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Sulzer releases mixed results

The industrial and medical technology group, Sulzer, has reported another mixed set of sales figures. The group as a whole has announced a two per cent increase for 1999, but that masks some considerable differences in performance.

This content was published on January 20, 2000 - 10:02

The industrial and medical technology group, Sulzer, has reported another mixed set of sales figures. The group as a whole has announced a two per cent increase for 1999, but that masks some considerable differences in performance.

Once again, Sulzer Medica is the star of the group, reporting a rise in sales of eight per cent to almost SFr1.2 billion. The company said sales at its orthopedics division rose by eleven per cent to SFr973 million, while sales of cardiovascular prostheses declined by a lower than expected six per cent.

But the performance of Sulzer Medica contrasted with weaker figures from many other divisions within the industrial giant.

"We knew that we would have quite a difficult year," said company spokesman Hans-Kaspar Rieser, "so in this respect we are quite satisfied although there are strong deviations. For example, in textiles there is still a very difficult market condition and oil, gas and petrochemicals are weak too, although we are expecting a slight recovery this year."

Sales for the industrial divisions were up just one per cent over the year.

Analysts say they expect the new chairman, Ueli Roost, to take measures to turn Sulzer around when he takes charge of the company in April. They say he will have to act fast to satisfy investors.

"The stock had a very, very strong upmove in recent weeks and it's currently consolidating at current levels," said Bank Leu trader, Eleanor Sharraz. "I don't really think the stock is a must-have but since it is a turn-around situation the stock, once it has consolidated, could be interesting for future investment."

By Michael Hollingdale

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