Industrial output slips
Industrial output slipped by a surprise 0.6 percent in December from a year earlier, data showed yesterday, dampening hopes that Asia’s third-largest economy could be on the upswing. The deterioration in the output of India’s factories, mines and utilities, undershot market expectations of a 0.8 percent rise in December, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll. The weak official figures will deal another blow to the scandal-tainted government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been keen to revive the economy with his Congress-led administration facing elections next year. Manufacturing output slipped 0.7 percent in December from the same month a year earlier, while mining production slid 4.0 percent.
Olympus cuts profit outlook
Olympus Corp, a Japanese camera and endoscope maker, cut its outlook for profit after booking an impairment loss at its imaging division and said it will announce new plans for its camera business in coming months. Net income will probably be ￥6 billion (US$64 million) in the 12 months ending March 31, compared with the previous forecast for ￥8 billion, according to a statement from the Tokyo-based company yesterday. Sales will be ￥740 billion, compared with a previous projection for ￥757 billion. The company aims to have a reorganization plan ready for its camera business by the time it announces earnings for the year ending March 31, senior executive director Yasuo Takeuchi said. Olympus expects to lose about ￥16 billion this fiscal year at its camera business, double the ￥8 billion target set in November, according to the statement. Olympus cut its full-year sales target for cameras to ￥110 billion from the ￥129 billion estimate made in November, according to the statement.
Colgate expects bolivar hit
US giant Colgate-Palmolive said on Monday it would take a significant loss in the current quarter from Venezuela’s 32 percent currency devaluation announced last week. The company said that in a preliminary assessment of the impact of the devaluation of the bolivar, it would take a one-time after-tax loss of US$120 million, or US$0.25 per share, in this year’s first quarter, “related to the re-measurement of the local balance sheet at the date of the devaluation.” There would also be an ongoing impact of US$0.05 to US$0.07 a share each quarter this year related to adjusting local Venezuela financial statements to the new currency regime, Colgate said. However, it added: “The devaluation will not have any impact on the company’s 2012 results of operations or financial position.”
Michelin drives up profits
Tire maker Michelin says its profits rose 7.5 percent last year despite a struggling car market in Europe, and expects to keep up volumes this year. Michelin SA said in a statement yesterday that it was helped by growth in emerging markets and high margins on specialty tires. Michelin reported 21.47 billion euros (US$28.75 billion) in sales, up 5.8 percent from 20.72 billion euros in 2011, but slightly below forecasts of 21.62 billion euros by analysts surveyed by FactSet. The company, based in Clermont-Ferrand in central France, said last year’s profits were 1.57 billion euros, up from 1.46 billion euros the year before. Michelin says it expects to “hold volumes steady this year, in a market environment that is uncertain in mature markets, but still expanding in the new ones.”