The technology group Unaxis, which has been the subject of a drawn-out takeover battle, has posted disappointing figures for the first half of the year.This content was published on August 18, 2005 - 11:03
The company, owned by Austrian investment company Victory since June, posted a net loss for this period of SFr117 million ($92.78 million).
Sales declined by 30 per cent over the comparable period last year to SFr702 million, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
During the first half of last year, sales had totalled just over SFr1 billion and net profit was SFr22 million.
The maker of machines used for producing computer chips said its business had suffered from cyclically-related weak demand and severe price pressure.
Unaxis explained that total orders received by the company from January to June had fallen by 35 per cent to SFr714 million.
It said that the "disappointing course of business" in its semiconductor equipment business, had led to a negative operating result of -SFr112 million.
Analysts had expected Unaxis, which has also businesses in data storage, vacuum solutions, coating services, optics and space technology, to report a first-half net loss of SFr46 million, including restructuring costs.
In its outlook, the company said that the new management team had taken measures for the profitable development of the group.
The board of directors and executive board had set a "clear-cut, ambitious goal" to make Unaxis a world-renowned multi-business high-tech company.
The statement said that Unaxis would be rapidly stabilised and returned to the black. Cost-cutting programmes had been introduced with the aim of achieving a significant increase in profitability.
And management of the various businesses would be tied more closely to the group level than had been the case in the past.
It said that control instruments within the company were to be expanded, particularly in terms of financial reporting, risk management and the management of human resources.
Unaxis said that for the full year group revenues would come in below the level recorded last year.
It added that the second half of 2005 would see positive earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) but this would be unable to compensate for the losses suffered in the first six months.
At the end of June the company's chief financial officer and head of human resources left the loss-making company as a result of management changes decided at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting.
At that meeting, Unaxis shareholders voted to give control of the group to Victory, ending a drawn-out battle for ownership.
swissinfo with agencies
Sales: SFr702 million (-30 per cent over comparable period in 2004).
Operating profit (Ebit): -SFr112 million (SFr43 million in first half 2004).
Net profit: -SFr117 million (SFr22 million in first half 2004).
The Unaxis board of directors and management say they want to stabilise the company and return to the black "rapidly".
The company made a loss in 2004 of SFr378 million after announcing several profit warnings.
Uxaxis, based at Pfäffikon in canton Schwyz, currently employs about 6,800 people
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