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Construction industry warns recovery must be backed by restructuring

The Swiss construction sector is confident and has reported improved business after seven lean years. Restructuring within the sector, however, is not over yet, according to an association representing the three largest building industry organisations.

The Alliance of Construction Industry Organisations, created by the three groups two years ago, said in Zurich on Wednesday that machinery purchases for the construction sector had increased sharply.

Fritz Haldimann, president of the Swiss Construction Industry Group, one of the members of the alliance, said that over the first quarter of the year businesses in the building sector are expecting their profits to improve.

He said the optimism was evident in the road and bridge building sector, as well as in the building construction field. Orders throughout the industry are up on last year's levels.

However, Haldimann warned that there were again too many businesses sprouting up in the sector. He cautioned that firms must from now on concentrate on optimising their processes and their key competences, and work towards achieving financial stability.

The improvement in the construction sector's fortunes follows on from seven years of underperformance, with the industry lagging behind the general recovery seen in the Swiss economy.

Last year turnover in the construction sector rose by 4.3 per cent to SFr13.5 billion. Prices also increased but less markedly.

swissinfo with agencies

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