2002 FULL YEAR RESULTS

The year 2002 is hallmarked by the fresh start of a new era for Acerinox Group with the integration of Melting Shop in NORTH AMERICAN STAINLESS (NAS) in the manufacturing process of Kentucky factory in USA, and the incorporation of COLUMBUS STAINLESS in South Africa.
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The year 2002 is hallmarked by the fresh start of a new era for Acerinox Group with the integration of Melting Shop in NORTH AMERICAN STAINLESS (NAS) in the manufacturing process of Kentucky factory in USA, and the incorporation of COLUMBUS STAINLESS in South Africa.

Today the Group has three factories with the fully integrated manufacturing process, sited in three strategic continents, which have turned out a total Melting Shop production of 1,761,278 MT. Thus, it becomes the third largest stainless steel world producer with a share close to 9.3% which will rise next years since at present 2,500,000 MT capacity is available.

The European consumption growth of stainless steels flat products in 2002 has recovered the previous years rate close to 6%. The Spanish market growth rate doubled that figure.

Cold Rolled production of the factory of Campo de Gibraltar has risen by 2% despite the subcontractors strike in Cádiz Province during the month of May, and the biannual maintenance halts of Melting and Hot Rolling Shops which took place at the end of the year. They caused a 8.4% and 3.4% downfall of Melting and Hot Rolling Shops respectively.

In NAS productions of Hot and Cold Rolling Shop have risen by 89% and 39% if compared to last year. The output of Melting Shop has only totalled 289,630 sT for delays and start up troubles imputable to the supplier of the equipments, and it was insufficient to cover the needs of the rest of the factory. Nowadays, they are already covered.

In COLUMBUS STAINLESS productions increased progressively thanks to the technical assistance provided by ACERINOX, S.A.

Net Sales of the Consolidated Group totalled 2,500 million which is 37% more than the invoiced amount of the previous year.

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 The result after taxes of ACERINOX Group totalled 175 million € which duplicates that of the year 2001, with a Net Cash Flow of 287 million € which is 56% more.

11% ROE and 16.2% ROCE ratios substantially improved in comparison to those of last year. Gearing keeps low, 22% on Own Funds, despite the heavy 452 million € investments of the year and the increase of shareholders return. All said ratios continue to be a benchmarking for the world steel sector.

The Board of Directors meeting held on this February 27 has resolved to pay a second Interim Dividend on account of the business year 2002 of 0.23 € per share. This is 9.5% more than that of the same period last year. It will be disbursed on this April 4.