Lernout & Hauspie Reports Strong Q1 Results

STOCKHOLM (05/10/2000) - Voice recognition software supplier Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products Inc. (L&H) today reported strong revenue and profit growth for its first quarter, ended March 31.

Net income for the quarter, exceptional items excluded, reached US$12.2 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, as compared to the $7 million and 12 cents, respectively, the software vendor reported for the first quarter of 1999.

The earnings per share figure beat handily the 15 cents per share consensus estimate from two brokers polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

L&H said that the quarter's exceptional $4.2 million net benefit consisted mainly of gains from unrealized currency exchange transactions. Earnings per share, before goodwill amortization and exceptional items, rose to 37 cents, up from 24 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue during the first quarter also rose sharply, jumping by 57 percent to $110.7 million from $70.7 million in the comparable quarter last year. The sales increase was mainly due to continued growth in telephony, enterprise solutions and embedded markets, L&H said in a statement.

Investors, however, gave the results a lukewarm welcome. In early afternoon trading on the pan-European Easdaq exchange following the report's release, L&H shares were trading at $106.50, down $1 from the previous close but higher than the $104 closing price on the U.S. Nasdaq exchange yesterday.

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, with dual headquarters in Ieper, Belgium and Burlington, Massachusetts, can be reached at +32-57-228-888, or via the Web at http://www.lhsl.com/.

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