The Schindler escalator and elevator company has reported a net profit for 2005 of SFr401 million ($304 million), the highest in the company's history.This content was published on February 27, 2006 - 10:51
Schindler, the world number two in the industry, said the result was down to a very high level of orders, which had been caused by increased productivity.
The Schindler Group announced on Monday that the record net profit, up 21.9 per cent, on the previous year, came at the end of a costly restructuring programme.
The Lucerne-based company said sales rose 7.5 per cent to SFr8.9 billion, benefiting from positive exchange rate impacts of SFr96 million.
Ebit (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) increased by 24.4 per cent to SFr632 million.
The company proposed a dividend of SFr9 (up from SFr7 in 2004). This will be put forward at the general meeting on March 21, 2006.
Schindler's shares have gained six per cent so far this year and were on Monday trading not far below an all-time high of SFr572 reached on January 13.
The elevators and escalators business recorded strong growth in orders received, which rose 13.8 per cent to SFr7.4 billion, reflecting increases across all market regions.
Orders for new installations rose by 21.3 per cent and included notable major orders – such as the International Commerce Center in Hong Kong, a 490m tower with 118 floors, which includes 40 double-deck elevators.
Personnel numbers rose by 2.4 per cent to 40,385 due primarily to the first-time consolidation of smaller lift companies.
"Excluding any unforeseeable events, it is anticipated that Schindler will report significantly better net profit for the financial year 2006," the company said.
A decision has not yet been reached in the ongoing proceedings against various companies in the European elevator industry launched by the European Commission in January 2004.
It is anticipated that the Commission will not decide on specific sanctions until the end of 2006.
Schindler said it was continuing to cooperate fully with the Commission and would provide the public with further information once a decision has been reached.
swissinfo with agencies
Founded in Lucerne in 1874, Schindler is the second-largest supplier in the elevator and escalator industry.
Every day, the company carries more than 700 million people vertically, diagonally and horizontally with its elevators, escalators and travelators.
The Schindler Group employs 40,385 people.
Total sales – SFr8.9 billion (+7.5%)
Operating profit (Ebit) – SFr632 million (+24.4%)
Net profit – SFr401 million (+21.9%)
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