Sonova Fined 2 Million Francs for Delaying Forecast Cut

Sonova Holding AG was fined 2 million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) by Zurich’s stock exchange for not announcing a reduced profit forecast immediately after learning that sales figures had missed company estimates.

Sonova’s statement on March 16, 2011, that earnings wouldn’t meet its forecast came 12 days after it should have been issued, the SIX Swiss Exchange said in a statement.

The company, the world’s biggest hearing-aid maker by sales, cooperated with the exchange’s Sanction Commission in submitting information for the investigation, the exchange said.

Sonova “accepts the decision, even though we do not agree with every aspect of the assessment and reasoning by the Sanction Commission,” Robert Spoerry, chairman of the board at Staefa, Switzerland-based Sonova, said in a separate statement. “We will not appeal against this decision.”

Sonova is also under investigation by the Zurich prosecutor’s office over whether executives used prior knowledge of the warning to sell 2.4 million shares before the stock plummeted 23 percent on the day of the announcement.

Former finance chief Oliver Walker is no longer being investigated for insider trading, Corinne Bouvard, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said in an e-mail yesterday.

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