BUSINESS BRIEFS

Chemical firms' profits down

FIRMS IN the Slovak chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector saw turnover from own goods and services plummet over 10 per cent in the first half of 2002 compared to the same period last year to Sk65.2 billion, with before-tax profits down 45 per cent to Sk4.4 billion ($100 million).

The Economy Ministry said that growth in the sector had stabilised after an explosive increase from 2000-2001, and that a faltering global economy had squeezed the Slovak market down from Sk7.9 billion in pre-tax profits in the first half of last year.

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