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Logitech knocked off top spot in business survey

An Synthes-Stratec employee

(Keystone)

The medical devices firm, Synthes-Stratec, has scooped first place in an annual survey of Switzerland's 100 most dynamic businesses, knocking technology darling Logitech off its perch.

Logitech, known for developing the computer mouse, fell to third place in the league table compiled by the Swiss business magazine "Bilanz".

The survey highlighted the difficulties faced by Swiss firms in the current market environment, which has been marred by accounting scandals, record losses and management crises.

But it found that some companies, particularly those in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, were weathering the current storm successfully.

Straumann, a world leader in dental implants, moved up to the second spot.

Bilanz compiles the list based eight criteria which are designed to measure the performances of individual companies over both the short- and long-term.

The survey takes into account factors such as the global presence of a company, its annual growth and financial turnover, as well as its overall performance on the stock market.

Winners...

The magazine noted that pharmaceutical and biotech firms had performed especially well since last year's survey.

Synthes-Stratec has shown a 29 per cent return on equity, making it the most profitable company in the country, the survey said.

Despite its comparatively small stock market value of SFr1.8 billion, Straumann proved it was a significant player among the country's leading firms, Bilanz said.

Straumann was ranked above the pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, which had to be content with tenth spot. Nevertheless, it was a significant improvement on its 45th position in last year's poll.

Banking gap

Private banks - hard hit by the current economic downturn - were conspicuous by their absence from this year's top 100 list.

The Zurich-based banks, Julius Bär and Vontobel, were ranked 143 and 193 respectively, while Basel-based Sarasin came in at 170.

The results they recorded were termed "too pitiful" to be included in the top 100, Bilanz said.

Credit Suisse Group continued its slide down the rankings. It plummeted from 83rd place in 2002 to 191.

The insurer, Zurich Financial Services, did not even feature in this year's table, paying the price for some hugely expensive write-downs in its 2002 results.

Kudelski, active in digital decoding systems, also suffered as a result of failed business ventures. It lagged behind in 168th position.

The canton Vaud-based technology company did not anticipate the crisis in the pay television market, Bilanz commented.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The survey found that some companies, particularly in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, were weathering the downturn.

The rankings are based on eight criteria, including global presence, annual growth and turnover, and stock market performance.

Private banks - hard hit by the current economic downturn - were conspicuous by their absence from this year's top 100.

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