Consolidated sales € 230.9 ml, +8.1% on the same period of 2007 (€ 213.6 ml at 30/06/07), EBITDA € 53.5 ml (+12.5% compared with € 47.6 ml at 30/06/07), EBIT € 27.5 ml (+19.5% vs €23 ml of the 1H 2007), consolidated net profit of € 23.1 (+112.2% vs € 10.9 ml on 1H 2007).

These are the highlights specified in the first half 2008 results approved earlier today by the Board of Directors of SOL S.p.A., a listed company on the Italian Stock Exchange that acts as holding company to a multination group of 42 companies, with more than 1,750 employees, involved in the area of technical gases and home-care assistance, operating in 17 European countries.

The increase of the sales (+8.1%) has been mostly realized abroad (+17.1%); in Italy the growth (+3.3%) was affected by the economic stagnation. The technical gases business increased the sales by 6.8%, while the home-care business, in which the Group operates through VIVISOL, by 11.6%.

The gross operating profit (€53.5m, equal to 23.2% on sales vs €47.6m at 30/06/2007), in despite of the continuous increase of energy and distribution costs, has been positively influenced by the good performance of the Group outside of Italy.

The first half 2008 EBIT increased significantly by 19.5%, in despite of the growth of the depreciation costs.

The consolidated net profit includes the one off positive effect of € 8 ml on the tax charge arising from the alignment by the Italian companies of the book and tax values of their assets (2008 government Budget).

In financial terms, operating cash flow is €48.5m (€34.7m in the same period of 2007); the total net debt is €133.5m, increased by €19.3m vs 31/12/07, due to the investments made in the first six months of €37.7m, to the payment of the dividends of €7.3m and to the increase of working capital.

There are no subsequent relevant events after June 30, 2008.

“We consider positive the results achieved in the first half of 2008” affirmed Marco Annoni, Vice-President of SOL S.p.A. “The results show a significant growth, 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, internationalization and diversification in the home-care business.”

$quot;In the year 2008”, concluded SOL Chairman Aldo Fumagalli Romario, “we expect to consolidate the increasing trend of turnover and to maintain the profitability of the Group despite the economic framework is continuously getting worse.”