28.4.2004 08:55

The Atria Group's operating profit for the review period amounted
to EUR 5.2 million (EUR 3.8 million). The Group's profit before
extraordinary items was EUR 4.0 million (EUR 2.0 million).
Turnover amounted to EUR 185.6 million (EUR 173.8 million),
earnings per share to EUR 0.12 (EUR 0.09) and equity per share to
EUR 10.74 (EUR 11.98).

PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT GROUP                                    
(EUR Million)                      1-3/2004   1-3/2003  1-12/2003
TURNOVER                              185.6      173.8      765.1
NET OPERATING PROFIT                    5.2        3.8       30.9
PROFIT BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY             4.0        2.0       23.6
PROFIT BEFORE TAXES                     4.0        2.0       23.6
PROFIT                                  2.6        1.5       15.0
The taxes in the profit and loss                                 
account are equivalent tax on
for the period under review.                                     
BALANCE SHEET, GROUP                                             
(EUR Million)                                                    
ASSETS                            31.3.2004  31.3.2003 31.12.2003
FIXED ASSETS                                                     
Intangible assets                      46.0       48.9       47.5
Tangible assets                       255.6      246.5      255.4
Financial assets                        6.6        5.3        6.1
CURRENT ASSETS                                                   
Inventories                            48.0       48.4       47.9
Receivables                            86.8       91.2       89.7
Cash in hand and at bank                9.1        6.0        9.9
TOTAL                                 452.1      446.3      456.5
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY                                             
Share capital and                                                
other shareholders' equity            226.6      189.4      224.6
MINORITY INTEREST                       1.5        1.1        1.6
Long-term                              98.1      116.6      104.3
Short-term                            125.9      139.2      126.0
TOTAL                                 452.1      446.3      456.5
KEY FIGURES (EUR)                                                
                                  31.3.2004  31.3.2003 31.12.2003
Gross investments in                                             
fixed assets                            8.1        9.0       36.4
Gross investments                                                
% of turnover                           4.4        5.1        4.8
Personnel on average                   3435       3645       3377
Earnings per share                     0.12       0.09       0.83
Shareholders' equity per share        10.74      11.98      10.65
Equity ratio, %                        50.5       42.7       49.6
Interest-bearing debt                 125.1      170.2      129.4
CONSOLIDATED CASH                                                
FLOW STATEMENT (EUR million)       1-3/2004   1-3/2003  1-12/2003
Cash flow from operations               8.9       -1.6       54.5
Financing items and taxes               0.2       -4.8      -15.1
Cash flow from operating                9.1       -6.4       39.4
Investing activities                   -8.1       -9.2      -36.4
Cash flow from investing               -8.1       -9.2      -36.4
Issue of shares paid                      -          -       26.4
Net change in loans                    -1.8        5.1      -29.2
Dividends paid                            -          -       -6.7
Net cash from financing                -1.8        5.1       -9.6
Change in liquid funds                 -0.8      -10.5       -6.5
CONSOLIDATED LIABILITIES                                         
(EUR million)                                                    
                                  31.3.2004  31.3.2003 31.12.2003
DEBTS INVOLVING MORTGAGES OR                                     
OTHER COLLATERAL AS SECURITY                                     
Loans from financial                   73.5      104.1       86.2
Pension loans                           5.5        4.9        5.3
Total                                  79.0      109.0       91.5
MORTGAGES AND OTHER COLLATERAL                                   
GIVEN AS GENERAL SECURITY                                        
Mortgages on real property             75.4       69.8       75.6
Mortgages on company assets            38.0       45.8       37.9
Other collateral                       37.6       40.9       42.9
Total                                 151.0      156.5      156.4
MORGAGES AND OTHER COLLATERAL                                    
ON BEHALF OF GROUP COMPANIES                                     
Guarantees                             34.1       34.2       34.5
CONTINGENT LIABILITIES NOT                                       
INCLUDED IN THE BALANCE SHEET                                    
Limits not used                        75.2       76.7       76.3
Guarantees                              1.3        0.9        1.4
Leasing liabilities                                              
Payable in the next                                              
financial year                          0.9        0.9        1.0
Payable later                           1.3        1.4        1.5
Total                                   2.2        2.3        2.5
The figures are not audited.                                     


