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The European Court of Justice upholds penalty to Aalborg Portland

07.01.2004
In May 2000 Aalborg Portland appealed the Judgment of the European Court of Justice of 15 March 2000 imposing on the company a penalty of DKK 17m (including accumulated interest approximately DKK 24m) for alleged participation in a European market-sharing agreement from 1984 to 1988.

The original Judgment delivered in February 1995 by the Commission imposed on Aalborg Portland an administrative penalty of DKK 30m (including accumulated interest DKK 42m). Like the other European cement producers charged, Aalborg Portland appealed the Commission's Judgement to the European Court of Justice. In its Judgment of March 15, 2000, the European Court of Justice partly accepted several of Aalborg Portland's objections against the Commission's charges and lowered the penalty imposed by DKK 13m to DKK 17m.

Although EU law does not allow Aalborg Portland to appeal the actual assessment of evidence by the European Court of Justice, the company decided to appeal the size of the penalty as, in its opinion, the Court ought to have taken a different view on several legal aspects, and as it considered the size of the penalty out of proportion with the alleged actions.

The European Court of Justice has now heard Aalborg Portland's appeal and upholds the penalty imposed.

Bjarne Moltke Hansen, Chairman of Aalborg Portland A/S, comments the European Court of Justice's decision to uphold the penalty imposed:
"Contrary to expectations the European Court of Justice rejected our appeal. This has been duly noted and we shall now finally close this time-consuming and demanding case and refrain from spending more efforts and resources on events that goes back to the mid eighties."

The Judgment will not affect FLS Industries' earnings forecast, as Aalborg Portland in connection with the appeal in 2000 paid and charged the imposed amount including accumulated interest to income.

FLS Industries A/S
Corporate Public Relations