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It is likely to be a busy week for the Swiss market as the interim reporting season gets into full swing.

This content was published on August 13, 2000 - 09:08

The Basel-based company, Ciba Speciality Chemicals, will reveal its first half numbers on Tuesday. It said at the beginning of the month that it is on track to meet its target for 2000.

Analysts are expecting the group to post a net profit this year of SFr392.5million ($235.6 million), up from SFr325 million in 1999.

Ciba will no doubt also give an initial reaction to how its New York Stock Exchange market listing has been going. The company listed its shares in New York on August 2.

The international pharmaceuticals giant, Roche, will also disclose its half yearly figures in Basel on Tuesday.

The group, which recently sold off its fragrance and flavours division, Givaudan, has come in for some negative broker attention. The London-based broker, Lehman Brothers, downgraded its rating at the end of last month.

The research note from the brokerage said: "the short term may be fine for Roche, but the lifeblood of a drug company is its new product pipeline and this looks distinctly weak."

However, Roche's chief execuitive, Franz Hummer, said in June he expects a very strong operating profit performance, while playing down reports that sales of its key anti-obesity drug, Xenical, had tailed off in the US.

Givaudan, sold by Roche in June, will also reveal its interim results on Tuesday.

Bank Sarasin analyst, Denise Anderson, said last month the group might be interested in acquiring its United States competitor, Bush Boake and Allan.

The other big name to reveal its six-month figures will be Switzerland's largest holiday group, Kuoni, with results out on Wednesday.

Kuoni's chief financial officer, Max Katz, said in May the group expects to post higher sales and operating profits this year compared to 1999.

Last year the group suffered from a SFr26.8 million charge to cover costs incurred in its failed bid to merge with Britain's First Choice Holidays.

Katz pointed out that the second half of every year tends to be significantly stronger for Kuoni, thanks to seasonal factors such as the summer and Christmas holiday.

"About 10 to 20 per cent of annual operating results can be expected in the first half. The remainder - about 80 or 90 per cent - comes in the second half," he said.

by Tom O'Brien


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