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Profits fall at Georg Fischer

Net profits at the Swiss machinery group, Georg Fischer, dropped nine per cent to SFr131 million in 1999. The fall came despite a seven per cent rise in sales last year to SFr3.3 billion.

This content was published on February 22, 2000 - 14:31

Net profits at the Swiss machinery group, Georg Fischer, dropped nine per cent to SFr131 million in 1999. The fall came despite a seven per cent rise in sales last year to SFr3.3 billion.

The company said unfavourable market conditions during the first half year, and only a halting improvement in the second half had hindered growth of some key sectors, including piping systems, manufacturing technology and plant engineering.

Georg Fischer added that major markets, such as Germany and the United States, are recovering only slowly in the sectors in which the company is active.

However, the figures are above most analysts' expectations. The company said the outlook for 2000 was better.

It said the growing signs of an investment revival in the major markets indicated a significant rise in sales and earnings for this year. Georg Fischer said its chief priority for the year was to optimize profitability, particularly where its recent acquisitions are concerned.

In the last three months alone, the company has been busy on the acquisitions front. In January, the group spent SFr40 million on a 20 per cent stake in an Israeli firm, while in December it bought two German groups for an undisclosed amount.

By Tom O'Brien

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