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DSM reports good Q4 2007

Dutch lifescience and material science company Royal DSM reports strong Q4 results based on 10% organic sales growth.

The operating profit for 2007 of € 823 million is in line with expectations, it said in a press release. Net profit before exceptional items of €558 million is better than last year and earnings per share was 8% higher. DSM has proposed a dividend of € 1.20 per ordinary share (up 20%).

Feike Sijbesma, Chairman of the DSM Managing Board, commented: "DSM performed well in 2007 with good sales growth, particularly during the fourth quarter, and strong results in light of the challenges faced by the company during the year. In 2008, we also expect to perform well."

"'DSM is fully on track to meet the objectives set out in the accelerated Vision 2010 strategy. In 2008, we will continue the transition towards a Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, addressing the needs of tomorrow's society and capable of delivering sustainable growth," Seibesma said.

Nutrition
Full-year sales for nutrition were 6% above last year. Compared to 2006, both Animal Nutrition & Health and Human Nutrition & Health in DSM Nutritional Products achieved solid volume growth and the negative price trend in the more mature part of the business was stopped and partly reversed by DSM's differentiation strategy.

Nevertheless, DSM Nutritional Products' operating profit decreased because higher organic growth did not fully compensate for the expiration of Roche contracts, higher energy and raw-material costs, higher innovation expenditure and negative exchange-rate effects.

DSM Food Specialties' sales and operating profit decreased due to the contractual phasing-out of the phytase tolling business in 2006. The strong improvement at DSM Special Products was driven by higher sales volumes and margins and lower fixed costs. Fourth-quarter sales were 13% higher than in Q4 2006 because of higher sales volumes and higher selling prices and despite the negative effects of the US$ exchange rate. The operating profit was higher than in Q4 2006 due to DSM Special Products.

Outlook
Looking ahead to 2008, DSM expects continuing good organic growth, particularly from emerging markets and the launch of new products. In addition, the current programs underway in the Nutrition and Anti-Infectives businesses will result in improved contributions to profit from these businesses. DSM also expects a continuation of the improved pricing levels seen in 2007 in the more mature part of the Nutrition business, especially in vitamins.

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