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Week brings good news for Sulzer Medica shareholders

Sulzer Medica is setlling the hip implants affair

(Keystone Archive)

Sulzer Medica this week petitioned a United States court to allow a class action settlement of hundreds of costly lawsuits related to a recall of faulty hip implants and the withdrawal of defective knee implants.

The proposed compensation package is worth an estimated SFr1.3 billion ($780 million).

News of the Sulzer Medica offer sent the company's share price soaring.
The compensation payments will be financed by Sulzer's insurance coverage and by 50 per cent of group net income over the next few years.

Clariant, the Basel specialty chemicals company, announced on Wednesday it was cutting up to a thousand jobs and closing 10 production sites worldwide. The move followed a loss of SFr1.3 billion in the first six months of this year. This was due, according to the company, mainly to writing off the value of last year's acquisition of British drug maker, BTP.

The country's largest bank, UBS, reported a 33 per cent slump in second quarter net profit this week to SFr1.385 billion.
UBS said the results came against a background of slowing economic growth and uncertainty in securities markets.

Profits at the country's biggest travel company also took a dive. Kuoni saw its first half net profits slump 90 per cent to SFr2.9 million. Kuoni blamed the performance on losses at its Scandinavian operation.

Givaudan, the flavours and fragrances group, reported a 16 per cent rise in its first half net to SFr149 million. The company said results for the year as a whole should be good.

A United States subsidiary of the drugs giant, Novartis, is facing legal action aver an alleged breach of trade rules. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Geneva Pharmaceuticals over claims that it held back on developing a generic treatment in return for payments from a competitor.
The probe has widened to take in the whole industry.

And there was more gloom for the economy of canton Neuchatel this week as
Metalor announced plans to cut more than 60 jobs. The move comes shortly after Silicon Graphics said it was withdrawing from the region with the loss of around 300 positions.

By Michael Hollingdale.


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