Europe's biggest biotechnology firm, Serono, and the world's largest employment services firm, Adecco, have reported a drop in second-quarter net income.This content was published on July 24, 2002 - 18:34
There was better news for Swiss goods inspections group Ste Generale de Surveillance (SGS), which reported that first-half net profit had risen by 50 per cent to SFr66 million.
Serono lowers forecasts
Serono said on Wednesday that net income slid to SFr139.7 million ($95.2 million) in the second quarter, down from the SFr153 million reported for the same period last year.
The Geneva-based company lowered its full-year growth estimate to ten per cent from its previous forecast of 15-17 per cent.
Its chief executive officer, Ernesto Bertarelli, nevertheless remained upbeat about the results.
"I am very pleased with our business performance, in particular the excellent progress of [multiple sclerosis drug] Rebif in the United States, which has allowed us to deliver a solid financial performance with an increase in underlying earnings of 16.1 per cent," he said.
Swiss-based Adecco's second-quarter net profit fell 45 per cent to SFr201 million - lower than anticipated. The company warned that any business upturn would come later than originally thought.
Group sales dropped ten per cent to SFr12.4 billion, while operating income slipped 40 per cent to SFr371 million.
Analysts had expected first-half sales of SFr12.4 billion and net income pre-intangibles of SFr229 million. "The investment community never expected Adecco to reach last year's result," said Jerome Caille, Adecco CEO.
The testing and certification company, SGS, forecast that net profit would rise in 2002. The upbeat assessment came as it announced that operating profit also jumped 59 per cent to SFr97 million.
The firm's board gave the go-ahead to buy back up to SFr250 million worth of shares.
swissinfo with agencies