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Rieter Orders Up 14 Percent

Rieter Textile Systems, Switzerland, reports textile machinery orders received during the first half of 2004 increased to 619.4 million Swiss francs (CHF) 14 percent over the same period in 2003. Greatest demand came from Asia, and was particularly strong for staple fiber machinery, with orders coming chiefly from China, Turkey and Pakistan. Man-made fiber processing machinery orders were up slightly over the first half of 2003.

While orders were up, actual sales for the first six months were down by 5 percent to 582.4 million CHF.

Rieter cited delivery delays related to scarce energy resources at customer sites in China as contributors to the decline, and expects to clear the backlog in the second half of 2004. Sales to China represented more than 20 percent of total first-half sales, and deliveries to Asian companies increased to 70 percent of the total a 9-percent jump.

The company's operating profit before interest and taxes for the first half of 2004 totaled 58.1 million CHF down from the year-earlier total of 64.4 million CHF. Operating margins were 10.2 percent, compared with 10.9 percent for the first half of 2003.Rieter says its staple fiber processing customers are increasingly interested in purchasing complete spinning installations instead of individual machines.

October 2004