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Swiss aluminium producer sees profits rise for sixth year running

The Swiss aluminium and packaging company, Algroup, has recorded an increase in its net profit for the sixth consecutive year.

This content was published on March 16, 2000 - 09:43

The Swiss aluminium and packaging company, Algroup, has recorded an increase in its net profit for the sixth consecutive year.

Net profits grew by 15.8 per cent to SFr 440 million.

Turnover increased by a more modest sum, rising 1.2 per cent to SFr 6.55 billion.

The company said all divisions had contributed to growth in 1999.

And the prospects for the current year are bright as well according to Algroup. "Based on the current trading conditions, we expect the 2000 results to equal or exceed 1999 levels," said the company statement.

The annual figures no longer include the specialty chemicals company, Lonza, which was spun off as part of Algroup's planned merger with Canada's Alcan and Pechiney of France.

The tie-up has for the moment fallen foul of the European Commission, which is worried about the consequences for competition in the aluminium industry.

The three-way merger would create the world's second-largest aluminium group, just behind Alcoa in the United States.

The EU Commission fears the new company will have too dominant a position in Europe's market for rolled aluminium used in the car industry and for making food and drinks cans.

Pechiney was forced to withdraw its request for the Commission's approval on Tuesday and plans to re-submit the proposal in the next couple of weeks.

The Alcan-Algroup proposal is proceeding as planned with a final decision expected from the Commission next week.

The three companies say they still plan to complete their merger by the third quarter of the year.

swissinfo and agencies

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