Switzerland's Oerlikon-Buhrle has shelved plans to sell turboprop aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft. The Zurich-based company is also changing its name to Unaxis after refocusing on the high-technology sector.

The former industrial conglomerate has divested Oerlikon-Buhrle Immobilien, shoemaker Bally and Oerlikon Contraves Defence, a specialist in land-based systems, while establishing Contraves Space as a separate division.

Stans-based Pilatus, which had record sales of SFr435 million ($262 million) in 1999, up 13%, and operating profits of SFr12 million, is still regarded as non-core. Group chairman Willy Kissling says, however, that divestiture will be postponed until "an optimal solution" can be found. In the long term, Pilatus requires "a broader operational basis", he adds.

Operations in core areas produced group sales of SFr1.89 billion last year, with operating profit up 10% to SFr111 million and net profit up 13% to SFr54 million.

Source: Flight International