Company update: Andritz, Austria
Austrian high-technology machinery maker Andritz AG reported cost cutting helped it to post an 8.5% rise in fourth-quarter net profit, reversing three consecutive quarters of declines, and said savings and restructuring measures will propel earnings higher in 2010.
Andritz said it expects sales this year to be flat or slightly above the level achieved in 2009, while the cost cuts and restructuring implemented last year should help generate increased profit.
Chief Executive Wolfgang Leitner told reporters he is sticking to the previously announced target of a margin on earnings before interest, tax and amortization, or Ebita, of 7% in 2010, up from 6% in 2009.
"It's a very ambitious target, but I still believe we can reach it," he said. Leitner added he expects growth in 2010 to come from the hydropower projects business, but he sees no substantial increase in investment activity in pulp and paper and metals, Andritz's two other major business areas.
Andritz's fourth-quarter net profit rose to €37.2 million from €34.3 million in the same period a year earlier as the impact of a leaner cost structure trickled down to the bottom line. Sales dropped 19% to €867.3 million.
Full year profit down
Andritz's full-year net profit fell 31% to €96.8 million from €139.7 million in 2008 as sales fell 11% year-on-year to €3.2 billion and restructuring expenses of €29 million weighed on the bottom line.
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