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Technology group Ruag dips into red

The Ruag technology group, active in the aerospace and defence sectors, has reported a loss of SFr107 million ($100 million) for 2009, hit by one-off charges.

The Bern-based concern said charges of SFr160 million in its aerostructures division were the result of the risky outlook in operations for civil aviation manufacturers, programme delays in major civil aircraft projects and unfavourable price and exchange-rate trends.

Sales in 2009 at Ruag, which is wholly owned by the Swiss government, totalled SFr1.7 billion, up 10.3 per cent over the previous year.

The Swiss defence ministry remained the most important single customer, accounting for 36 per cent of total sales.

As a technology partner to the Swiss army, Ruag continues to contribute significantly to Switzerland’s security and independence, a statement said.

The group, which employs about 7,500 people, announced earlier this month that its space division was testing an autonomous robotic vehicle for Mars.

In 2018, as part of its ExoMars scientific mission, the European Space Agency plans to land an autonomous robot of this type on the planet to search for signs of life. Ruag Space is developing the locomotion system for the Mars rover. and agencies

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