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Business week outlook

A busy week awaits dealers on the Swiss market this week, with a clutch of major companies revealing their 1999 results and the publication of some key economic data.

This content was published on March 5, 2000 - 19:27

A busy week awaits dealers on the Swiss market this week, with a clutch of major companies revealing their 1999 results and the publication of some key economic data.

On Monday, the SAirGroup is set to reveal its latest figures in full. Analysts are expecting a 25 to 30 per cent drop in profits, which are forecast between SFr245 and SFr284 million.

The business is expected to have suffered because of the poor performance of its Swissair subsidiary, which failed to escape the turmoil that hit the airline industry last year. Overcapacity, particularly on key North American routes, has affected the prices and yields of most airlines.

However SAirGroup will not be as badly affected as others in the sector, due to its continued diversification programme.

The situation should be better at Switzerland's largest bank UBS, which reveals its numbers for 1999 on Thursday.

The chief executive, Marcel Ospel, said last week he was confident about 1999 results. The figures will come hot on the heels of UBS's recent restructuring of its private banking operations.

Also on Thursday, final numbers are due out from the Winterthur-based company, Sulzer Medica. The medical technology company has already revealed its sales for last year were up eight per cent to SFr1.2 billion, with the order intake up two per cent at SFr5.4 billion.

Sulzer Medica's improved performance is expected to contrast with the unsatisfactory business seen in several other divisions of Sulzer Industries. Sulzer holds a 74 per cent stake in Sulzer Medica.

The economic date due out this week includes Gross Domestic Product for the final quarter of 1999, which is due out Thursday morning, and unemployment figures for February, released on Friday.

GDP in the third quarter of 1999 rose 2.4 per cent and unemployment in January was at 2.6 per cent.

By Tom O'Brien

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