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Record profits at Georg Fischer

Georg Fischer announces a successful 2000

(Keystone Archive)

The Georg Fischer industrial group of Schaffhausen chalked up record profits of SFr151 million ($89.88 million) in 2000, up from SFr131 million the year before.

The company said on Tuesday that it made the profit "despite a massive rise in the tax burden".

Orders topped the SFr4 billion mark for the first time, while sales totalled SFr3.9 billion). In a statement, the company said that more than two thirds of the 21 per cent increase in sales was attributable to internal growth.

Chief executive Martin Huber told swissinfo:

"All our corporate groups helped to improve the figures quite substantially in sales but also in profitability."

The company added that it had increased its sales since 1998 by around 30 per cent through internal growth and acquisitions.

Commenting on its strategy, Georg Fischer said the focus was on promoting internal growth and maximising the return on investments. The main target was a sustained increase in profitability and sales.

The statement said that Georg Fischer Automotive Products had strengthened its position as a leading development and manufacturing partner to the European car industry, as reflected in significantly higher orders on hand for the next few years and in the acquisition of new customers.

Chief executive Martin Huber told swissinfo that he was not worried by the slowdown in the US automotive market.

"For the time being there is no impact at all as our devliveries to the United States are new models which are unaffected by the slowdown," he explained. "Also for the time being the European automotive industry is developing quite nicely."

At its manufacturing technology business Agie Charmilles, sales were up by 39 per cent to SFr1.25 billion, topping the SFr1 billion mark for the first time.

The board of directors is recommending that the dividend be increased by SFr1 to SFr215 per share, leading to a pay-out ratio of 34 per cent.

"I think we have good market conditions for as far as we can see," explained Huber. "For the time being it looks quite promising."

swissinfo with agencies


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