Switzerland's Lonza Group has reported that net profit increased to SFr161 million ($111 million) during the first half of 2002 - up 5.2 per cent on last year's figures.
The chemicals group said on Wednesday it aims to boost earnings per share at its core life sciences business by 15 per cent a year, forecasting 2002 profit would rise despite a weak global economy.
"Despite the softness of the global economy and barring any further substantial deterioration in trading conditions, the group believes that it will be able to improve on its 2001 performance," the group said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Georg Fischer's first-half group net profit collapsed to SFr5 million from SFr73 million in the corresponding period in 2001.
The Swiss manufacturing group said it would not be possible to match its 2001 results in the full year of 2002. Operating profit was down to SFr42 million from SFr133 million on sales of SFr1.81 billion.
The company blamed "the poor health of the capital goods and semiconductor industries" for its disappointing results.
Micronas, the semiconductor producer, said it expected full-year sales in 2002 to rise by 19-25 per cent and to keep its net profit margin at the same level as its half-year figure of SFr23.2 million.
In a sharp departure from the recent gloom and doom of the semiconductor industry, Micronas said its business developed well in the second quarter.
swissinfo with agencies
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