18.8.2003 09:00

Atria Group's operating profit in the first quarter of 2003 was
EUR 11.6 million (EUR 9.5 million). The profit before
extraordinary items, was EUR 7.9 million (EUR 7.4 million). The
turnover was EUR 374.8 million (EUR 330.0 million), earnings per
share EUR 0.35 (EUR 0.32) and shareholders' equity per share was
EUR 11.83 (EUR 11.35).

PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT GROUP                           
(EUR Million)                    1-6/2003   1-6/2002  1-12/2002
TURNOVER                            374.8      330.0     707.0
NET OPERATING PROFIT                 11.6        9.5      25.6
PROFIT BEFORE                                                 
EXTRAORDINARY ITEMS                   7.9        7.4      20.4
PROFIT BEFORE TAXES                   7.9        7.4      20.4
PROFIT                                5.6        5.1      14.1
The taxes in the profit and loss account are equivalent tax on
for the period under review.                                  
BALANCE SHEET, GROUP                                          
(EUR Million)                                                 
ASSETS                          30.6.2003  30.6.2002  31.12.2002
FIXED ASSETS                                            
Intangible assets                    47.8       41.0      50.1
Tangible assets                     250.7      217.5     243.8
Financial assets                      5.6        7.5       5.0
CURRENT ASSETS                                                
Inventories                          45.7       40.2      46.1
Receivables                          88.1       79.4      77.5
Cash in hand and at bank             11.7        9.5      16.5
TOTAL                               449.6      395.1     439.0
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY                                          
Share capital and                                             
other shareholders´equity           187.1      179.6     188.6
MINORITY INTEREST                     1.2        1.1       1.2
Long-term                           113.8       80.6     123.4
Short-term                          147.5      133.8     125.8
TOTAL                               449.6      395.1     439.0
KEY FIGURES (EUR)                                       
                                30.6.2003  30.6.2002  31.12.2002
Gross investments in                                    
fixed assets                         19.0       19.9      66.0
Gross investments                                             
% of turnover                         5.1        6.0       9.3
Personnel on average                 3564       3298      3300
Earnings per share                   0.35       0.32      0.89
Shareholders' equity per share      11.83      11.35     11.92
Equity ratio, %                      41.9       45.8      43.3
Interest-bearing debt               168.8      133.8     157.9
CONSOLIDATED CASH                                             
FLOW STATEMENT (EUR million)     1-6/2003   1-6/2002  1-12/2002
Cash flow from operations            14.4       18.6      50.9
Financing items and taxes            -5.7       -8.0     -14.9
Cash flow from operating              8.7       10.6      36.0
Investing activities                -19.0      -19.8     -66.1
Cash flow from investing            -19.0      -19.8     -66.1
Net change in loans                  12.3       15.4      43.2
Dividends paid                       -6.7       -6.8      -6.8
Net cash from financing               5.6        8.6      36.4
Change in liquid funds               -4.7       -0.6       6.3
CONSOLIDATED LIABILITIES                                
(EUR million)                                          
                                30.6.2003  30.6.2002  31.12.20
DEBTS INVOLVING MORTGAGES OR                            
OTHER COLLATERAL AS SECURITY                            
Loans from financial                                    
institutions                         99.5       79.7      95.0
Pension loans                         5.1        5.7       5.4
Total                               104.6       85.4     100.4
MORTGAGES AND OTHER COLLATERAL                                 
GIVEN AS GENERAL SECURITY                                     
Mortgages on real property           75.4       62.2      64.4
Mortgages on company assets          48.0       22.3      25.6
Other collateral                     47.1       67.9      40.6
Total                               170.5      152.4     130.6
MORGAGES AND OTHER COLLATERAL                                   
ON BEHALF OF GROUP COMPANIES                                  
Guarantees                           34.3          -      21.8
CONTINGENT LIABILITIES NOT                                    
INCLUDED IN THE BALANCE SHEET                                 
Limits not used                      77.7       55.8      82.3
Guarantees                            0.9        0.8       1.0
Leasing liabilities                                           
Payable in the next                                           
financial year                        0.9        0.6       1.0
Payable later                         1.3        1.2       1.2
Total                                 2.2        1.8       2.2
The figures are not audited.                            


