Patents sale still on: Kodak
Eastman Kodak Co, the bankrupt photography pioneer, said its digital-imaging patents auction would proceed after Monday’s deadline passed, but did not provide a new target date. “Kodak and its creditors have agreed to extend the timeline for announcing the outcome of the patent auction in light of continuing discussions with bidders,” Rochester, New York-based Kodak said in a statement. The two patent portfolios for sale relate to the capture, manipulation and sharing of digital images. Kodak is selling the patents to fund a turnaround after seeking Chapter 11 protection in January.
Pfizer gets Nexium nod
Drugmakers AstraZeneca PLC and Pfizer Inc have reached a deal giving Pfizer future rights to sell a nonprescription version of AstraZeneca’s blockbuster heartburn drug, Nexium, as early as 2014. The deal, announced on late Monday, could help Pfizer expand its consumer-health business as it continues a restructuring to strengthen its core drug business and divest its infant-formula and animal-health businesses. Nexium was the world’s fifth-best-selling medicine last year, with sales of nearly US$8 billion.
Merck raises sales forecast
German chemicals and pharmaceuticals group Merck KGaA yesterday raised its forecasts for full-year revenues on expected growth in emerging markets after trimming its losses in the second quarter. Net losses in the second three months of the year came in at 60.5 million euros (US$74.9 million) compared with 86.8 million euros in the same period last year, Merck said. Total group revenues were up 11.6 percent to 2.9 billion euros, while operating profits were up 13 percent to 747 million euros, it said.
Inflation slows to 6.87%
India’s inflation slowed unexpectedly to 6.87 percent last month from a year earlier, data showed yesterday, giving the central bank more room to cut interest rates to spur a slowing economy. Last month’s headline reading was significantly below the median forecast of 7.4 percent in a poll of 17 economists by Dow Jones Newswires and June’s 7.25 percent. India’s once-booming economy grew by just 5.3 percent in January to March — its slowest quarterly rise in nearly a decade.
Maersk upbeat on profits
Danish shipper and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says it expects to do better this year than last despite reporting a 2 percent drop in second-quarter earnings to 20.67 billion kroner (US$3.42 billion). The world’s largest container shipping company says revenues for the three-month period were up 11 percent to 88.82 billion kroner from the same period a year earlier. The Copenhagen-based group says financial results this year would be “slightly above the result of 2011.”
Ford India issues recall
Ford India says it is recalling nearly 130,000 of its most popular cars in India. The manufacturing defects date back as far as 2008 and can cause fire and other problems. The company says it will examine 111,000 Ford Figo and Classic models manufactured between January 2008 and December 2010 for a faulty rear twist beam, which can compromise brake performance and make the vehicle inoperable. Ford will also replace a hose in 17,655 Figo and Classic cars produced between September 2010 and February last year as a precautionary measure.