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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to
The US stock market has been on a tear, yet the country’s economy is in the dumps. So why do so many people believe — undoubtedly incorrectly — that the stock market has decoupled from reality? The economy many people experience, while bleak, is local, personal and, for the most part, either not publicly traded or plays only a small part in the stock market’s moves. To explain why these personal experiences have so little effect on equity markets, we must look more closely at the market role of the weakest industry sectors. The surprising conclusion: The most visible and economically vulnerable