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Introduction

The Ansaldo STS Group recorded a net profi t of EUR 77,599 thousand at 31 December 2008 compared with net profi t of EUR 58,278 thousand for the same period of 2007. Revenues at 31 December 2008 came to EUR 1,105,515 thousand, compared with EUR 973,094 thousand at 31 December 2007. The Group’s EBIT margin went from 10.31% at 31 December 2007 to 10.63% at 31 December 2008. Orders at 31 December 2008 came to EUR 1,296,609 thousand compared with EUR 1,532,452 thousand at 31 December 2007. The decrease is principally attributable to the Transport Systems Business Unit, which closed the preceding year with the acquisition of an exceptionally large order (Naples Metro Line 6 for EUR 426 million). The value of the backlog at 31 December 2008, equal to EUR 3,136 million, refl ects the trend of orders acquired, and shows an increase of 5.25% in comparison with the final figure for 2007 of EUR 2,980 million.

The data outlined above are fully in line with or in excess of the 2006-2008 targets published at the time of the IPO, and are evidence of a business year that can be considered satisfactory overall from the standpoint of the Group’s growth, profi tability, and capital and financial solidity. In addition, it is noted that the actions undertaken and results achieved in 2008 have paved the way for the continuation of a positive trend for the Group, also for the near future. More specifically, the signifi cant order volume acquired by the Transport Systems Business Unit put the corresponding value of the backlog at more than EUR 1,843 million at 31 December 2008, equal to roughly seven years of productive activity: this paves the way for signifi cant development of this business over the next three years. As far as the Signalling Business Unit is concerned, the year of 2008 was marked by a sizeable geographic expansion of the potential market, which has already yielded important results in terms of the acquisition of new orders in particular important business segments and countries. The Group has already acquired solid knowledge in the strategic technologies of the sector, for example with the European Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and driverless automatic train control (ATC), and it is consolidating its knowledge in other technologies such as communication-based train control (CBTC). This expertise, the peculiar geographic distribution of the Group business at global level, and the additional efforts of commercial penetration in the new areas characterised by high growth rates (Central and Eastern Europe, Southern Africa, and Middle and Far East) confi rm the Group’s favourable competitive position and make it possible to look to the future with reasonable serenity.

In the period from 2 January to 28 December 2008, the official share price went from EUR 8.65 to EUR 10.02, with an increase of 15.4%. The increase materialised in a market whose overall performance for the same period is refl ected by the S&P/Mib Index that lost 49.5% (with the corresponding capitalisation of the listed companies down by more than half), and the ALLSTAR index of reference which lost 40.5%. The Ansaldo STS shares ranked in the fourth position on the list of only seven stocks on the Milan Borsa that performed positively for the year. The Ansaldo STS’ beta with respect to the MIBTEL remained one of the lowest at 0.07 (conservative), while the index of correlation was 0.52 (moderate/low correlation). During the fi nal quarter of 2008, Berenberg Bank and EthicFinance published reports initiating coverage of the Ansaldo STS shares, with the latter institution indicating the possibility of an investment on the part of ethical funds. The new coverage is added to that begun by Unicredit, Banca Leonardo and Société Générale in 2008, for a total of 18 institutions now covering the shares.

It is noted that:

  • Starting with the interim report at 31 March 2008, changes were made to the information in the balance sheet in order to comply with the requirements of IAS1, and therefore, the accounts “Income tax receivables “ and “Income tax payables” were inserted to replace the accounts “Tax receivables” and “Tax payables”, with the receivables and payables for indirect taxes reclassifi ed as “Other assets” and “Other liabilities”, respectively, with consequent alignment of the comparative data for the prior periods.
  • Following the approval on 20 June 2008 and the subsequent execution on 26 September 2008 of the agreement for the merger by incorporation between Ansaldo STS SpA and its subsidiaries Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario SpA and Ansaldo Trasporti Sistemi Ferroviari SpA, the option for the consolidated taxation mechanism elected on 15 June 2007 with regard to corporate income taxes was interrupted with effect as of 1 January 2009. The termination of the option does not alter the benefi t acquired when the option was exercised inasmuch as Article 124 of the Consolidated Income Tax Act does not apply in this case.
  • As from December 2008, adjustments have been made to the income statement, balance sheet and cash-fl ow statement, in order to evidence transactions with related parties, as required by IAS 1, IAS 24 and CONSOB regulations.
  • As from April 2008, the subsidiary Union Switch & Signal Private Limited changed its name to Ansaldo STS Transportation Systems India Private Limited.
  • As from January 2009, the American subsidiaries have changed their names as follows:
    • Union Switch & Signal Inc. to Ansaldo STS USA Inc; 
    • Union Switch & Signal International Co. to Ansaldo STS USA International Co.;
    • Union Switch & Signal International Projects Co. to Ansaldo STS USA International Projects Co.;
    • Transcontrol Corporation to Union Switch & Signal Inc.;

with their new names being referenced in this report.