BASEL, Switzerland, July 25 (Reuters) – Swiss
pharmaceuticals firm Roche beat first-half profit
forecasts as strong sales of its mainstay cancer drugs and some
new treatments supported its view that it can withstand
competition from cheap, copycat drugmakers.
The results also stoked speculation the group might hike its
dividend, buy back shares and make more acquisitions as it looks
to diversify from its core expertise in cancer.
ZURICH, July 24 (Reuters) – Syngenta AG, the
world’s largest maker of crop chemicals, said on Wednesday it
expected underlying sales growth to pick up pace in the second
half of the year, after a cold, wet spring hit earnings in the
first six months.
Syngenta said it was confident high commodity prices would
encourage farmers to invest in crops in the second half of the
year, when demand is driven by South American farmers, and help
its 2013 sales surpass last year’s record of $14.2 billion.
ZURICH (Reuters) – The world’s biggest watchmaker, Swatch Group (UHR.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said it expects faster sales growth and better margins in the second half as its Omega brand is growing again in China while demand for Harry Winston jewellery is buoyant.
In the first half of the year, there have been double-digit percentage falls in Swiss watch exports to China and Hong Kong, which absorbed a quarter of the timepieces that left Switzerland between January and June.
ZURICH, July 22 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche
faces the prospect of hiring an outsider to replace its chairman
of 16 years after its most suitable board members turned down
The 117-year old company – the world’s largest maker of
cancer drugs – set itself an autumn deadline to find a successor
to Franz Humer, an influential, hands-on former Roche chief
executive who says he will not stand for re-election next year.
ZURICH, July 18 (Reuters) – Actelion, the Swiss
drugmaker which relies on sales of its treatment for a rare lung
disease, raised its full-year profit forecast on Thursday on
cost-savings and better-than-expected sales of its mainstay
Europe’s largest biotech company said it expected core
earnings to cross into the double-digit percentage range for
2013, up from a previous guidance of stable core earnings, after
cost savings kicked in quicker than expected.
ZURICH, July 17 (Reuters) – Novartis raised its
full-year outlook on Wednesday after generic competition to its
best-selling blood pressure pill was delayed, granting the Swiss
drugmaker a temporary reprieve from patent losses.
The Basel-based firm lost its patent rights on Diovan in the
United States last year and faced competition from a copycat
version of its monotherapy from Ranbaxy Laboratories.
But the lab has so far failed to get a green light for
production from U.S. regulators.
ZURICH (Reuters) – Buying Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (ALXN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) would help Roche (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) make a splash in the newly lucrative area of rare or so-called orphan diseases, but it could command a price that the Swiss drug maker is ultimately not willing to pay.
Two people familiar with the matter have told Reuters that the Basel-based firm is seeking financing for a potential bid for Alexion, which specializes in the treatment of rare diseases.
ZURICH, July 8 (Reuters) – Floods in central Europe last
month may cost insurance companies $3.5-4.5 billion, only half
of one previous estimate but more than was paid out for the last
major washout in 2002, the world’s second biggest reinsurer said
The forecast from Swiss Re compares to an earlier
warning from a damage modelling agency that losses could top $8
billion. That, and its estimate of a $300 million hit for its
own results, saw shares in Swiss Re and some other sector firms
ZURICH, June 3 (Reuters) – When Swede Goesta Larsson died in
2006, the titanium screw-in teeth put in his mouth more than 40
years earlier were still in good working order.
Now, Nobel Biocare Holding AG – the firm that grew
from that first implant system – is trying to regain its initial
success after seeing its profits and image hit in recent years.
ZURICH, May 30 (Reuters) – Swiss firm ABB has
developed technology that can charge a full-sized electric bus
during ordinary stops, removing the need for overhead lines in
major cities it believes will turn away from traditional engines
in the battle with pollution.
Claes Rytoft, acting chief technology officer at ABB, said
the new system takes only 15 seconds to charge a bus carrying
135 people with enough power to reach the next stop and fully
charges the battery in just 3-4 minutes at the end of the line.