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E-shots Web-exclusive: Reading Netstal’s financials

Swiss-based molding machine maker Netstal's 2005 financials came out recently, and the numbers were, to say the least, interesting. For the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2005, sales were down from 356 million to 315 million Swiss francs ($271 million to $240 million) compared with the previous year. Net profit, however, rose slightly. Apart from it being a tight year in general, Netstal pointed at the overcapacity in the optical disk business, where it delivered 25% fewer machines than the previous year. The OD business is, in fact, going through more than just an overcapacity problem.

Talking with Netstal's Reto Morger and Roman Eicher in the company's stand at the recent Plast show in Milan, Italy, they mentioned how the well-publicized conflict between two competing standards for the next generation of DVDs is slowing demand. In addition, the demand for current-generation CDs is being impacted by things such as music being downloaded onto computers via the Internet, computer software taking the same route, and the sinking costs and higher capacities of storage media like hard disks and memory cards.

The OD business by no means is going away, and Netstal is strongly committed to it. The company is also intensifying its focus on its business in PET preform systems, electric machines for precision and cleanroom uses, and standard IMs for high-speed, thin-wall applications in packaging, medical, and technical electronics.

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