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Place de cotation: Helsinki Stock Exchange - (Finland)

Aspo Group focuses on logistical services for industry. Aspo serves businesses  in the energy and industrial process sectors requiring strong specialist and  logistical know-how. Aspo's net sales in 2005 totaled EUR 204.9 million. About  36% of this came from Aspo Chemicals, 39% from Aspo Shipping and 25% from Aspo 

ASPO Plc             STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE     April 28, 2010 at 11.00 am 
Net sales grew - ice conditions burdened ESL Shipping's operations

January-March 2010
- Aspo Group's net sales in January-March amounted to EUR 83.4 million (EUR 78.4 million)
- Operating profit was EUR 2.1 million (EUR 3.8 million)
- Profit before tax amounted to EUR 1.0 million (EUR 2.5 million)
- Earnings per share stood at EUR 0.02 (EUR 0.07)

- The Group's financial position improved clearly compared to the first quarter in the previous year. Interest-bearing net debt stood at EUR 63.2 million (EUR 77.6 million) at the end of the period and net gearing was 92.1% (136.0%). 
- During the review period the amount of committed revolving credit facilities was decreased from EUR 80 million to EUR 50 million and a financing program that applies to part of Telko's sales receivables was introduced as a new source of financing. 

- Aspo specifies its guidance. Aspo will increase its net sales and the Group has the preconditions to improve its earnings per share. Previously Aspo estimated that it has the preconditions to increase its net sales and improve its earnings per share in 2010

 1-3/2010   1-3/2009   1-12/2009 

Net sales, MEUR 83.4   78.4   329.4 
Operating profit, MEUR 2.1   3.8   15.3 
Share of net sales, % 2.5   4.8   4.6 
Profit before tax, MEUR 1.0   2.5   11.7 
Share of net sales, %  1.2   3.2   3.6 
Personnel at the end of period 702   769   717 

Earnings per share, EUR 0.02   0.07   0.33 
EPS adjusted for dilution, EUR,  0.03   0.07   0.33 
Comparable earnings per share, EUR         0.16 

Equity per share, EUR 2.66   2.21   2.59 
Equity ratio, % 36.2   27.8   34.6 
Gearing, % 92.1   136.0   87.9 

Aki Ojanen, Aspo's CEO: 

"Aspo's net sales are increasing. Previous restructuring measures and increased operational efficiency have a positive effect in particular on Telko's costs and the Group's overall administrative costs.

Exceptional ice, wind and labor market conditions made it difficult to plan shipping operations and burdened efficiency on the Baltic Sea. ESL Shipping has usually performed stably - the last time ESL Shipping performed weaker than expected and posted a EUR -0.5 million operating loss was in the icy winter 2003. This winter the conditions on the Baltic Sea were difficult. Vessels had to wait for ice breaking help but tried to operate efficiently without the help as well, which considerably increased fuel consumption. Demand for transport and cargo prices remained at normal levels. Despite the difficult circumstances, ESL Shipping was able to take care of the raw material transportation of its Scandinavian customers so that they did not have to limit production. 

Telko and Leipurin improved their operating profit and increased their net sales. The Group's strategic goal is to grow in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. We were successful with this during the review period. Telko increased its net sales in Russia compared to the first quarter last year by 72% and Leipurin by 33%. 


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