First half net profit at the pharmaceutical and diagnostics group Roche was virtually unchanged at SFr2.99 billion ($1.77 billion) as sales at its flagship pharmaceutical business rose five per cent on an adjusted basis.
The numbers were better than analysts had expected as the Basel-based company saw net financial income rise by 20 per cent at SFr1.5 billion, which included gains from the sale of LabCorp shares.
"The figures look good and the profits were substantially ahead of what we were forecasting. However, what they are saying about the full year doesn't quite fit ," said David Beadle, analyst with UBS Warburg in London.
Barring unforeseen events, Roche expects its full-year operating result to be similar to that of 2000. It expected "good single-digit growth" for the full year in pharmaceutical sales.
The results for the first half of 2001 include restructuring costs of SFr660 million. Roche said total restructuring costs are estimated at SFr1 billion.
swissinfo with agencies