AmEx starts Twitter sales
American Express on Monday began letting users of its payment cards make purchases with messages fired off at Twitter as the popular social network dabbles with making money from e-commerce. American Express announced that members who synchronize their cards with Twitter can take advantage of offers “tweeted” by the financial services company. American Express will promote products in messages fired off at Twitter. Card holders buy items by tweeting indicated hashtags, with their accounts being charged accordingly. Depending on the offers, products will be shipped to buyers or picked up in shops.
New markets boost L’Oreal
French cosmetics giant L’Oreal said on Monday its net profit rose by 17.6 percent last year to 2.87 billion euros (US$3.8 billion) and that it expects to top the performance this year. Sales rose by 10.4 percent to 22.46 billion euros, or a 6.2 percent gain taking currency fluctuations into account. Chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said: “2012 also marked a milestone in the acceleration of the Group’s internationalization, as the ‘New Markets’ became the No. 1 geographic zone.” This includes the Asia-Pacific region, where sales rose by 9.6 percent on a like-for-like basis and 18.4 percent on a reported basis. Latin American sales rose by 8.7 percent on a reported basis, and by 17.6 percent in Africa and the Middle East.
ThyssenKrupp earnings fall
ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s biggest steelmaker, reported adjusted earnings for the first fiscal quarter that fell 38 percent as the economic slowdown eroded demand. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell to 229 million euros (US$307 million) from 372 million a year earlier, the Essen, Germany-based company said yesterday in a statement. Sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31 fell 7.9 percent to 8.84 billion euros. “We cannot be satisfied with the Group’s current earning power,” chief executive officer Heinrich Hiesinger said in the statement. The company intends to save 500 million euros by reorganizing its European steel business and cutting more than 2,000 jobs.
Hostess auctions approved
Hostess Brands Inc won bankruptcy court approval to hold auctions for brands including Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Drake. US Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, on Monday approved Flowers Foods Inc, McKee Foods Corp, United States Bakery Inc, Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co as so-called stalking-horse, or lead, bidders for most of Hostess’ cake and bread brands, setting the thresholds other suitors will have to exceed. A sale hearing, to approve the highest and best bids, is set for March 19.
Key rate held for 12th month
The central bank yesterday kept its key interest rate steady at 5.75 percent for the 12th straight month as it looks to boost growth in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Inflation hit a four-year high on a monthly basis last month at 1.03 percent, from 0.54 percent in December as food prices soared following seasonal flooding. Bank Indonesia spokesman Difi Johansyah said there were risk factors that could increase inflationary pressure, “such as weather that could disrupt food production and distribution.” The bank expects inflation to remain in check, however, between 3.5 and 5.5 percent until 2014.