ZURICH, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Swiss pump maker Sulzer proposed on Thursday a special dividend of 14.60 Swiss francs on top of an ordinary payout of 3.50 francs for 2015 as it returns excess cash to shareholders.
“The company aims to keep sufficient headroom for value accretive M&A activities in the near term. However, it remains committed to optimising its currently inefficient capital structure in the present interest rate environment,” the group that is 63 percent controlled by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg said.
It said 2015 operational earnings before interest, tax and amortisation fell 16.1 percent to 254.1 million Swiss francs ($257 million), in line with the average estimate of 255 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The company had said in October 2015 operating profit would likely fall by 10 to 15 percent.
Sulzer forecast that a weak oil sector would push 2016 order intake and sales downs by 5 to 10 percent adjusted for currency effects, while accelerated cost cuts would help put the operating margin at around 8 percent.
$1 = 0.9884 Swiss francs Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Angelika Gruber