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Serono improves bottom line as Adecco profits fall

Serono's research and development is paying handsome dividends (Serono)

Swiss biotechnology specialist, Serono, has posted a 17 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit to reach $74.5 million (SFr111.6 million).

But the Swiss employment services company, Adecco, blamed the economic environment for a fall in profits.

Serono's improved results come off the back of a 46 per cent rise in sales of its multiple sclerosis drug, Rebif, which totalled $139.4 million.

Total sales for the company were $349.3 million, up 18 per cent on the same period last year.

Rebif - which has been available on the key American market since March - accounts for more than half of Serono's product sales.

The company says it remains on course to register an increase in net profit of ten per cent this year.

Profits drop at Adecco

Adecco, the largest employment firm of its type in the world, has failed to meet analysts' expectations.

Third-quarter profit - which had been expected to reach SFr127 million - slumped 43 per cent to SFr120 million.

Overall sales were down nine per cent to SFr6.42 billion over the same period.

The company blamed the poor results on the current weak global economy, which has hurt job markets, as well as the strength of the Swiss franc.

Adecco's management is hoping that the first half of 2003 will see an improvement in figures, but said that short-term results were likely to continue to be affected by the economic downturn.

Decline in orders at Sulzer

The Swiss engineering concern, Sulzer, announced on Wednesday a three per cent decline in orders for the first nine months of the year.

The company blamed sluggish investment activity in the industrial engineering sector for the fall in orders.

New orders slipped to SFr1.43 billion, and the company warned that it did not expect operating income to reach last year's total of SFr119 million.

swissinfo

Key facts

Biotechnology specialist, Serono, posts 17 per cent rise in third-quarter net profits to reach SFr111.6 million.
Third-quarter profits at Adecco slump by 43 per cent to SFr120 million.
Sulzer announces three per cent decline in orders for first nine months of year.

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