WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Switzerland-based SGS SA (SGSOY.PK) Tuesday reported a decline in profit for the full year 2011, reflecting the impact of a strong Swiss Franc. For 2012, the company expects to deliver strong top-line growth and adjusted operating income in excess of 2011 levels. Profit for the year attributable to equity holders, on a reported basis, decreased to 534 million Swiss francs from 588 million francs in the previous year. On a per share basis, earnings were 70.16 francs, lower than 77.22 francs last year. On a constant currency basis, profit was up 4.9 percent. Adjusted operating income increased 10.7 percent to 815 million francs, while operating margin slightly declined to 17 percent from 17.4 percent in the prior year, due to investments made to sustain long-term growth targets, SGS stated. On a reported basis, revenues for the year rose just 0.8 percent to 4.8 billion francs, due to strong appreciation of Swiss Franc against most currencies that SGS operates in around the world. Revenues grew 13.7 percent at constant currency. Organic revenue growth was 10.5 percent, helped by all regions and particularly strong activity levels in Minerals, Consumer Testing, Industrial and Environmental services segments, the company said. Looking ahead, the company stated, 'While acknowledging the difficult market environment in 2012, the SGS Group expects to deliver strong top-line growth and an Adjusted Operating Income in excess of prior year's levels. The investment programme to support our 2014 ambition will continue unabated.' In addition, the company said its board will propose a dividend of 65 francs per share, representing an ordinary distribution of 43 percent of net profit and an additional 35 francs reflecting healthy cash generation capabilities of the Group. The board also authorized another share buy-back programme of up to 250 million francs. In Zurich, SGS shares closed Monday's regular trading at 1625 francs, down 0.48 percent, on a volume of 10.49 thousand shares. In US, SGSOY.PK last traded on January 13 at $17.08.
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