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Daniel Vasella, Novartis' chief executive, favours a strategy of expansion

(Keystone Archive)

The markets are eagerly awaiting financial results from two of Switzerland's biggest companies - Novartis and ABB. Analysts expect strong profits from the Basel-based pharmaceutical firm, and will be watching to see how restructuring is proceeding at ABB.

The life sciences giant, Novartis, is due on Thursday to release its results for 2000. Analysts are forecasting net profit of SFr6.9 billion ($4.1 billion).

Novartis remains the subject of discussions about possible mergers and acquisitions. Its chief executive, Daniel Vasella, said recently that he wanted the company to be bigger. He said power in the marketplace is the main driver behind the Novartis strategy.

The Swiss-Swedish technology group, ABB, is also due to come through with results. Expectations are for net profit to increase to SFr2.86 billion.

ABB is in the midst of a major restructuring programme to shed its image as an old-style engineering conglomerate. The transition is being managed by CEO, Jürgen Centermann, who was appointed late last year.

Other corporate events this week include the Annual General Meeting of the beverages company, Eichhof, quarter three results from LEM, and preliminary results for 2000 from Sika Finanz.

by Michael Hollingdale


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