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Société générale de financement du Québec files its 2004 Annual Report

Montréal, June 8, 2005 - Société générale de financement du Québec today presented its 2004 annual report to Claude Béchard, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade.

In 2003, SGF had embarked on a major process of restructuring, with a view to completely overhauling the content and management of its investment portfolio. During fiscal 2004, the Company completed its retrospective review of all investments in the light of new rules for the analysis and monitoring of investments, instituted in 2003. These actions enabled the Company to recover from a deficit of $511 million in 2003 to a loss of $50 million last year.

As at December 31, 2004, SGF reported its best financial situation of the past four years. Assets under management totalled $2.6 billion, and shareholder equity stood at $1.8 billion.

The year 2004: Ensuring the means to succeed
The approach taken by SGF included, among other things, introduction of a decision-support mechanism and strengthening of management methods in order to integrate risk management as well as a more rigorous approach, both in terms of investment decisions and monitoring of companies in the portfolio and projects in which SGF is involved.

At the same time, the Company undertook a process of reflection regarding the scope of its business network and efficiency of its prospecting operations, the better to seize opportunities offering true growth potential.

“Fiscal 2004 served to lay the groundwork and establish solid bases that mean SGF will continue to ensure its active presence in the Québec economy and fully play its role,” said Pierre Shedleur, Chairman of the Board, President and General Manager of SGF, who took up his duties last December 6.

Outlook for 2005: A return to profitability

At year-end 2004, the SGF management team proceeded to redefine the strategies that will form the framework of its five-year plan, to be filed shortly. The plan will guide SGF’s investment actions and decisions in the years to come.

In addition, to ensure proper application of the plan as well as fulfilment of its economic-development mission, while simultaneously fostering superior operational performance, SGF recently strengthened its management team. That team’s job is to rally SGF’s strengths around sustainable projects and focus efforts on profitable strategies that will help ensure long-term job stability.

"In the more than 40 years since SGF was established, it has participated in numerous projects that have contributed to Québec’s economic growth," Mr. Shedleur concluded. "The organization still has an important mission to fulfil. We are therefore determined to ensure that SGF has the means to succeed and continue playing an active role in Québec’s economic development."

An electronic version of the 2004 annual report is available online at the SGF’s Web site (sgfqc.com).

The mission of Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF), an industrial and financial holding company, is to carry out economic development projects, particularly in the industrial sector, in cooperation with partners, and in compliance with accepted profitability requirements and the economic development policy of the Government of Québec.




Source : Sylvie Brousseau
Director, Communications and Public relations
Société générale de financement du Québec

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