FAA clears Boeing 787s
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday issued formal approval of Boeing’s 787 battery fix that will clear the way for the troubled aircraft to fly again after a three-month grounding. The move was quickly followed by regulators in Japan, who said they would also allow the resumption of flights by the grounded aircraft following the FAA order, which they said could come into effect as early as last night.
Samsung limits Iran service
Iranian users of Samsung mobile applications said on Thursday the company had notified them that they would no longer have access to the company’s online store as of May 22. The move is seen as part of international sanctions on the country over its disputed nuclear program. The West has imposed banking and insurance sanctions on Iran since it suspects Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.
Noodle sales top 100bn
Global sales of instant noodles have topped 100 billion units annually, an industry group said yesterday — more than one monthly serving of the portable meal for every person on the planet. Of the 101.4 billion units sold last year, China, including Hong Kong, accounted for 44 billion, followed by Indonesia with 14.1 billion, Japan (5.4 billion) and Vietnam (5.1 billion), the World Instant Noodles Association said.
Alcatel-Lucent posts loss
Struggling French telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent yesterday reported a wider-than-expected loss for the first quarter as sales nearly stalled and restructuring costs continued to mount. The Paris-based company said it lost 353 million euros (US$461.72 million) in the January-March period, compared with a gain of 259 million euros a year earlier. Sales were nearly flat at 3.23 billion euros. The company is in the midst of a 1.25 billion euros restructuring program launched last summer to cut 5,000 jobs from the then total of 76,000.
Honda annual profit up 74%
Japanese automaker Honda yesterday said its net profit for the year to March soared 73.6 percent to ￥367.15 billion (US$3.7 billion) on revenue of ￥9.87 trillion, up from ￥7.95 trillion a year earlier, thanks to robust overseas sales, a weaker yen and cost cutting. Japan’s third-biggest automaker also reported an operating profit of ￥544.8 billion, up 135.5 percent from the previous year.
Munich Re profit on track
Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer, yesterday said it was standing by its full-year targets for the current year after getting off to a “good start” in the first quarter. CEO Nikolaus von Bomhard said in a statement the company was aiming for a consolidated result of close to 3 billion euros. Profits for the period from January to March “should be close to 1 billion euros,” he said.
Amazon beats expectations
Amazon.com posted earnings that beat Wall Street expectations on Thursday even though profit fell as the online retail colossus invested in shipping centers and digital entertainment content. Amazon reported a profit of US$82 million on net sales that rose 22 percent to US$16.07 billion in the first three months of this year. The Seattle-based firm made a profit of US$130 million in the same quarter last year.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200