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SIX Swiss Exchange fines Sonova Holding Ltd.

The SIX Swiss Exchange Sanction Commission has fined Sonova Holding Ltd. CHF 2 million for breach of the rules on ad hoc publicity.

According to the provisions on ad hoc publicity, an issuer must inform the market of any potentially pricesensitive facts as soon as it itself becomes aware of the main points of such information. If the company has issued any public forecasts in relation to financial information, it must correct these by means of an ad hoc notice as soon as it is aware that its financial results are likely to significantly deviate from the forecasts. In such a case, the company must issue a so called profit warning.

Sonova Holding Ltd. disclosed a profit warning on 16 March 2011. However, the Sanction Commission has established that the company was too late with its disclosure of this profit warning. According to the decision of the Sanction Commission, the profit warning should have been issued by 4 March 2011 at the latest, i.e. 12 days earlier. This late disclosure was found to have violated the rules on ad hoc publicity.

On a minor point, the Sanction Commission decided that Sonova Holding Ltd. had not violated its duties to provide information and to cooperate when it declined to hand over an attorney work product to SIX Exchange Regulation.

In considering the sanction, the Sanction Commission has taken into account the gravity of the breach, the degree of fault and the sensitivity of Sonova Holding Ltd. to a penalty, and the fact that no other sanctions have been imposed on the company in the preceding three years.