The Swiss specialty chemicals group, Clariant, has reported significant growth for 2000 but at the same time said it is to shed 800 jobs at its operations in Germany.
The company, based near Basel, said 2001 had got off to a "weak start" but added that business should develop at a "dynamic pace" this year.
In a statement on Tuesday, Clariant said it had achieved significant growth in 2000. Sales increased by 16 per cent over 1999 to reach SFr10.583 billion ($6.25 billion).
However, it said the dramatic increase of certain raw material prices had negative effects that it could only partly compensate.
The group's net income decreased by 14 per cent to SFr505 million because of acquisition-imposed higher amortisation of goodwill and increased financial expenses. Last year, Clariant acquired the BTP fine chemicals company.
The net profit of SFr630 million before amortisation of goodwill is equivalent to earnings per share of SFr42.61.
Commenting on its operations in Germany, Clariant said the company had to achieve greater focus on its activities and would shed some 800 jobs by the middle of next year.
It is also considering selling off certain businesses and product lines there.
At the annual shareholders' meeting next month, Clariant said the board of directors would propose that the dividend be increased to SFr11 per registered share. It is also recommending that shares be split 10-for-one to make them for marketable.
swissinfo with agencies
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