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Tecan announces job cuts

The Swiss laboratory systems group, Tecan, says it is to shed up to a tenth of its 900-strong workforce after reporting a 22 per cent drop in first-half net profit.

The group said business had been hit by a slowdown in its key life sciences market and the strong Swiss franc.

The news sent Tecan’s share price plunging more than 20 per cent during early afternoon trading on Tuesday, from SFr39 to SFr30.8.

“While the implementation of our cost stabilisation programme has allowed us to reduce our expenses to SFr90 million for the first half of 2002, this effort is not sufficient with regard to our current level of business,” warned Emile Sutcliffe, CEO of the Tecan Group.

“Accordingly, Tecan has decided to implement immediately a cost and headcount reduction programme that will affect between eight and ten per cent of the company’s workforce on a worldwide basis.”

Net profit fell to SFr16.2 million ($11 million) from SFr20.9 million during the corresponding period last year. Operating profit fell 16.1 per cent to SFr23.6 million on sales of SFr166.8 million, down from SFr174.5 million in the same period a year ago.

Tecan, which supplies the life sciences industry, said it assumed “spending by the pharmaceutical and biotech industry will remain weak for the remainder of the year and possibly early next year”.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR