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PRESS RELEASE - SOLVAY GROUP 2004 RESULTS

2004 net income up 26% to record level of EUR 541 million



5.6% increase of dividend to EUR 1.90 per share





w Sales up 4% in 2004 (to EUR 7.9 billion), +6% in 4th quarter of 2004;

w Increase in operating margin[1] of the Group to 10% for the year 2004;

w Cash flow up 15% from 2003, to nearly EUR 1 billion (EUR 990 million);

w Strong growth in Plastics results, (up 76%) thanks to Specialty Polymers and Vinyls. Doubling of 4th quarter 2004 results compared to the same period of 2003;

w Progressive improvement in Chemicals activities; up 31% in 4th quarter 2004 over the same period of 2003;

w Pharmaceuticals sector results in line with those of 2003 thanks to the conclusion of partnerships with major companies (Wyeth, Bristol Myers Squibb, Quintiles). 4th quarter 2004 results down 35% compared to the same period of 2003, due primarily to generic competition for Rowasa® medication in the United States and to costs of validation of new production units (in the Netherlands and France).



[1] Operating margin is REBIT divided by sales (excluding « discontinuing operations »)





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The press release announcing the Solvay Group 2004 results is available on

www.solvay-investors.com.

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Solvay Investor Relations
Tel : 32/2/509.60.16
Fax : 32/2/509.72.41
www.solvay-investors.com