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Valora reports "most successful" year

Valora is best known in Switzerland for its kiosk newspaper outlets

(Keystone Archive)

The Valora international trading and distribution group announced on Wednesday that 2001 had been the most successful year in its history.

Valora, which is based in Bern, said net profit was up by 17.7 per cent over the previous year, totalling SFr118.6 million ($71.36 million).
Sales increased by 7.6 per cent to SFr2.63 billion.

The news pushed up the share price by about five per cent to SFr310 in early trading on Wednesday at the Swiss Stock Exchange in Zurich

The company, which is best known in Switzerland for its "kiosk" newspaper outlets, the Merkur chain and the Fotolabo photofinishing unit, said in a statement that it expected sales this year to top the SFr3 billion mark, with an increased operating profit.

It added that in view of the economic environment since the terrorist attacks in the United States last September, the net profit was considered "very satisfactory".

Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation in 2001 rose slightly to SFr195.7 million from SFr190.2 million in 2000.

The company said the moderate increase was caused by a fall in operating profit at its Fotolabo business, which was "holding its ground" in a difficult environment.

The board of directors is to propose a dividend increase to shareholders from SFr8 to SFr9 at their annual meeting on May 9.

swissinfo with agencies

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