Mitsubishi cuts losses
Mitsubishi Motors Corp reduced its losses in the April-December period, thanks to cost cuts and better sales in Europe and Asia. The Tokyo-based manufacturer said yesterday it booked a net loss of ￥2.25 billion (US$27.6 million) for the nine months, compared with a ￥25.7 billion loss a year earlier. Revenue rose 38 percent to ￥1.31 trillion. Demand was particularly robust in Asia, where sales grew in China and Southeast Asia, the company said. That helped offset the impact of a strong yen. Mitsubishi said there had been a “growing sense of uncertainty about the future of the world economy” amid European debt concerns and the yen’s sharper-than-expected appreciation.
LG to launch tablet in US
LG Electronics said yesterday it would release its first tablet computer in the US in March as it prepares to go head to head with Apple’s iPad. LG said the G-slate was among the first tablet models to run on the “Honeycomb” operating system, which is Google’s latest generation of Android platforms designed for mobile devices with large screens. The G-slate features a 8.9-inch screen, smaller than the iPad’s nearly 10-inch display, but larger than the seven-inch screen of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Tab. LG did not give a price for the new gadget. The world’s third-largest handset maker said the release date for the G-slate’s global release would be disclosed later this month.
Google offers check-in
Google on Tuesday began letting smartphone users check into spots on the go as the Internet star jumped into the hot location-based services arena with Facebook, Foursquare and Gowalla. The check-in feature was added to a Latitude service that lets people with GPS-enabled Android smartphones share their whereabouts with selected friends. The new Latitude service works with a 5.1 version of Google Maps for devices running on Android software.
Boeing plans new tanker bid
Boeing said on Tuesday it would submit a new, “final” bid for a US$35 billion contract to supply the US military with 179 aerial refueling tankers, as it tries to beat European rival Airbus. A Boeing spokesman said the firm and US Air Force officials held talks on Monday to discuss the company’s proposal and revisions would follow. “This was our last opportunity to get feedback from the Air Force on our proposal before the end of the tanker competition,” Bill Barksdale said in a company blog post. “Based on this feedback, we’re now making final adjustments to our bid, which we will provide February 11 to the Air Force,” he said.
Citigroup takes over EMI
US bank Citigroup took control of troubled music company EMI from private equity owner Guy Hands on Tuesday, bringing an end to a long ownership battle and teeing up the firm behind Coldplay and The Beatles for its next possible sale. Hands, one of the most high-profile private equity bosses in Europe, bought EMI at the height of the buyouts boom in 2007 for ￡4 billion (US$6.4 billion), with Citigroup underwriting all the debt. EMI’s management welcomed the change. The company said it would continue under the same management. PricewaterhouseCoopers said it was appointed as administrator after the Terra Firma investment vehicle defaulted on its loan facilities.
Elpida posts massive loss