Novartis Q2 profits rise 12%
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said yesterday its second quarter net profit rose 12 percent to US$2.72 billion, lifted by strong demand for new drugs. “Our recently launched products continue to transform our portfolio, our new products grew 46 percent and represent now 25 percent of our group sales in Q2,” Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said. Sales of recently launched products contributed US$3.8 billion to overall group sales, which were up 27 percent at US$14.9 billion. Currency impact lent an 8 percent boost to overall revenues. For the rest of the year, the group said it was maintaining its forecast for sales growth reaching “around the double-digit mark.”
Saab AB doubles profits
Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab AB more than doubled its profits in the second quarter as margins improved. Saab’s net profit reached 425 million kronor (US$64.7 million), up from 177 million kronor in the same period last year, but sales dipped to 5.86 billion kronor, from 5.99 billion kronor a year ago. The Linkoping, -Sweden-based company’s gross margin increased to 27.5 percent from 24 percent in the second quarter last year, when it posted restructuring costs of 25 million kronor and a one-time hit of 150 million kronor for a terminated contract.
Electrolux profits slump
Electrolux, a leading global maker of household appliances, yesterday reported a profit slump because of high materials prices and weak demand, and warned of difficult trading conditions for the rest of the year. Net profit for the second quarter dropped by 46 percent from the figure last year, and the price of shares in the group slumped by 11.2 percent to 128.40 kroner in early trading in a market showing an overall gain of 1.2 percent. In the quarter, net profit amounted to 561 million kroner from 1.03 billion kroner in the second quarter of last year.
Microsoft touts health site
Microsoft on Monday offered its HealthVault as a new care center for digitized medical records kept at Google Health. Google announced last month that it was pulling the plug on its free Health service because it has not flourished since its launch in early 2008. Microsoft detailed a simple way for people to shift Google Health records to HealthVault in encrypted files to protect the privacy of the information. Google’s service for storing and selectively sharing personal medical records online will “retire” on Jan. 1, but users will be able to download their information through the end of next year, according to the California firm.
Tax revenue rises 29.6%
Tax revenue rose 29.6 percent to 5 trillion yuan (US$773 billion) in the first half of the year, giving officials more room to maneuver as they grapple with swelling local-government debt. The gain, reported by the Ministry of Finance on its Web site yesterday, compared with a 32.4 percent increase in the first quarter a year earlier. “Stable” economic growth and rising company profits helped to bolster revenue, with inflation also playing a role, the ministry said. Revenue from personal income tax rose 35 percent from a year earlier and money from resource taxes climbed 45 percent, according to the finance ministry, which also cited improvements in collection.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and