YEAR 2001, 1ST QUARTER RESULTS

The Stainless Steel sector in the first quarter of the year 2001 has been affected by the heavy downfall of prices in all markets catalyzed by nikel downturn quotations. Such trend has begun to change in the 2nd quarter as the inventories of Stockists have reached normal levels.

The Stainless Steel sector in the first quarter of the year 2001 has been affected by the heavy downfall of prices in all markets catalyzed by nikel downturn quotations. Such trend has begun to change in the 2nd quarter as the inventories of Stockists have reached normal levels.

Apparent consumption in the European market during this first quarter has shrunk by 9% if compared to the 1st quarter of last year.

Despite said situation ACERINOX factory of Campo de Gibraltar is working at full capacity, and record productions have been obtained in all its sections. Book of Orders in 2nd Quarter covers fully production capacity.

Net Sales of ACERINOX Group during this period totalled 491 million euros, which is 1.7% less than the invoiced amount for the 1st quarter in the year 2000. Net Result totalled 20.1 million euros which is 76% less than that of the previous year. Net Cash Flow generated by the Group has amounted to 43.7 million euros.

The outlook for this year 2001 is optimistic and it will be improved in the second half of the year. The overall profile will be similar to that of 1999 which, in turn , was symmetric to that of 2000.

Construction works of the Melting Shop in Kentucky are advancing satisfactorily. The first cast is expected to be obtained during this summer.