Caroline's Feed
Feb 19, 2014

Swiss firms fret over immigration vote backlash

ZURICH (Reuters) – Nestled between the peaks of the Swiss Alps, the Hotel Schweizerhof has provided rooms for weary skiers and hikers for more than a century, profiting like scores of other businesses from Switzerland’s close ties to Europe.

But a shock vote last week to cap all immigration to the landlocked country and introduce quotas for those from the European Union, now threatens to cut the hotel off from the pool of workers on which it relies.

Feb 13, 2014

ABB lowers mid-term sales target on sluggish economy

ZURICH, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Swiss engineering group ABB
lowered its target for mid-term sales growth on
Thursday, blaming a slower-than-expected economic recovery and
weaker capital spending by its customers.

The company, which makes products ranging from power grids
for utilities to industrial robots, said sales growth this year
would be challenging as uncertainty in emerging markets, like
China, offset growth in the United States and parts of Europe.

Feb 12, 2014

Swiss put immigration worries aside to fete Russian-born snowboarder

ZURICH, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Days after Switzerland voted to impose new barriers to immigration, the surprise victory of a Russian-born snowboarder nicknamed “I-Pod” at the Olympic Games in Sochi has led to an ironic outpouring of national pride.

Images of 25-year-old Iouri Podladtchikov, who defeated favoured American Shaun White to win gold for Switzerland in the halfpipe, adorned the front pages of Swiss newspapers on Wednesday, jostling for space with headlines on the country’s plans to curtail an influx of foreigners.

Feb 11, 2014

Actelion raises 2014 guidance after full-year results beat

ZURICH, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Actelion raised its
full-year guidance on Tuesday and said its new heart and lung
drug had been very well received in the United States, as it
posted full-year profit that beat expectations.

Europe’s largest biotech company has seen its prospects
brighten after regulators in Europe and the United States
approved its big drug hope Opsumit, a treatment for pulmonary
arterial hypertension (PAH), at the end of last year.

Feb 5, 2014

Syngenta promises $1 billion in cost cuts by 2018 as profit drops

ZURICH (Reuters) – Syngenta (SYNN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is aiming to increase cost-cutting to $1 billion a year by 2018, the world’s No. 1 crop chemicals maker said on Wednesday after disappointing the market with an 11 percent fall in profit for last year.

Earnings were hit by higher seed production costs, a writedown on seed inventories and lower-than-expected sales in crop protection in the fourth quarter, Chief Executive Mike Mack told Reuters.

Feb 4, 2014

Swiss grapple with identity, economy in immigration vote

WINTERTHUR, Switzerland, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Low taxes and
good infrastructure aside, what entrepreneur Thorsten Schwenke
really needs to grow his small Swiss-based business is the right
people, regardless of their nationality.

That’s why he is so bewildered by a vote in Switzerland on
Feb. 9 on whether to impose restrictions on immigrants from the
European Union, and by the proposal’s increasing popularity in a
country where foreign labour helped forge a powerful economy.

Jan 30, 2014

Roche profits rise, payout level prompts M&A questions

BASEL (Reuters) – Roche offered shareholders a lower-than-expected dividend payout after reporting an 18 percent rise in full-year net profit, potentially a sign the Swiss pharmaceuticals group might be keeping its cash for deals.

Roche – the world’s largest maker of cancer drugs – has a track record of solid profit growth prompting expectations of a more generous dividend, share buyback or M&A.

Jan 29, 2014

Novartis weighs joint ventures, unconventional deals for smaller businesses

BASEL (Reuters) – Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking at options, such as joint ventures, for three smaller businesses to bring them in line with its world-leading pharmaceutical operations, it said on Wednesday, in a review due to be completed by the end of summer.

The Basel-based firm has been casting a fresh eye over its operations following the departure of veteran chairman and one-time CEO Daniel Vasella, the architect of the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz that created Novartis in 1996.

Jan 23, 2014

Lonza to focus on pharma as benefits from outsourcing

ZURICH, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Swiss speciality chemicals maker
and life sciences group Lonza said it plans to focus
on the pharmaceutical and biotech market as it benefits from
drugmakers increasingly outsourcing production.

The firm, faced with low-cost competition, a strong Swiss
franc and higher raw material prices, has been undergoing a
structural overhaul since Richard Ridinger took over as Chief
Executive in May 2012.

Jan 21, 2014

Roche’s schizophrenia drug misses goal in two late-stage trials

ZURICH, Jan 21 (Reuters) – An experimental Roche
drug designed to treat the “negative symptoms” of schizophrenia
failed to meet its main goal in two late-stage studies, dealing
a blow to the Swiss drugmaker’s research hopes in the risky area
of brain science.

Results of two Phase III trials found bitopertin in
combination with antipsychotic therapy did not significantly
reduce negative symptoms after 24 weeks of treatment compared
with placebo. A third late-stage study is ongoing.