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Saurer dips into the red

The Swiss textile machinery and automotive component maker, Saurer, has seen its profit for last year swing into the red. The troubled group reveals a loss of SFr70 million in 1999, which compares to a profit of SFr87 million in the previous year.

The Swiss textile machinery and automotive component maker, Saurer, has seen its profit for last year swing into the red. The troubled group reveals a loss of SFr70 million in 1999, which compares to a profit of SFr87 million in the previous year.

Saurer said it was undermined by the sharp drop in sales and new orders over the main part of last year. Sales slumped to SFr1.39 billion from SFr1.73 billion, while new orders slipped from SFr1.42 billion from SFr1.51 billion. Also pulling the figures into the red were the hefty restructuring charges the company has incurred over 1999.

Saurer added it had continued its reorganisation programme last year, restructuring its textile division into one unit. The company also announced 100 job losses on top of 700 redundancies already announced towards the end of 1998.

However, Saurer said business picked up in the final quarter of 1999, running an operational profit of SFr32 million over the three-month period.

"Very positive results can be expected for the current year" the company said in a statement, "and there is the prospect in the medium term of regaining the positive turnover and results of past years."

swissinfo with agencies



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