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SGS posts small net annual profit growth

Published on 17/01/2011

The world's biggest standards inspection and certification group, SGS, on Monday announced a slight increase in its annual net profit after 10 acquisitions in 2010 and targeted improved growth.

Net profit increased 3.9 percent to 588 million Swiss francs (457.4 million euros, 610 million dollars), largely in line with the forecast of analysts polled by Swiss business news agency AWP.

Annual revenues rose by barely one percent compared to 2009 to 4.8 billion francs, while operating income grew 5.3 percent to 836 million francs, as the strength of the Swiss franc eroded the group’s results, SGS said in a statement.

In 2010, the group chaired by Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne completed the acquisition of 10 firms for 302 million francs. SGS said they generated an additional 142 million francs in revenues.

“SGS is expecting to show improvements in top line growth compared to 2010,” the group added, while continuing to target “substantial investment” in development projects.

The company’s board recommended a dividend payment of 65 francs per share.