The Atria Group’s turnover in the first half of the year was up
13.6% to EUR 374.8 million (EUR 330.0 million in 2002). The bulk
of the growth came in Sweden, because the operations of Samfood
AB, which was acquired last autumn, were now included in the Group
figures for the whole first half of the year. Operations in Sweden
accounted for 38% of consolidated turnover.

Consolidated profit before extraordinary items in the report
period was EUR 7.9 million (EUR 7.4 million) and it was EUR 5.9
million in the second quarter (EUR 5.2 million). Operating profit
in the second quarter was EUR 7.8 million (EUR 6.4 million), up
21.9%, and half-year operating profit was EUR 11.6 million (EUR
9.5 million), up 22.1%. Earnings generated by the units showed
structural differences. Operations in Sweden and processed meat
production in Finland improved their earnings, whereas the result
for slaughterhouse operations in Finland weakened further. The
slaughterhouse industry’s earnings have been hurt by the very low
level of pork prices due to heavy overproduction worldwide. The
business cycle is expected to improve during 2004. This will have
a major bearing on the earnings generated by the entire Group. All
in all, Atria’s volume of meat procurements grew by 7.5 percentage

From the beginning of 2003, the Atria Group went over to a new
corporate structure. The parent company is Atria Group plc, which
owns the shares in subsidiaries and the fixed assets. The
businesses in Finland are run by the subsidiaries Atria Oy and
Liha ja Säilyke Oy. The subsidiary Lithells AB is responsible for
operations in Sweden.

Following the Samfood acquisition, Atria Group plc is the largest
manufacturer of meat products in the Nordic countries and the
Baltic area.

Positive trend in retail sales

Atria Oy’s retail sales showed positive development in the major
product groups. The company strengthened further its position as
the market leader in cold cuts, and sales of poultry and retail-
packed meat developed favourably. Cold weather conditions weakened
grill-season sales in the early summer but, all things considered,
the Group’s summer sales, delivery reliability and the summer
season as a whole held up well. Sales of cheap grill sausages
declined in step with the sharp fall in market prices, but within
A-class grill sausages, Wilhelm retained its strong position and
Atria was the market leader within the entire grill sausage

Liha ja Säilyke Oy

The salads and cold cuts which Liha ja Säilyke Oy manufactures and
sells under the Forssan brand have sold well. Delivery reliability
in the summer season remained good and market share grew. The
company has trimmed its product assortment and concentrated on its
strong product groups. Turnover was EUR 20.1 million, growing by

The Lithells Group shows strong growth and a positive trend in

At present, the Lithells Group comprises Atria Lithells AB and
Samfood AB, which manufacture meat products and convenience foods,
the Atria Concept AB fast food business and Svensk Snabbmat AB,
which operates in the local wholesale trade.

     Atria Lithells AB and Samfood AB, meat products and
convenience foods

Operations of the previously loss-making Samfood AB, which was
acquired in September 2002, have been restored to profitability
during the second quarter nearly in line with the planned
timetable. At the same time, the market share in Sweden of the
meat products manufactured by the Lithells Group rose to about a
quarter of Sweden’s total market. Integrating the Samfood business
into our operations in Sweden has largely been completed. The most
important changes, such as moving production from the Hamnen plant
in Malmö to the Fosie plant and the expiry of the Hamnen plant’s
lease agreement have for the most part taken place during the
second quarter and will be seen to completion during the third
quarter. Similarly, the consolidation of sausage production within
the Sköllersta plant has nearly been completed. The handling of
retail-packed meat has been centralised at Årsta near Stockholm.
Concurrently, an important long-term co-operation agreement on
retail-packed meat was signed with Coop Sverige AB.

     Atria Concept AB, fast food business

Atria Concept, whose operations encompass fast food stands and the
Sibylla Inside business, increased its share of sales by fast food
stands through an acquisition. The Sibylla chain was rounded out
by the addition of the Fyrkanten and Sammy’s chains, doubling the
number of units in Sweden. At present, Atria Concept has a market
share of about 65% of the market in fast food stands in Sweden.

