Business Week Ahead

The reporting season continues here in Switzerland with some major corporate results out over the coming week.

This content was published on March 19, 2000 - 20:12

The reporting season continues here in Switzerland with some major corporate results out over the coming week.

Swiss telecommunication giant Swisscom is expected by analysts to reveal higher net profits on Wednesday despite cuts in its call prices.

The former monopoly operator, in which the Swiss government still owns 65.5 per cent, is expected to show big rises in internet and mobile phone usage, while fixed line revenues could be down after call rate cuts.

On average analysts are expecting net income to come in at SFr1.63 billion for 1999, up from SFr1.56 billion in 1998.

The main interest in Swisscom's results will no doubt be in how well the group is coping in the more competitive Swiss fixed-line telecommunications market.

There is also some speculation about a new tranche of Swisscom shares coming to the market. Swisscom management is in favour of privatisation but is not pushing an early timetable.

Full results are out from speciality chemicals group Clariant on Tuesday. The Basle based company expects 1999 income to rise as a sales upturn at the end of the year helped make up for a weak performance in the early part of the year.

At the beginning of February Clariant reported a one per cent increase in sales to SFr9.2 billion.

Dealers will also be looking to Tuesday's results to see what impact Clariant's takeover of British fine chemicals group BTP will have on numbers.

Clariant has already forecast further improvement in its markets in 2000, as it expects to extend the dynamic growth recorded in the fourth quarter.

Otherwise markets are set for a quieter week with the rise in interest rates from the European Central Bank calming nerves on the stock and currency markets.

Written by Tom O'Brien.

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