Unaxis back in the black

Unaxis numbers look good

Swiss technology group Unaxis, formerly known as Oerlikon-Bührle, has managed to move its results back into positive figures.

This content was published on September 5, 2000 minutes

In the first six months, the Zurich-based company posted a profit of SFr73 million ($42 million), compared to a loss of SFr18 million a year ago.

Unaxis put the improvement down to its new strategy of focusing on the high-technology sector.

Chairman and chief executive, Willy Kissling, said he expected growth to continue. "On the basis of our market assessments and the high numbers of orders in hand, we expect [healthy] sales and profits for the second half of the year."

Unaxis (formerly Oerlikon-Bührle) was founded in 1973 as a conglomerate with a wide range of activities. It was restructured into three core divisions in 1999.

The real estate, footwear and accessories (Bally Group), and the defence business were sold off, and Unaxis still plans to dispose of its aerospace division, Pilatus.

The three remaining divisions are information technology, surface technology and components.

The information technology division is involved in the development and distribution of coating and etching systems used in the manufactures of semi-conductors, optics, data storage devices and displays.

The surface technology division specialises in the contract coating of tools, mechanical components and other durable materials. The components division manufactures vacuum pumps, instrumentation and components for the space industry.

Unaxis is also involved in manufacturing scientific and technical teaching equipment and electro-optical test systems for gas bottles.

by Tom O'Brien

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