Swisslog remains bullish despite sales drop

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Swisslog has recorded a slight drop in order intake and net sales for the first half of 2010 compared to the same period last year, impacted by a one time effect originating from the Healthcare Solutions division.

The group’s order intake declined by 5.7 per cent to 345.4 million CHF, while order backlog as of 30th June 2010 stood at 475.2 million CHF, a 3.8 per cent decrease.

The reduction of 8.9 per cent in net sales to 304.3 million CHF met expectations. The group achieved an operating profit of 5.7 million CHF, down from 16.0 million CHF in the same period last year.

Swisslog chief executive Remo Brunschwiler said he expects the second half of the year to be better, based mostly on the existing order backlog and the implemented measures at Healthcare Solutions Europe.

Moreover, there are first signs of a recovery of demand for both divisions, primarily in the North American and Asian markets.

The outlook for the current business year given in March 2010 is adjusted to take into account events, as well as the development of the business environment. Order intake is expected to reach about last year’s level. While the forecast for net sales is somewhat better (reduction of approximately five per cent instead of five to ten per cent), Swisslog anticipates a reduction in operating profit (EBIT) of around 30 per cent (instead of five to ten per cent) barring any unforeseen events.

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