SWITZERLAND: Stadler says its expansion into new geographical markets and industry sectors paid off in 2016, when it received a ‘record-breaking’ number of orders with a total value of SFr4·9bn, more than double the 2015 figure. Turnover and profit were ‘in line with the long-term average’, the company said on June 7. The company has now almost regained the strength it had before being hit by the effects of the 2015 ‘Frankenschock’ which removed the franc to euro exchange rate cap.

‘I am pleased that Stadler was able to overcome the challenges of the Swiss currency crisis in recent years’, said owner & CEO Peter Spuhler. ‘The removal of the Swiss franc’s exchange rate cap resulted in a collapse of the margins. The package of measures decided upon was well received by the workforce and brought the employees even closer together. This has allowed us to make it through the crisis stronger than before and remain on a healthy footing.’

Stadler expects the rolling stock market to grow as a result of increasing populations and the need to update infrastructure. It also expects competion to increase, with Chinese suppliers putting pressure on margins, and plans to counter this by using its balance sheet and expertise to innovate and invest in new products.

The group now has 7 300 employees, of which 3 000 are based in Switzerland. Utilisation levels at its plants are ‘for the most part’ good, with 2016 seeing a significant improvement at the Minsk plant which now has a ‘solid level of basic utilisation’ after previously being hit by the fall in the Russian rouble.

The Stadler Chemnitz business has been formed to provide engineering services, while the Solaris Tram joint venture in Poland and will submit bids in the central European market through a consortium managed by Stadler.

The services business is also growing, with the contract to supply 52 EMUs for the UK’s Merseyrail being Stadler’s first where the long-term maintenance element is worth more than the vehicle order.

Stadler in numbers
Orders, SFr billion 2·6 1·312·871·30·72·62·92·14·9
Turnover, SFr billion0·791·241·07 1·061·091·392·42·5 2·052·1
Employees2 0002 3002 4002 4003 5004 5005 0006 0006 0007 0007 000