Sales at Swiss specialty chemicals company, Clariant, dropped by five per cent in the first quarter.
Clariant said sales had fallen to SFr2.4 billion ($1.47 billion) compared with SFr2.53 billion for the same period last year.
The company added that result was better than expected and said it anticipated higher earnings and a "marked improvement" in net income for 2002.
Swissfirst profits rise
The banking group, Swissfirst, has posted a rise of 17 per cent in net profits for the first quarter to SFr53.4 million, citing in part favourable moves in interest rates.
Overall revenues rose by four per cent to SFr102.5 million. The group said it had a favourable start in 2002, despite difficult markets, and it remained confident it could meet its growth targets for the year.
swissinfo with agencies