January 22, 2015 / 4:27 PM / 3 years ago

Novartis CEO says reviewing Swiss costs after franc shock

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Novartis will review its Swiss cost base after the country’s central bank scrapped a cap on the franc last week, sending the currency soaring, the Swiss drugmaker’s chief executive said on Thursday.

Joe Jimenez, CEO of Swiss drugmaker Novartis gestures during an interview with Reuters at the company's headquarters in Basel March 19, 2014. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

“We’ll have to take a hard look at what’s in Switzerland and what could move outside,” Joe Jimenez told Reuters on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The company has just 2 percent of its sales in Switzerland but 12 percent of its 2013 costs were in the country. Jimenez stressed Switzerland would remain Novartis’ home base, reflecting the group’s long history and commitment to its Basel headquarters.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Alex Smith

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