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Biotika posts 179.4m Sk '97 loss after 8.8m '96 profit

Biotika, Slovakia's leading penicillin producer, announced on May 4 it had posted a loss of 179.4 million ($5.2 million) Sk in 1997 because of falling world prices for its main products. The year before, the company posted a net profit of 8.8 million Sk. "Over the last year, Chinese producers cut their prices for penicillin, forcing us to squeeze our prices too," said Zlatica Hrušková, Biotika's spokeswoman, adding that the loss was made on revenues of 1.853 billion Sk, after 2,120 billion in 1996. Last year's developments have prompted the company to revise its strategy. "Some early projections have already been made, but it would be premature to discuss them," Hrušková said. Changes would probably include unspecified cuts in Biotika's workforce, currently at 1,500 employees, she added.

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