30 August 1999
Questionmark over agriculture arm of Novartis
A questionmark has been placed over the future of the agribusiness arm of Novartis following a poor set of first-half results from the Swiss life sciences giant.
Novartis is apparently keen to return to the takeover trail and exit agribusiness where its profits are under pressure. But the cyclical downturn in the sector means that the business would have to be sold relatively cheap.
Speculation over the agribusiness arm has arisen as the group reported disappointing first-half results. Net income rose 5% to SFr 3.7bn, on a 1% sales increase. Underlying profits fell.