Press Release

Basel, 29 September 2003

Price Increase for Citric Acid and Trisodium Citrate in Europe

Basel, September 29, 2003 - The corn and wheat harvest in Europe is expected to be very bad. This will increase raw material costs for citric acid strongly. Furthermore, we have been confronted with increased energy and chemicals cost as well as higher freight rates (road pricing).

As a producer of citric acid, we find ourselves in a very difficult position. On one hand, increased costs for raw material, energy and chemicals are of utmost relevance for us since they are the major cost factors for citric acid. On the other hand citric acid prices in Europe have decreased by approximately 20% in the last years. Price decreases of this magnitude cannot be compensated by cost reductions and the current price level does not provide for a healthy financial performance of the citric acid business. In this context, it has to be mentioned that two citric acid factories closed down this year, another one was shut down temporarily, and further one is for sale.

Due to above mentioned cost increases, we are forced to increase prices for citric acid and trisodium citrate in Europe by min. 10% as per October 1st, 2003 or as our contractual obligations permit. Depending on the further development of our cost situation a further increase might follow at a later stage.