Swiss plastics engineering firm EMS Chemie has reported a 12 per cent drop in net profits for the first half of 2002.
The company, which is owned by right-wing politician Christoph Blocher, said net profits had decreased to SFr108 million ($72.8 million) compared with the corresponding period in 2001.
The result came alongside a 3.7 per cent drop in sales for the first six months of 2002 to SFr620 million.
Blocher said the profit fall was due to tougher trading conditions, higher raw material costs and the strengthening of the Swiss franc, which has eroded the company's export performance. Analysts said the result was close to market expectations.
EMS Chemie says it expects full-year sales to rise slightly, operating profit to be flat at last year's SFr163 million, and financial profit to come in close to last year's SFr66 million.
Blocher, who controls two thirds of the group's capital, said it was considering withdrawing from the stock exchange and would take a final decision before the end of the year..
swissinfo with agencies
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