Thu, Aug 02, 2012 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

BMW net profit falls 28.1%

German luxury carmaker BMW yesterday said its net profit dropped sharply in the second quarter of the year despite strong sales growth in Asia, especially in China. Net profit was 1.28 billion euros (US$1.58 billion) in the April-to-June period, BMW said, a decline of 28.1 percent from the same period a year earlier. That was despite a 7.3 percent rise in revenue to 19.2 billion euros. The firm blamed high staff costs, greater expenditure on research and “intense market conditions” for the fall in net income.

BANKING

SG profit plummets 42%

Societe Generale SA (SG) yesterday said its net profit slumped sharply in the second quarter as the French bank continued its efforts to meet new international banking capital requirements. SG’s net income fell to 433 million euros in the three months to June, down 42 percent from 747 million euros a year earlier. The bank, which gained notoriety as the victim of convicted fraudster Jerome Kerviel, said in a statement that it expected business conditions to “remain uncertain and challenging over the next few quarters.”

ENERGY

ENI disappoints in Q2

Italian oil major ENI yesterday reported worse-than-expected results for the second quarter, but said it was confident on its outlook thanks to an increase in production and a new discovery in Mozambique. The adjusted net profit for the second quarter went up by just 2 percent to 1.46 billion euros. Over the first half of the year, the adjusted net profit went up by 8 percent to 3.94 billion euros, the company said in its earnings report.

INTERNET

Amazon offers more storage

Amazon.com Inc has updated its cloud music player to mimic Apple Inc’s iTunes Match, but is offering 10 times more storage space for the same price. Songs purchased on Amazon.com have always been stored for free on its servers for playback on mobile devices. Now the online retailer will scan a person’s computer and automatically match songs found there on the person’s storage space in the cloud. Like iTunes Match, Amazon will upgrade songs of lesser quality found on computers or existing cloud lockers to files encoded at 256 kilobits per second. The price is the same as iTunes Match at US$25 a year.

INDONESIA

Food drives CPI up 4.56%

Indonesia yesterday said that inflation rose slightly to 4.56 percent last month because of higher food prices at the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The consumer price index rose to 4.56 percent last month, up from 4.53 percent in June, the Central Statistics Agency said. On a monthly basis, it was up 0.7 percent, compared with June’s rise of 0.62 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food prices, was 4.28 percent last month, from 4.15 percent the previous month.

INTERNET

Google buying Wildfire

Google said on Tuesday it was buying Wildfire, a startup specializing in advertising on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Terms were not disclosed, but the Dow Jones Web site AllThingsD said it was US$250 million. Cofounders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard launched Wildfire in 2008, initially to promote a New Zealand travel agency they managed. The firm is now based in Silicon Valley.

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