Fri, Feb 17, 2012 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

FOOD

Nestle profit up 8.1 percent

Nestle, the world’s biggest food company, yesterday said its net profit last year rose 8.1 percent to 9.5 billion Swiss francs (US$10.26 billion). However, it said it expected a rough ride ahead despite a positive outlook for growth. The company said sales last year were up 7.5 percent to SF83.6 billion, excluding currency effects and acquisitions. “It was a challenging year [in 2011] and we do not expect 2012 to be any easier,” Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke said.

AUTOMAKERS

Renault profit plummets

Renault yesterday said its earnings last year were down from a year earlier, when it booked an exceptional gain of 2 billion euros (US$2.62 billion) on the sale of part of its stake in Sweden’s Volvo AB. France’s No. 2 car maker after Peugeot-Citroen reported a net profit of 2.1 billion euros, down from 3.4 billion euros a year earlier, when earnings were boosted by the sale of Volvo shares Renault acquired when it sold its truck-making division to the Swedish car maker in 2001.

BANKING

SG profit falls on Greek debt

Societe Generale (SG) yesterday said its fourth-quarter earnings plummeted after it took a half-billion euro hit as Europe’s intensifying financial crisis slashed the value of its holdings of Greek government bonds. The French bank reported a net profit of 100 million euros for the three months ending Dec. 31, down from 874 million euros a year earlier and well below market expectations. The bank said its quarterly earnings were saddled with a 622 million euros write-down on its Greek government bonds.

HOTELS

Marriot Q4 profit down 18%

Marriott International said its fourth-quarter net income fell 18 percent despite higher revenue, hurt by a one-time charge tied to the spinoff of its timeshare business. The company said on Wednesday it earned US$141 million, or US$0.41 per share, compared with US$173 million, or US$0.46 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to US$3.69 billion from US$3.64 billion. For this year, Marriott sees emerging markets driving strong global growth and forecasts earnings well above current analyst forecasts.

AIRLINES

AMR loss balloons

AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, on Wednesday said that it lost US$1.1 billion in the fourth quarter as it wrote down the value of planes and other property and paid more for jet fuel. The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, said that the results compared with a loss of US$97 million a year earlier, when AMR still hoped to avoid bankruptcy by cutting costs. For the full year, the company posted a net loss of US$2 billion, compared with a loss of US$471 million in 2010. Revenue rose to US$23.98 billion from US$22.17 billion.

BEVERAGES

Pernod revenue rises 8%

French beverage company Pernod Ricard yesterday said strong sales in emerging markets and a rush to stock up on liquor in France before a tax increase pushed its revenue up by 8 percent in the July-to-December period. The company, known for its anise-flavored liqueurs, said that its net income rose 20 percent to 800 million euros. Sales rose to 4.6 billion euros. Much of the growth came from Asia and other developing markets, where sales rose 15 percent. In Europe, revenue was stagnant.

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