The Swiss speciality chemicals group, Clariant, says sales in 2000 were 16 per cent higher than the previous year, reaching SFr10.58 billion ($6.4 billion).
The Basel-based group said on Thursday that it expected sales growth to continue in 2001. "In the current year Clariant expects to see dynamic expansion of its business, particularly in strategic growth areas," the company said in a statement.
The surge in sales in 2000 was driven by the strong performance of new products, and 52 per cent growth in sales in the life sciences and electronic chemicals division.
This increase was sustained by rising demand for products needed in the manufacture of semiconductors and electronic equipment.
The company also pointed out that it had strengthened its position in the fast-growing market for photoresists used in computer flat screens.
Clariant will report profits for 2000 on March 20. It warned that profits would fall as a result of its billion pound acquisition of Britain's BTP Chemicals.
However, taking out the acquisition effect of BTP, sales in Swiss franc terms were up only seven per cent over last year.
Clariant was founded in 1995 and comprises the former chemical division of Sandoz: producing dyes and chemicals. It took over Hoechst's specialty chemical business in 1997. In 1999 the company acquired the British chemicals producer BTP.
swissinfo with agencies