First-half net profits at Switzerland's Schindler Group are up 40 per cent at SFr108 million ($64 million) compared to the same period last year. The rise in profits comes despite problems at its systems business, ALSO.This content was published on August 23, 2000 - 15:22
The group, which produces elevators and escalators, saw orders rise in the first half of 2000 by 19 per cent to reach SFr4.3 billion. Growth was 14 per cent in local currencies.
The group's healthy performance was not matched by the systems business of its ALSO unit, which posted a first-half operating loss of SFr6 million. In the first half of 1999, the subsidiary posted profits of SFr17 million.
In a statement, Schindler said the unit should break even by year-end because "Measures introduced in the systems business will only have an impact in the second half".
Looking ahead, Schindler said it expected higher demand in Europe, as well as an upturn in China. But it predicted a slight weakening of the market in North America, and no growth in southeast Asia.
However, it is optimistic that strong growth will continue in the second half. "Operating revenue and operating profit are generally higher in the second half-year due to the seasonal character of the elevator and escalator business," the company said in a statement.
Schindler, founded in 1929, is a world leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of lifts, escalators and moving walkways. The group's other main activity is the distribution of computers including the customisation of computer systems by the ALSO group.
One of the company's most successful products is the "Smart MRL 100", a new type of lift, which needs neither an additional machine room nor space in the hoistway, and thus reduces building costs significantly.
The company reported that sales in Europe climbed, with the new Smart MRL 001 and 002 machine-room-less lifts selling particularly well.
swissinfo with agencies