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The business week in Switzerland

It's been a mixed week on the business front in Switzerland, with the news of job losses at the engineering group, Von Roll, dampening evidence that the economic recovery is still accelerating.

This content was published on March 3, 2000 - 11:45

It's been a mixed week on the business front in Switzerland, with the news of job losses at the engineering group, Von Roll, dampening evidence that the economic recovery is still accelerating.

- The engineering group, Von Roll, announced it was cutting 650 jobs, or ten per cent of its workforce, after 1999 results showed a sharp 93 per cent drop in profits.

- Raichle Boots said it was stopping the European production of ski and walking boots with the loss of 65 jobs at its site in Kreuzlingen in canton Thurgau.

- ABB Switzerland released its annual figures which showed a slight drop in net profits but the company said it was because of the spin-off of its electricity production division.

- The best result was announced by the biotechnology concern, Ares-Serono, which had a 141 per cent rise in annual income to 183 million dollars. Sales were just over a billion dollars.

- Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, announced a shake-up of its asset management division just two weeks after a major reorganisation of its private banking operations.

- Switzerland's trade deficit with the rest of the world widened to more than SFr500 million in January. The finance ministry said imports from all trading partners increased significantly while exports were held back by lower than expected demand from the European Union.

- The IMF published its annual report on the Swiss economy, praising the authorities for their sound macro-economic policies which, it said, had provided the basis for rising output, falling unemployment and low inflation.

- The European Central Bank left its interest rates unchanged in spite of the euro's continued weakness against the US dollar.

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