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Slow economy pummels industrial group Rieter

Turnover fell 38 per cent in 2009 at industrial group Rieter, an automotive supplier and textile machine manufacturer hit hard by the recession.

Figures released on Friday by the Winterthur-based concern showed turnover dropped to about SFr1.96 billion ($1.86 billion) compared with SFr3.14 billion in 2008. However, that was better than what analysts had expected.

The group’s textile machine division suffered the worst, with turnover falling 53 per cent to SFr532 million in 2009 compared to SFr1.22 billion in 2008. In the automotive systems sector it fell to SFr1.42 billion, down by a nearly a third on the previous year.

In the year as a whole, orders for both divisions were down 24 per cent to about SFr1.94 billion, the company reported.

Figures for the second half of 2009 proved to be better for the company than the first six months, largely thanks to somewhat higher orders and restructuring. In August the company posted a loss of SFr145.5 million for the first half of 2009 and announced it would slash 1,500 jobs.

Rieter employs a total of about 12,500 workers in 21 countries. About 14 per cent of the work force are based in Switzerland.

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