Lift maker Schindler cutting 2,000 jobs over two years

ZURICH • Swiss lift and escalator maker Schindler yesterday announced 2,000 job cuts over two years after its first-half profit fell by more than a quarter, as the Covid-19 pandemic slammed the brakes on projects and a recovery remains years away.

Its net profit totalled 313 million Swiss francs (S$469 million), the firm said in a statement, down from 436 million Swiss francs a year ago.

Revenue dropped 8.7 per cent to 4.96 billion Swiss francs, while orders fell 12.1 per cent to 5.4 billion Swiss francs, as new installations and modernisation projects declined worldwide and are not expected to recover to last year's levels before 2022.

The world's second-biggest lift maker behind US-based Otis Worldwide has become slightly less pessimistic about its full-year sales outlook, and now expects a decline of up to 6 per cent for this year, less severe than the previous forecast of up to 10 per cent.

Finnish rival Kone expects only a 4 per cent sales decline this year, and said it saw Chinese business recovering.

Schindler said its net profit is now seen between 680 million Swiss francs and 720 million Swiss francs, down from 929 million Swiss francs last year, as it takes restructuring costs of up to 130 million Swiss francs this year as it begins trimming its 66,000-strong workforce.

"Adverse conditions have been accelerating over the last few months and that calls for cost adjustment measures along the whole value chain," said its chief executive Thomas Oetterli.

"We need to remain competitive to be able to fulfil our growth agenda. Reducing cost now is essential to securing the long-term health of our company."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2020, with the headline 'Lift maker Schindler cutting 2,000 jobs over two years'. Print Edition | Subscribe