Atria Group plc, Finland's largest meat company and the biggest
manufacturer of meat products in the Nordic and Baltic countries,
achieved a better result during the first three months of the year
than it did in the previous year. Business operations in Sweden
and the business functions in Finland, with the exception of the
slaughtering industry, continued to improve their earnings in line
with the trend that began in the latter half of the previous year.
The profitability of the slaughtering industry remained weak, but
the situation is expected to improve towards the end of the year.
Atria Group's turnover in the first quarter of the year was EUR
185.6 million (EUR 173.8 million in 2003), up 6.8%. Operating
profit came in at EUR 5.2 million (EUR 3.8 million), representing
growth of 38.4%. Profit before taxes and appropriations was EUR
4.0 million (EUR 2.0 million), 96.4% better than in the previous
year. Traditionally, the first months of the year are weak for
earnings, as the result is primarily generated by operations in
the summer and the year’s end.

Favourable trend in domestic sales

The improvement in domestic earnings was affected by the positive
trend in wholesale and institutional catering sales. Atria Oy's
wholesale grew by 8.3% compared with the previous year, while
aggregate market growth in the product groups represented by Atria
was 6.1% (Source: A.C Nielsen Finland Oy/January-March). Atria saw
the largest growth in sales of meat and poultry. Turnover from
meat products and convenience foods also rose significantly.

Offering-based operations have clearly contributed to sales
growth. Atria's personnel has trained itself for such operations
to be able to meet, in association with the retail sector, the
challenges of an environment that is changing at an ever faster

Lithells AB's result improves significantly

The turnover of Lithells AB, which mainly operates in Sweden, was
EUR 66.8 million (EUR 67.3 million). The result was substantially
better than in the previous year. Whereas last year Lithells AB
accounted for EUR 8.5 million of the Atria Group's pre-tax profit
of EUR 23.6 million, the full-year result of Lithells AB is
expected to see a significant improvement this year. Contributing
to this improvement are the restructuring measures that will be
seen to completion at Samfood AB, which was acquired in autumn
2002. Samfood AB's operations have been merged into the functions
of Atria Lithells AB, which makes meat products, convenience foods
and packed meat. In addition, Lithells has the subsidiaries Atria
Concept AB, which is in the fast food business, and Svensk
Snabbmat AB, which is in the local wholesale business.

Liha ja Säilyke Oy grows steadily

The Forssa-based Liha ja Säilyke Oy successfully maintained its
strong market position in convenience foods. Sales of whole-meat
cold cuts also grew. Its result was slightly better than in the
previous year. An extension valued at about EUR 6 million will be
completed for the company during the autumn of the present year.
The company's logistics functions will be transferred into the new
extension and the existing premises will be freed up for
production functions.

UAB Vilniaus Mesa's new plant to be completed

A new plant will be completed in May for the Lithuania-based UAB
Vilniaus Mesa. The new plant will give the company the opportunity
to achieve annual turnover growth of about EUR 10 million.


On 16 April, Atria announced an investment of about EUR 21 million
to modernise pig slaughtering at the Nurmo unit. The pig line
investment works will be divided into numerous stages and the
entire project will be completed in spring 2006. The investment
will impart major operational cost-savings by centralising all
pork processing in one unit instead of the current two units.

Strategic investments in the Baltic countries or Russia may
significantly increase full-year investments.

Atria aims to start up production operations in Russia

Atria is still assessing how to bolster its position in the Baltic
and Russian markets. Preparations are ongoing. The date when the
final decision will be made is still open. A particular goal is to
be able to start up production operations in Western Russia, where
the markets and the retail sector are developing at a rather rapid

Outlook for the future

The major factor hindering predictions of full-year earnings is
the trend in the international meat market, which is of great
significance to Atria. The producer prices of pork, especially,
have begun to rise. Although it increases the costs of meat
product manufacture, the expected improvement in the meat market
is a positive factor for Atria’s earnings trend.


Seppo Paatelainen


Helsinki Exchanges
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