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Sports Systems remains part of Desso Holding BV

23 November 2012

The Executive Board of Desso announces that Desso Sports Systems will remain part of Desso Holding BV.

Focus on profitable niche markets and DESSO GrassMaster®
Due to changing market conditions, the future strategy will focus mainly on developing profitable niche markets for artificial turf and DESSO GrassMaster® systems. The focus will stay on a number of key market segments and regions where the Sports division is already active, and where further profitable growth opportunities are expected.

The product range for 2013 will reflect this approach. The new strategy will re-position Desso Sports Systems as a strong player in the international sports turf market, within the selected segments, and with the aim to quickly see the business unit returning to profitability.

Production of artificial turf will be partly outsourced
For the production of artificial fibres, Desso will focus only on those parts which have a distinctive character. Therefore, key activities such as Research & Development and extrusion (the production of turf fibres) will remain part of Desso's operations.

The tufting & coating activities, whereby the fibres are processed into an artificial grass mat will be partly outsourced in line with market demand. In this way, the necessary flexibility can be created to quickly respond to changing market conditions.

"We are confident that the re-positioning of our Sports division will enable us to strengthen its core capabilities in a profitable way, and make it fit for the future."

Alexander Collot d'Escury, Chief Executive Officer

DESSO GrassMaster® - the hybrid grass system
The internationally successful DESSO GrassMaster® hybrid grass system is mainly used in the professional football, rugby and American football markets. Worldwide there are more than 450 stadiums and training facilities with a hybrid DESSO GrassMaster® system.

Premier League clubs, top NFL clubs, Rugby Super League teams and World Cup stadiums have all chosen for DESSO GrassMaster®. Some examples are: the iconic Wembley Stadium, the stadium fields of Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC, and Manchester City in the UK, VfL Wolfsburg in Germany, Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin (New Zealand) for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, 5 world cup stadiums in South Africa, and more recently San Siro in Italy.

Besides the existing markets, the focus is on a number of key growth markets such as Brazil (2014 World Cup) and Russia (2018 World Cup).

The production and installation of DESSO GrassMaster® remains unchanged. The DESSO GrassMaster® fibres are produced by Desso's plant in Dendermonde, Belgium, and will continue to be installed by the existing installation teams.

We are very pleased that Marc Vercammen will remain General Manager of the Desso Sports Systems division, responsible for the implementation of this new strategy.

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