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Schindler lifts profits

The Swiss escalator and elevator company, Schindler, has posted 1999 net profits up six per cent at SFr238 million. Sales in 1999 rose to SFr7.7 billion from SFr6.6 billion the previous year. The figures are slightly above analysts' expectations.

The Swiss escalator and elevator company, Schindler, has posted 1999 net profits up six per cent at SFr238 million. Sales in 1999 rose to SFr7.7 billion from SFr6.6 billion the previous year. The figures are slightly above analysts' expectations.

'From today's point of view, we expect a slightly higher net profit in 2000 than the previous year,' the company said in a statement.

Analysts, too, are generally positive about the outlook for Schindler. The investment bank, Credit Suisse First Boston says in its latest report that it believes Schindler has the capacity to capture additional market share. CSFB praised Schindler for developing a number of innovative products and for a strongly customer-oriented strategy.

Schindler is the second biggest elevator and escalator company after Otis of the United States. Rumours about a possible merger of the two have been ciculating since an interview with Otis Elevator's chief executive, Steve Page, in the Swiss business weekly, Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Page said Otis would be very interested in merging with the Swiss lift-maker and would be willing to leave Schindler's chairman, Alfred Schindler, at the head of the merged company.

by Tom O'Brien

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