The Week In Review

Positive news about the Swiss economy continued last week.

This content was published on August 19, 2000 - 14:49

The Federal Customs Authority reported that Switzerland's exporters were reaping the benefits of the continuing economic boom in the United States. Latest figures indicated that a weak currency and strong US demand had pushed exports to a record high.

They showed exports last year increasing by 17.4 per cent to reach SFr13 billion ($7.6 billion). In the past six months, they continued to rise by 11.5 per cent.

A swathe of companies reported half year figures this week.

The Basel-based healthcare group, Roche, saw its operating income rise by 11 per cent in the first six months of the year, while net income increased 13 per cent to SFr3 billion. The latest set of figures excluded Roche's former flavours and fragrances division, Givaudan, which was spun off in June.

Givaudan itself posted its first independent sales figures. They were up eight per cent for the first half to SFr1.2 billion.

The country's largest travel firm, Kuoni, posted a 12.5 per cent increase in first half-net profit to SFr31.6 million. Sales were up 23 per cent to SFr1.75 billion. Kuoni said it expected sales for the year as a whole to increase to SFr4 billion with earnings forecast to rise by 10 per cent.

Business leaders met this week to urge voters to reject proposals for a new energy tax when there is a nationwide ballot on September 24. At a news conference in Berne, they said the new tax would place an unbearable burden on small and medium-sized businesses.

The Swiss-Swedish technology group, ABB, announced it was buying California-based Energy Interactive, which provides information software and services for the US energy market.

Finally, the Swiss Federal Railways confirmed that it had signed a letter of intent to take at least a 34 per cent stake in the private Berne-Lötschberg-Simplon railway. The two companies said the move was designed to increase efficiency and save taxpayers' money.

By Michael Hollingdale

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.