STADLER describes 2004 as ’a very profitable business year’ in its annual financial statement issued on April 26.

Consolidated sales of SFr556m for the year were 25% ahead of projections, and significantly above the 2004 figure of SFr322m. The number of employees at the company’s plants in Bussnang, Altenrhein and Pankow rose from 900 to 1100.

During 2005 the company is expecting orders worth SFr 400m and sales of SFr500m. Having won a €80m contract to supply 30 low-floor trams and six high-floor railcars to Bochum-Gelsenkirchen, Stadler is anticipating growth in the tram market equivalent to that which it has achieved in the regional and urban sectors. Export sales are to be developed, and an international business unit has been created, headed by Jürg Gygax.

CAPTION: Custom-designed vehicles supplied to Stadler’s traditional niche markets during 2004 included 800mm gauge rack EMUs with a panoramic centre car built for the Wengernalpbahn in Switzerland