Profits up at SGS as restructuring continues

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The world's largest inspection and testing group, the Geneva-based Societé Générale de Surveillance (SGS), has seen half-year net profits rise 34 per cent to SFr57.8 million ($33.4 million).

This content was published on September 5, 2000 - 14:05

Sales over the same period increased to SFr1.2 billion, an improvement of SFr100 million.

In a statement on Tuesday, the company played down earnings prospects for the year, saying revenue would be hit by "increased business development expenditure, including costs associated with e-commerce, and the non-renewal of the pre-shipment contract with the Philippines".

It added that its restructuring programme would continue beyond the original target date of June 2000, but said the costs were not expected to exceed the restructuring budget of SFr200 million set in 1998.

In September of that year, SGS reported a substantial fall in first-half profits. It blamed weaker performance in the "Services to Governments and International Institutions" sector, as well as difficult trading in certain key markets and perceived internal inefficiencies.

The group responded by outlining a new corporate strategy to improve competitiveness, innovation, growth and profitability.

SGS said it would focus on its position as the world leader in its core business - providing assurance through verification, testing and certification of products and services.

Over the past two years the group has divested itself of a number of activities, including services to the insurance industry, and healthcare and biosciences services.

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