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The specialty chemicals group, Clariant, reported sales of SFr2.7 billion for the first three months of the year, an increase of 20 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The specialty chemicals group, Clariant, reported sales of SFr2.7 billion for the first three months of the year, an increase of 20 per cent compared with the same period last year. The increase was driven by the growing momentum of key markets and by the acquisition of the British fine chemicals company, BTP, in March.

Without the effect of the BTP acquisition, sales grew 14 per cent.

The technology group, Sulzer, saw its consolidated order intake for the first quarter of this year rise by five per cent to SFr1.4 billion. Adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures, the increase was 11 per cent.

Much of the growth was due to the strong performance of Sulzer Medica, which achieved sales of SFr347 million for the first quarter, a rise of 16 per cent.
Sulzer Industries received orders worth SFr1 billion, two per cent higher than for the first quarter in 1999.

The Mikron Technology Group also achieved good results in the first quarter. Orders rose by 62 per cent to SFr198 million, while net sales jumped 68 per cent to SFr160 million.

There were also some encouraging signs from Swiss Dairy Food, formed by the merger of Toni and Säntis.

The dairy giant is still in the red due to the high costs of last year's merger, but it nonetheless managed to achieve a small operational profit in 1999 of SFr6 million. Net losses totalled SFr59 million.

Clariant, Sulzer and Mikron are expecting sustained dynamic growth in their markets to significantly boost profits for the year as a whole. Swiss Dairy Food is also confident that its figures will continue to improve in 2000.

swissinfo with agencies



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