By Liz White, ERJ staff
Altdorf, Switzerland-The Rubber+Plastics Division of Swiss group DÃ¤twyler posted a 13.9 percent increase in sales to Sw Fr 68.9 million (Euro 45 million) in the first half of 2004, despite "a highly competitive market environment," said the group, in its first half results statement.
DÃ¤twyler said its polymer products division continued to build on its positive earnings momentum with a 16.7 percent increase in earnings (EBIT) to Sw Fr 2.1 million.
"Sales in the automotive sector were substantially higher," the group added. Results at DÃ¤twyler's US operations improved following restructuring, and sales in the construction sector also exceeded 2003's figure. Reorganisation of operations in France, initiated last year, also had a positive effect on earnings.
In the industrial sector, Datwyler addition of some Sw Fr 4.5 million in annual sales as result of buying Lonstroff AG's extrusion business. The establishment of a manufacturing location in the Ukraine, created a foundation for serving that market in greater depth.
With a consistent level of demand, the division expects sales and earnings for 2004 to exceed the previous year's figures.
In the first half of 2004 the total Group reported sales of Sw Fr 545.3 million, an increase of 5.7 percent over the same period last year. Net group earnings increased by 14.9 percent to SwFr 15.4 million.
"Despite this encouraging trend, profitability is still short of target levels." DÃ¤twyler commented. In particular "drastic price increases for raw materials such as copper, elastomer and steel affected the margins," the group's statement added.
However, as long as no exceptional circumstances arise in the second half, DÃ¤twyler said it believes 2004's results will exceed those of 2003.