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Straumann profit slumps but outlook is good

Swiss dental implant maker Straumann suffered a 95 per cent dip in its net profit last year to SFr8.2 million ($7.06 million).

The company, which has its headquarters in Basel, said the economic downturn had led to a revaluation of intangible assets and exceptional write-downs totalling SFr173 million. Sales for the year totalled SFr778.7 million.

Gilbert Achermann, chief executive of the world's second-largest producer in the sector, said the market for implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry was likely to shrink in 2009, but the group should outperform its peers.

"We expect to outperform the market. We see a stagnation [of revenue] in local currencies or slight growth," Achermann told Reuters.

Straumann's rival, market leader Nobel Biocare, on Wednesday announced that its net profit fell by one third in 2008 to €109.7 million (SFr164.3 million), with turnover down 4.2 per cent.

The Zurich-based firm missed expectations as cash-strapped customers continued to cut spending on its top-of-the-range treatments.

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