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Resilient performance in a challenging year

Order intake in Rotating Equipment Services (RES) grew by 2.5% in 2020 despite customer site access restrictions. Sales remained on the previous year’s level. The division reported stable operational profit and robust operational profitability at 13.9%, helped by cost-out measures.

If not otherwise indicated, changes from the previous year are based on currency-adjusted figures.

Executing critical service tasks

As the world struggled with the first, second and even third waves of the coronavirus pandemic, the supply of global goods was disrupted time and again. Our dedicated RES teams around the globe joined the circle of workers who helped maintain operation of critical infrastructure during lockdowns.

Towards the year-end, the service teams in the UK supported NHS hospitals in keeping their operating theatres open and fixing heating issues. After receiving emergency calls on Christmas Day, the teams went the extra mile to solve critical pump and motor issues within hours to enable seamless operations – proving the responsiveness, effectiveness and diligence of Sulzer’s service network with its proximity to customers. We could not be prouder of our teams.

Amid the economic recession induced by the pandemic, we proved the resilience of our service business with growing orders, stable sales and robust operational profitability. The credit for this outstanding performance goes to our dedicated people who went above and beyond the call of duty to support customers around the clock.

Daniel Bischofberger, Division President Rotating Equipment Services

Key figures Rotating Equipment Services

millions of CHF






Change in +/–%


+/–% adjusted 1)


+/–% organic 2)

Order intake











Order intake gross margin











Order backlog as of December 31

































Operational profit











Operational profitability











Employees (number of full-time equivalents) as of December 31











1) Adjusted for currency effects.

2) Adjusted for acquisition and currency effects.

Order growth

RES reported an order increase of 2.5% compared with 2019 – a remarkable performance given the pandemic-driven customer site restrictions. All product lines supported order growth, helped by the acquisition of Alba Power. Strong order growth in the first quarter of 2020 was somewhat offset by a decrease in the second and third quarters, impacted by restricted access to customer sites and less investment activity. Orders started to stabilize again in the fourth quarter year on year.

Order intake increased by 4.7% in the Americas and by 4.5% in Asia-Pacific, while they remained stable in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

Order intake by segment
Order intake by region

Stable sales and robust operational profitability

Sales remained on the previous year’s level. Operational profit remained robust, supported by structural cost-out measures from the Energy Resilience program, resulting in stable operational profitability of 13.9%.

Safety performance in 2020

In 2020, RES reported an accident frequency rate (AFR) of 1.6 cases per million working hours, after a strong decline to 0.7 cases the year before. The accident severity rate (ASR) decreased to 24.2 lost days per million working hours in 2020 from 60.7 in 2019. RES and Pumps Equipment jointly developed COVID-19 contingency and prevention plans to implement effective safety control measures while introducing substantial changes to working methods and shift patterns. To curb an increase in AFR during the first half-year, RES developed and introduced the “12 Life-Saving Rules” initiative and a dedicated program of Safety Compliance Training courses which will continue throughout 2021. Together with the RES Highly Hazardous Activity self-assessment program, the additional initiatives helped reduce accident and severity rates over the course of the year.


EBIT: Earnings before interest and taxes

For the definition of the alternative performance measures, please refer to “Supplementary information”.