The Sibylla Inside business registered fast organic growth,
increasing the number of new units in the chain by more than 40%.
Sibylla Inside has about 930 outlets in Sweden, 250 in Finland and
over 100 in Denmark as well as a total of more than 300 in Poland
and the three Baltic countries.

According to a consumer survey carried out by the ISI Wissing
consumer research institute, the Sibylla brand ranks highest among
customers as a fast food brand. This survey covered all the fast
food chains in the Swedish market.

     Svensk Snabbmat AB, local wholesale business

The Svensk Snabbmat AB local wholesale trade, which is a non-core
business of Lithells AB, retained its position despite the
weakening in consumer demand in the catering products market.
Svensk Snabbmat AB has maintained its profitability at the
previous year’s level.

Atria stakes out a position in Lithuania

On 8 July 2003, Atria Group plc signed an agreement on acquiring
the Lithuanian company UAB Saltuva. Via the deal, the company will
become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atria. UAB Saltuva will pass
into Atria’s ownership on 28 August 2003.

UAB Saltuva has just started building a meat processing plant in
Vilnius. The company has obtained a significant investment grant
for this purpose. The intention is for the company to have its
products custom-produced until the new company’s plant has been
completed. Thereafter, the custom manufacturer will wind up meat
processing operations at the old plant because its technology does
not meet the EU’s requirements now that Lithuania will become a
member of the EU in spring 2004. The company’s present management
will stay on, and its well-known brands and marketing channels
will similarly be retained in line with operations up to now. The
company also exports products to Latvia.

UAB Saltuva presently has turnover of EUR 10 million and its
market share of meat products in Lithuania is estimated at about

Atria’s objective is to move ahead step by step on its way to
becoming a strong player in the largest markets in the Baltic
area. At present, no other western-owned companies in the meat
processing industry are operating in Lithuania, and following
Lithuania’s accession to membership of the EU, structural changes
are expected to take place in the industry.

Atria is also currently exploring the conditions and potential for
starting operations in western Russia. If the preconditions for
starting operations are felt to be adequate, the objective will be
to launch a step-by-step entry into the market either alone or
together with an appropriate partner in co-operation, depending on
the extent and objective of the operations.

Group investments

During spring, Atria Oy placed in use the extension - built at a
cost of about 20 million euros - to its poultry processing plant.
The start-up has gone according to plans. The extension and the
operational changes it brings will be fully integrated into
operations during the third quarter. In other respects, Atria’s
investments in operations in Finland have consisted mainly of
replacement investments.

In the autumn Liha ja Säilyke Oy will begin building facilities
intended for the product dispatching functions. Plans have been
laid in good co-operation with the town of Forssa and, when
completed, the facilities will also make it possible to expand
production operations because the previous premises will be
available for these usage purposes.

The investments made by the Lithells Group went primarily for
reorganising operations and partly for modernising production
lines. The objective is to keep investments at a level where they
can be financed from the cash flow generated in Sweden.

Outlook for the future

The Atria Group’s operations showed positive development within
the processed meat industry. By contrast, the profitability of
slaughterhouse operations was weak.

A significant factor underlying earnings is that Atria has been
able to make strong cost adjustments in all areas of operations.
Despite this, it is still very difficult to forecast profits going
forward owing to the situation in the meat markets and
particularly in the pork market. The sharp downswing that has
persisted for a year and a half may come to a halt, but a cyclical
rebound in this sector is not likely to take place until some time
next year. Furthermore, the strengthening in the euro against the
US dollar has weakened the profitability of pork meat sales both
in Finland and across Europe.

After the downsizing costs in the first months of the year,
operations in Sweden have had good profitability and it is
believed that the current momentum will continue ahead. Because
within operations in Finland there has also been a positive trend
in the profitability of the meat products and poultry business,
the entire Group’s earnings trend will depend crucially on the
major changes unfolding within the slaughtering industry.


Seppo Paatelainen

Helsinki Exchanges
Principal media

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