Lupfig / CH. (hag) The Swiss Hiestand Group recorded a 50 percent increase in sales to 542,5 million CHF in the first nine months of 2007. The Fricopan acquisition contributed 34,2 percent of this. A particularly pleasing aspect is the organic growth of 15,8 percent, of which 2,3 percent came from currency effects. The growth of the Group even accelerated in the third quarter. Sales rose 50,4 percent on the same period in the previous year to 189,3 million CHF. This rise is partly the result of acquisitions (33 percent) and partly due to strong organic growth (17,4 percent). Currency effects came to 2,6 percent. This means that double-digit organic growth rates have been achieved in all three quarters of the current financial year. Sales in the Europe segment increased by 52,8 percent compared with the same period last year. This comprised 36,1 percent from acquisitions and 16,7 percent organic growth. Currency effects in the first nine months came to 2,8 percent. The Asia region posted organic growth of 6,9 percent. However, this was partly counteracted by negative currency effects of 5,2 percent, resulting in growth of 1,7 percent. This impressive growth confirms the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Committee in their targets announced for 2007 as a whole: organic sales growth of between eight and ten percent, an EBIT margin of between eight and nine percent and a consolidated profit margin of over five percent. Hiestand is therefore well on track. The targeted level of 700 million CHF in sales by the end of 2007 will be surpassed (press release).