The specialty chemicals group, Clariant, released nine-month sales figures on Wednesday that failed to live up to expectations.This content was published on October 17, 2001 - 10:01
The company said nine-month sales were flat in local currencies and down four per cent in Swiss francs to SFr7.59 billion ($4.65 billion). Clariant said it did not expect its second-half operating margins to beat first-half levels.
However, the group added that its divestment and restructuring programmes were on track and that it expected to cut debt sharply this year.
Clariant said it expected earnings to rebound next year as cost cutting measures bear fruit and the economy bounces back.
Clariant is in the process of cutting 3,500 jobs over the next two years. It said in August it was shutting down 10 plants and was in advanced talks to sell two businesses in the paper chemicals and specialty intermediates field. The transactions should be completed by the end of March.
Clariant shares opened down more than six per cent at SFr23, however it recovered towards the close, ending the session nine per cent higher at SFr26 as bargain hunters bought the stock. The company's share price has fallen almost 60 per cent this year.
swissinfo with agencies