Industrial output contracts
India’s industrial output shrank by a surprise 0.4 percent in September from a year earlier, data showed yesterday, underlining the challenge for the government as it attempts to jumpstart growth with a string of reforms. The output figure for September was sharply below market expectations of a 2.8 percent year-on-year rise. Manufacturing output, which accounts for three-quarters of the index of industrial production, contracted by 1.5 percent, while capital goods — such as factory plant equipment — plunged by 12.2 percent, the data showed.
Rusal posts US$118m loss
Russian aluminum giant Rusal yesterday posted a third-quarter loss of US$118 million, blaming Europe’s economic turmoil and China’s slowdown for sinking global demand for the metal. The world’s largest aluminum producer said the outlook was uncertain, but aluminum consumption should improve in the fourth quarter with an uptick in Chinese growth and rising demand from US carmakers. Rusal said its net loss for the three months to Sept. 30 was US$118 million compared with a net profit of US$432 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 19 percent to US$2.56 billion.
Metalor eyes Singapore
Metalor Technologies SA, a Neuchatel, Switzerland-based precious-metals refiner, plans to build a gold refinery and bullion-product manufacturing facility in Singapore as demand in Southeast Asia grows. The US$15 million facility is expected to be completed by the second half of next year, Metalor said yesterday. The company currently has refining operations in Hong Kong, China, Switzerland and the US.
Pepsi to add fiber
PepsiCo Inc plans to launch a version of its namesake soda with a fat-blocking fiber called dextrin in Japan today. In an announcement on the company’s Japanese Web site, PepsiCo explains how dextrin helps reduce fat levels in blood. The drink, called Pepsi Special, isn’t the first cola with fiber in Japan. The Japanese firm Kirin also offers a sugar-free cola with dextrin. Kirin’s Web site says the cola is targeted toward health-conscious men in their 30s and older.
Olympus swings to profit
Olympus yesterday said it had swung to a US$100 million first-half profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, as the camera and medical equipment maker moves on from an embarrassing accounting scandal. The company said it earned a net profit of ￥8.02 billion (US$100 million) for the six months to September, from a loss of ￥32.33 billion, while also increasing its full-year profit forecast to ￥8 billion from ￥7 billion. However, the firm chopped its operating profit and full-year revenue outlook to ￥38 billion and ￥757 billion respectively, down from an earlier forecast of ￥50 billion and ￥920 billion.
Emirates profit up 63.6%
The parent company of Dubai-based carrier Emirates yesterday said profits for the first half of the year surged 63.6 percent as the Middle East’s biggest airline expanded routes and benefited from stabilizing fuel prices. The Emirates Group reported that profits rose to 2.37 billion dirhams (US$645.7 million) for the first half of the year, compared with US$394.8 million in the same period last year. Profits recovered strongly after dropping sharply in the fiscal year ending March 31 because of rising fuel costs.