Caroline's Feed
Mar 25, 2013

Analysis: Roche stays a step ahead of copycat drugmakers

ZURICH (Reuters) – Delays in developing copies of Roche’s top-selling biotech drug are justifying the Swiss company’s decision to stay out of biotech generics to focus on improved, patented versions of its medicines.

Roche faces its first big test at the end of this year when it loses exclusivity in Europe on MabThera, also known as Rituxan, a treatment for blood cancers and rheumatoid arthritis that had sales of 6.7 billion Swiss francs ($7 billion) in 2012.

Mar 5, 2013

Long-serving Roche chairman to step down next year

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche’s influential Chairman Franz Humer said on Tuesday he will not stand for re-election next year when he will have served 16 years at the helm, potentially accelerating a shift of emphasis towards the Swiss drugmaker’s U.S. operations.

“Roche is in excellent shape and well positioned to meet future challenges. This is a good time to hand over to a successor,” Humer, 66, said in a surprise announcement at the company’s annual general meeting in Basel.

Feb 27, 2013

Holcim expects profit pay-off from cost cuts

ZURICH, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Holcim expects major
cost cuts to boost profits in 2013 after the Swiss cement maker
reported a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss due partly
to restructuring charges.

Holcim has had to step up a cost-cutting drive to cope with
weak demand in Europe, where sluggish construction markets have
forced cement makers, including France’s Lafarge and
Germany’s HeidelbergCement to shave costs and sell
non-core assets tackle overcapacity.

Feb 23, 2013

Italy finds no trace of horse DNA in Nestle mince meals

ROME/ZURICH (Reuters) – Italy’s Health Ministry said on Saturday that tests had found no trace of horse DNA in minced beef meals by Swiss food giant Nestle that were removed from sale on Monday.

Nestle removed the ready-made beef ravioli and tortellini sold under its Buitoni brand from shelves in Italy and Spain and halted production of the meals after its own tests had found more than 1 percent horse DNA in the products.

Feb 22, 2013

Novartis chairman says $78 million pay-off deal ‘a mistake’

BASEL (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis’s (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) outgoing chairman Daniel Vasella told shareholders on Friday he had made a mistake in negotiating a $78 million pay-off, as he tried to quell public outrage ahead of a national vote on whether to impose strict limits on corporate pay.

The Basel-based drugmaker scrapped plans this week to pay Vasella 12 million Swiss francs ($13 million) annually for six years to stop him working for rivals, after news of the package sparked a fury of criticism by politicians and investors.

Feb 21, 2013

Scaremongers obscure limitations of Swiss “fat cat” pay vote

ZURICH, Feb 21 (Reuters) – The year is 2026. Switzerland is
in a state of anarchy. Droves of refugees are fleeing the
war-torn country; the once affluent nation brought to its knees
because in 2013 its people voted to impose the world’s tightest
limits on executive pay.

It is an extreme vision made into a short film commissioned
by leading Swiss business lobby Economiesuisse to try to
persuade people to vote “no” in on an upcoming referendum on
whether to allow shareholders a final veto on executive pay.

Feb 21, 2013

Straumann gloomy on European dental market prospects

ZURICH, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Straumann, the world’s
largest maker of dental implants, sees little prospect of
recovery in the European dental market this year, after profit
almost halved in 2012 hit by a one off-charge.

The Swiss company and local rival Nobel Biocare
are suffering from weak demand in their main market, Europe, as
cash-strapped customers cut back on non-essential dental
treatment.

Feb 14, 2013

ABB shares jump after cost focus helps profit beat estimates

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s ABB Ltd (ABBN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) beat forecasts for net profit and order intake and said business was improving in China, sending its shares to their highest in a year and a half.

The world’s biggest supplier of industrial motors and power grids, sensitive to cyclical swings in the global economy, said it would focus on cutting costs to offset near-term uncertainty about growth in Europe and the United States.

Feb 14, 2013

Actelion hikes dividend, Opsumit approval awaited

ZURICH, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Actelion Ltd
has raised its dividend by a quarter, giving a
positive signal on prospects as it awaits a U.S. regulatory
decision on a new drug it hopes will cut its dependency on
mainstay Tracleer.

Europe’s largest biotech company has seen its outlook
brighten over the past year after heart and lung drug Opsumit,
its replacement treatment for top-seller Tracleer, beat
expectations in a clinical trial, giving a much-needed boost to
its drug pipeline.

Feb 6, 2013

Farm chemicals maker Syngenta sees record sales

ZURICH, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Swiss group Syngenta
forecast another year of record sales as high crop prices and
erratic weather spur farmers to use more of its pesticides,
fertilisers and advanced seeds to boost yields.

The world’s biggest farm chemicals maker said on Wednesday
it would raise its dividend by 19 percent after full-year net
profit beat expectations. But its shares fell, with several
analysts saying profits were flattered by a lower tax rate.