Thu, Jul 14, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

RETAIL

Burberry posts gains

Luxury goods company Burberry has reported a 30 percent gain in sales in the first quarter, despite a fairly difficult economic backdrop in many developed markets around the world. The company said yesterday that first quarter sales of £367 million (US$585 million) were up from £282 million a year earlier. Retail sales spiked 44 percent to £245 million, while wholesale and licensing revenues rose about 10 percent. Asia-Pacific emerged as the company’s best performing region, with sales up more than 60 percent, largely on the back of expansion in China. The company did not

RETAIL

M&S meets forecasts

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) met forecasts with a seventh consecutive rise in underlying quarterly sales, as its older and more affluent customers cope better with a squeeze in disposable incomes. Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, which also sells housewares and upmarket foods, said yesterday sales at UK stores open over a year, excluding VAT sales tax, rose 1.7 percent in the 13 weeks to July 2, its fiscal first quarter.

TECHNOLOGY

Profits rise for ASML

ASML Holding NV, Europe’s largest computer chip equipment supplier, says profits rose in the second quarter and it expects to meet its full-year sales targets. However, the supplier to Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) says its customers are starting to hold off on new orders because of uncertainties over the economy. ASML said net profit was 432 million euros (US$606 million), up from 239 million euros in the same period a year ago. Sales rose 43 percent to 1.53 billion euros. Chief executive Eric Meurice repeated a forecast yesterday that the company’s full year sales would pass 5 billion euros for the first time.

RETAIL

Carrefour sales increase

Carrefour, the world’s second-biggest retailer, said yesterday its first-half sales were up 2.75 percent at 44.6 billion euros (US$63.4 billion). However, it forecast a 23 percent dip in operating profits for the same period, of “around 760 million euros,” which it said was “mainly attributable to France.” Operating profits for the same period last year were 989 million euros, excluding Dia, the discount branch introduced on the Madrid exchange on July 5.

VIDEO GAMES

EA to buy PopCap

Electronic Arts Inc (EA) says it will buy mobile and social-network game maker PopCap Games for at least US$750 million. The video game publisher also says its first-quarter results will be better than it anticipated, but its second-quarter results will fall below analyst estimates. EA said on Tuesday that it will pay PopCap US$650 million in cash and US$100 million in common shares. PopCap will get up to US$550 million more if it reaches certain financial milestones.

TECHNOLOGY

Hynix, Toshiba team up

South Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor and Japanese electronics giant Toshiba said yesterday they have agreed to jointly develop a next-generation memory device. The companies said in a statement that the tie-up to develop spin-transfer torque magnetoresistance random access memory (STT-MRAM) technology — for use in devices such as smartphones — would help them minimize risk. The two companies intend to set up a joint production venture once the technology has been successfully developed, the statement said.

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