ThyssenKrupp forges ahead
ThyssenKrupp, the biggest German steel group, is doing well in its core activities, but said yesterday that its second quarter net profit was hit once again by charges stemming from new plants. The company reported a net profit of 212 million euros (US$300 million) for the three months from April to June, a drop of 22 percent from the same period a year earlier. However, sales increased 10 percent to 12.8 billion euros and core earnings before interest and taxes was 9 percent higher at 545 million euros.
US Post to downsize by 20%
The US Postal Service plans to slash its workforce by 20 percent, eliminating 120,000 jobs by 2015 as it struggles to stay solvent, the Washington Post reported late on Thursday. The newspaper, citing internal documents, said the Postal Service’s plan is in addition to the 100,000 other jobs it expects to shed through attrition as employees leave the company or retire. The workforce reduction would come mainly through layoffs, with the remainder through buyouts and early retirements.
SVG mulls share buyback
Private equity investor SVG Capital said asset values rose steeply and it could buy back shares when it sees proceeds from sales of Permira companies, which account for the bulk of its portfolio. SVG, seen by many as a listed proxy for buyouts firm Permira, which accounts for more than 80 percent of its investment portfolio, said asset valuations rose 25 percent in the six months to the end of June, to ￡3.939. The company said it remained committed to investing in private equity, adding that it could return cash to shareholders when proceeds from sales of companies owned by Permira begin to accelerate.
Mattel appeals court award
Mattel Inc plans to appeal a federal judge’s award of more than US$309 million to rival toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc in the fight over ownership of the popular Bratz fashion doll line. The toy giant’s attorneys filed papers on Thursday declaring their intent to appeal last week’s decision by US District Court Judge David Carter. Mattel said in a statement that it wants to find a resolution “that allows us to conclude this litigation on terms that are reasonable and fair.”
Fake Apple stores found
Authorities in the southwestern city of Kunming have identified another 22 unauthorized Apple retailers, just weeks after a fake company store in the city sparked an international storm. The Administration for Industry and Commerce in the Yunnan provincial capital said the stores have been ordered to stop using Apple’s logo after Apple China accused them of unfair competition and violating its registered trademark, state media said on Thursday. The market watchdog agency said it would set up a complaint hotline and boost monitoring, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
HP cuts price of TouchPads
US technology giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) on Thursday cut the price of its newly launched TouchPad tablet computers in a bid to gain traction in a market dominated by Apple’s iPad. TouchPads with 16 gigabytes of memory were offered on the HP Web site for US$400 and models with 32 gigabytes were available for US$500 in what amounted to lopping US$100 off the original prices.