Sulzer looks to 2002 with cautious optimism

18.04.2002

Order intake by the core divisions of the Sulzer Corporation for the first quarter 2002 totaled CHF 533 million, matching the exceptionally high level of prior year. Overall, corporate order intake totaled CHF 597 million (–1% compared with 2001, but +4% adjusted for acquisitions, divestitures and currency effects). Sulzer looks to the current year with reserved optimism and expects order intake for 2002 as a whole to exceed that of 2001.

Although conditions on Sulzer’s markets still vary widely, the four core divisions attained their highest quarterly order intake since the exceptionally good first quarter of 2001.

First-quarter order intake details by division are as follows:

Sulzer Metco’s order intake rose by 17% to CHF 116 million (+1% adjusted for acquisitions, divestitures and currency effects). Thanks to the diversification of its business in various mar­kets, this coating technology division attained a satisfactory overall order volume. Once the economy fully recovers, the currently weak market segments of aviation and general industry will profit over proportionally.

Although order intake of Sulzer Turbomachinery Services is 22% lower at CHF 51 million than for the exceptionally good first quarter 2001 (adjusted: –20%), it is well above the average for the last three quarters of the prior year. Despite the recessive trends in relevant markets over the last few months, there are good prospects of an attractive order volume for 2002 as a whole.

Sulzer Pumps’ order intake rose by 4% to CHF 285 million (adjusted: +11%). This significant growth is attributable in particular to the strong market segment oil & gas, while activities in the pulp and paper market and the power generation sector are still at a low level. Thanks to its market diversification and good strategic positioning, Sulzer Pumps is proving to be a stable pillar business of the Sulzer Corporation.

Sulzer Chemtech’s order intake of CHF 81 million for the first quarter 2002 was 14% lower than in the same period last year. However, this comparison with the strong first quarter 2001 conceals the encouraging fact that order intake by this division in its chemical and petrochemi­cal markets is the highest since nine months. Despite ongoing market stagnation, Sulzer Chemtech looks to the current year with reserved optimism.

Sulzer Hexis’ (order intake CHF 2 million) has acquired three more prominent marketing part­ners in Germany for its “HXS 1000 Premiere” fuel cell system: E.ON Energie AG, Thyssengas GmbH, and VNG – Verbundnetz Gas AG. The pre-series contingent of around 400 fuel cell systems is thus nearly sold out. Development work is already underway on a more compact and further improved series product for market launch as of 2004/2005.

In a separate media release, Sulzer announced today the sale of Sulzer Burckhardt through a management buy-out, thus completing successfully the corporate focusing phase. This division’s order intake of CHF 47 million for the first quarter 2002 is therefore no longer relevant to the future of Sulzer.

Overall order intake by the Sulzer Corporation for the first six months of 2002 will be announced on July 18.

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