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Electronics Production | January 19, 2010

Komax sales fell 40% in 2009, lays off 30

In 2009, sales of the Komax fell by around 40% from CHF 342 million (2008 annual sales) to CHF 210 million. The wire business unit was hit hardest.
The majority of the customers in this segment are in the automotive industry. However, sales in the Solar area, which had been experiencing strong growth, also fell. Only the Medtech business unit developed well in 2009, achieving growth.

Nevertheless, business picked up again substantially in the second half of 2009 and both Wire and Solar have bottomed out. New orders received by the Komax in the second half of 2009 were up by 70% on the very low first-half figure. In total, annual order intake fell from CHF 380 million in 2008 to CHF 220 million in 2009.

In the first half of 2009, automotive customers in particular cut right back on capital expenditure. Later on in the year, the situation improved somewhat. During the year as a whole, machines for the household appliances and electronics markets were generally affected less by the downturn, in the wire business.

The Komax Solar business unit performed better in the second half of the year. However, this did not apply to the smaller thin-film area, which accounts for around 20% of Komax's solar sales. However, as the market is still slow, capacity now has to be adjusted to suit the changed environment. The company plans to cut around another 30 jobs.

In the area of medical technology, business in this area remained strong throughout the entire year. Komax won various new customers in this segment.

The order situation has improved in the Wire business unit, short-term working is set to end, crystalline solar is developing well thanks to innovative products, and the Medtech business unit has started off the new year with a high level of orders in hand.

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