Leaders meet for summit
European leaders are gathering again in Brussels to discuss how to save the euro currency from collapse and support countries facing too much debt and not enough growth. However, yesterday and today’s summit promises to be just a small pit stop on the road to recovery, with few decisions expected. The leaders of the 27 countries will discuss how to support their banks, one part of the crisis. The EU is considering forming a “banking union” to break this dangerous connection, but some countries are eager to put on the brakes on the plan. Debate will also center on whether to give Europe’s bailout fund the power to lend money to banks.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Nestle’s sales rise 11%
Strong growth in emerging markets helped Swiss food and drink giant Nestle SA post an 11 percent increase in sales for the first nine months of the year. The Vevey-based group yesterday said sales rose to 67.6 billion Swiss francs (US$73.3 billion) through last month, up from SF60.9 billion in the same period last year. With 11.7 percent growth in emerging markets and 2.4 percent growth in developed markets, the maker of Nescafe instant coffee, Jenny Craig weight-loss products and Haagen-Dazs ice cream said it expects organic sales growth of 6.1 percent this year.
American reports Q3 loss
American Airlines turned in a US$238 million third-quarter loss on Wednesday, but blamed the shortfall on large costs related to its ongoing bankruptcy reorganization. Before including costs for the bankruptcy process and employee severance, American’s parent AMR Corp said it scored a US$110 million operating profit, reversing a loss on the same basis from a year earlier. Operating income rose to US$51 million from US$39 million a year earlier, as fuel and interest costs fell while salary and benefit costs held stable. The company’s passenger revenue per seat mile domestically and internationally rose 4.7 percent on its American Airlines and American Eagle carriers.
EBay Q3 profits rise 2%
US online giant eBay said on Wednesday third-quarter profits edged up 2 percent from a year ago to US$597 million, driven by gains in mobile shopping and payments. The profit of US$0.55 a share excluding special items was US$0.01 ahead of Wall Street expectations. And the e-commerce firm lifted its forecast for the rest of the year. Revenue for the third quarter increased 15 percent from a year ago to US$3.4 billion, eBay said. The PayPal online financial transactions platform ended the quarter with 117.4 million active registered accounts, up 14 percent year-over-year, and revenue increased 23 percent.
SABMiller posts 4% rise
SABMiller, the world’s second-biggest brewer, posted an expected 4 percent rise in underlying first half beer volumes after growth across most other regions offset slowing demand in its key Latin American market. Beer volumes in Latin America, which represents around 32 percent of profit, grew by 4 percent, down from 8 percent in the same period a year ago with the firm reporting weaker consumer sentiment in recent months. The Miller Lite, Grolsch and Peroni maker, which earns 70 percent of its profit from fast-growing emerging markets, also reported yesterday an 8 percent rise in organic, constant currency group revenue in the six months to last month.