Sulzer Continues to Grow in the Fourth Quarter of 2004
Sulzer recorded a high order intake during 2004: at CHF 2,198 million, the figure was 15.2 % over the prior year. In an economically stable environment Sulzer expects a reduced growth rate in 2005.
The order intake of the Corporation was CHF 2,198 million in 2004. This figure translates to a nominal increase of 15.2 % over the prior year. The adjusted growth was 14.1 %. All divisions contributed to this growth. The order intake in the Asian region was high; the European and American markets developed in a stable manner.
In 2004, Sulzer Pumps posted a strong order intake of CHF 1,073.0 million, which corresponds to an increase of 12.9 % (adjusted1, 12.4 %). Acquisition effects more than compensated currency effects. Sulzer Pumps expects good demand in Europe and Asia and stable demand in North America during 2005. The recently acquired pump activities, Johnston, Paco, and Crown, will be integrated during 2005 and will strengthen the portfolio.
Sulzer Metco boosted its order intake by 26.2 % to CHF 534.2 million. Currency effects were insignificant; even after adjustment for acquisition effects, growth was a strong 16.0 % compared with 2003. The rise is based largely on the increased demand in the aviation segment and the automotive sector. For 2005, organic growth is expected in line with long-term goals.
Orders received by Sulzer Chemtech in 2004 were up by 10.9 % (adjusted1, 13.9 %) to CHF 346.0 million. Many orders were received in the Asian and American markets; this explains the negative currency influence due to the weak US dollar. Based on promising market activity, Sulzer Chemtech expects a good order volume for the current year.
Sulzer Turbomachinery Services has shortened its name to Sulzer Turbo Services. The division increased its order intake by 14.8 % (adjusted for currency effects, 19.6 %) to CHF 226.1 million in a difficult market that was stagnant on a low level. Several large contracts were booked in the latter half of 2004. For 2005, Sulzer Turbo Services anticipates a slight recovery of it's markets .
Sulzer Hexis focused on product development in 2004 and, as a consequence, only sporadic orders were accepted. Important technical milestones in system design were reached. Manufacturing costs were reduced by 50 % for an equivalent lot size. In 2005, Sulzer Hexis will look for partners in distribution as well as financing.
The order intake of Others concerns mainly Sulzer Innotec and intercompany eliminations. The decrease compared to the previous year is caused by further closings of Sulzer International sales offices and companies as planned.
Sulzer expects a generally good course of business for the next months, provided that the economic environment remains stable. The above-average growth rates in order intake in 2004 will most likely not be reached in 2005. The Sulzer financial results for 2004 will be presented at the annual media conference on March 3, 2005.