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Economic downturn hits Sulzer hard

The Sulzer engineering concern of Winterthur has reported that its order intake for 2009 was down almost a quarter compared with the previous year.

The company, one of the oldest in Switzerland, said orders were down 24.3 per cent to just over SFr3 billion ($2.94 billion), adding that it did not expect “a quick recovery in its key markets”.

A statement said the global downturn had affected the oil and gas and the hydro-carbon processing industries in particular.

In its outlook for 2010, Sulzer said that “challenging market conditions” continued and order intake for the year was expected to be lower than in 2009. However, some markets were likely to stabilise.

Sulzer last year made a net profit of SFr322.9 million, an increase of 13.7 per cent on 2008.

The major Sulzer shareholder is Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, whose Renova holding company has a stake of just over 30 per cent in Sulzer. and agencies

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