Diversified industrial group Sulzer, in the midst of a strategic repositioning, revealed that its order intake was up 39 per cent in the first six months of 2001.
The Swiss group said on Thursday that it took in total orders worth SFr2.19 billion ($1.26 billion), unchanged from the year before. Orders at businesses being discontinued were down 21 per cent at SFr1.12 billion.
Analysts had expected a steep 40 to 50 per cent increase in growth in the core businesses, given the recent acquisitions of Ahlstrom Pumps and Interturbine.
Results for the first six months of the year marked a slowdown compared with figures for the first quarter, when orders for Sulzer Industries as a whole were up seven per cent at SFr1.18 billion.
New orders over the first quarter for the core businesses grew by 43 per cent to SFr533 million, Sulzer said in April.
At that time, Sulzer said it expected an ongoing positive trend in order intake. It repeated the statement in the report on first-half orders, saying: "Sulzer is progressing as planned in realizing the goals set for 2001."
The core business includes the four divisions: the Metco equipment, consumable materials and services division, turbomachinery repair and maintenance services division, engineered pumps and Chemtech separation division, and the mixing and reaction technology division.
The operations being divested are Infra installation and building operation services, Textil weaving machinery, and Burkhardt piston compressors.
Sulzer said in a statement released along with its order numbers that the sale of Sulzer Textil was well advanced.
The businesses being sold account for about two thirds of Sulzer's 2000 sales and do not include the separately-listed medical devices form Sulzer Medica, which was spun off from Sulzer on July 10.
First-half earnings data for Sulzer will be available on August 23.
swissinfo with agencies