the profitability of the group."