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April 26, 1994

ASCOM LOSSES COME TO $234m, EXCEEDING MOST ANALYSTS’ WORST FEARS

By CBR Staff Writer

Ravaged Swiss telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ascom Holding AG reported losses for 1993 equivalent to $234m, exceeding analysts’ worst forecasts; orders received in 1993 fell by 1% and sales declined by 6%. Admitting that 1993 had been a very bad year for Ascom, the company, created with the merger of Switzerland’s three public telecommunications manufacturers in the late 1980s, blamed the generally tense economic situation, particularly in Switzerland and other European countries, acknowledging that its structural weaknesses were exposed ruthlessly by the recession. According to Reuter, the company says its new structure based on three groups telecommunications, enterprise networks, and service automation – and a slim headquarters, took effect on April 1, and it expects the restructuring to lead to break-even this year and a return to profit next. Sales in 1994 are expected to decline by about $350m this year as a result of divestments, and a further $280m next year from the spinning off of its public networks unit into a joint venture with L M Ericsson Telefon AB – it plans to divest its private mobile radio activities, its microelectronics unit and hearing aid business in 1994. It expects to seal its joint venture with Robert Bosch GmbH on the private mobile radio division early next month.

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