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Mikron and Schindler post poor results

Two more Swiss firms have seen profits plunge in the first half of 2002 and are bearish for the remainder of the year.

Lift and escalator maker, Schindler Holding, was hit by restructuring costs, while electrical components maker, Mikron, made a net loss of nearly SFr40 million ($26.5 million).

Schindler saw net profits drop to SFr21 million down from SFr114 million over the same period a year ago.

The company said it would continue with its productivity improvement programme, which cost SFr143 million in the first half of the year. The company says it will spend between SFr300 and SFr400 on the programme this year.

Operating profit fell by 25 per cent to SFr218 million, slightly above analysts’ expectations.

Once implemented, Schindler’s programme should push up operating profit margins to 14 per cent in the medium term up from 5.6 per cent in the first half of 2002. Schindler said the outlook for demand remained subdued.

Mikron sinks into the red

The electrical components and parts maker Mikron posted a higher-than-expected net loss of SFr39.9 million for the first half 2002.

The company warned that net earnings for the year would be significantly worse than expected.

Mikron said in a statement that it is in the process of reducing its debt and selling investments to improve cash flow.

In the first half of the year, new orders rose in most of its division, and Mikron expects net sales to rise. But the company said it remains gloomy about the prospects of an economic recovery in 2002.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR