YEAR 2000: ACERINOX OBTAINS A BENCHMARKING HISTORICAL RECORD IN RESULTS AND PROFITABILITY IN THE STEEL SECTOR

The year 2000 was characterized in the stainless steel sector by a highly favourable first half, with strong demand and rising prices, and by a second half affected by destocking which has weakened demand and triggered prices downfall.

The year 2000 was characterized in the stainless steel sector by a highly favourable first half, with strong demand and rising prices, and by a second half affected by destocking which has weakened demand and triggered prices downfall.

Consumption growth in Spain (11.7%) and Europe (5.3%) even if deemed satisfactory have been lower than the average of last five years.

In this frame the Group companies have reached record productions, sales and results.

The factory of Campo de Gibraltar goes on with record outputs of 980,287 Tn of Melting Shop, 592,461 Tn in Cold Rolling which is 14.6% more than in the year 1999.

ROLDAN, S.A. has boosted production by 36.8% reaching 104,466 Tn, and that of INOXFIL by 30.5%.

Production of NORTH AMERICAN STAINLESS has risen in Hot Rolling Shop by 12.6% reaching 485,317 Tn. Cold Rolling output has slightly decreased by 2.9% as consequence of the severe North American market conditions throughout the second half of the year. Melting Shop will come onto stream this summer whereby Kentucky factory will have the fully integrated manufacturing process.

ACERINOX Group Net Sales totalled 1,957 million € which is 36.9% more than in 1999, and 70.2% more than in 1995, the reference year of the world stainless sector. It is to be highlighted that said increases have been obtained despite an overall price downfall, compared to those of the year 1995, by 12% in Europe, 28% in USA and 40% in Asia. Above improvements are due to production and sales increases, technological and process upgradings, and the higher added value of our products.

Profit after taxes amounted to 287.5 million € which is 2.3 times more than in last year. Net Cash Flow totalled 390.4 million € which is 92.6% more than in 1999.

All ratios of ACERINOX Group have significantly improved. Group Profitability becomes a benchmarking in the steel industry with 23.6 % ROE and 29.3 ROCE. 21.3% gearing keeps falling even after 143.1 million € investments in the year, and it is practically symbolic for a steel firm.

The behaviour of ACERINOX, S.A.’s share even if it has fallen by 17.9%, it is better than that of IBEX-35, and far better than the rest of European steel companies whose quotations have dropped by a 36.1% average.

The Board of Directors of ACERINOX, S.A. in the meeting held on this February 26 has resolved to pay on this 5 April 2001 a third Interim Dividend of the year 2000 of 0.21 € per share. The one disbursed on 4 April 2000 was 0.16 €.

Madrid, 28th February 2001