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Oerlikon extends restructuring

Swiss technology group Oerlikon has announced it will implement further measures following a net loss for 2008 of SFr422 million ($375 million).

The company said on Thursday it had been hit by restructuring costs and goodwill write-offs, while the global economic slump weighed on demand at its textiles and semiconductor units.

Although the slowdown in these areas was partially compensated by its well-performing core businesses, in particular Oerlikon Solar, the group said it would react to the challenging economic climate with three defined work streams: expanded restructuring, strengthening of the financial stability and further focusing of the portfolio.

“We have embarked on all necessary measures – timely and consequently – in order to first rebuild and then sustain shareholder value,” said Oerlikon CEO Uwe Krüger on Thursday.

Since the beginning of the second half of 2008 Oerlikon has basically stopped renewing temporary contracts and has started to use short-time work to adjust capacity.

Currently 3,800 employees – 20 per cent of the workforce – are on short-time work. Oerlikon said reductions of permanent staff would be made “only when unavoidable”. In all segments more than 1,000 permanent jobs have been axed since July 2008.

Additional measures include temporary site closures, salary freezes and a sales push. For the next two years overall additional restructuring costs of SFr100 million are expected, of which around two-thirds are attributable to Oerlikon Textile.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR