Kaesong firms to get loans
The government will provide more than US$270 million in emergency loans to help companies affected by the shutdown of a jointly-run factory park in North Korea. The finance ministry said yesterday the 300 billion won (US$273 million) in relief funds would help cover debts and operating costs of about 120 South Korean companies that were forced early last month to halt production at factories in the Kaesong industrial complex amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
BMW hit by tough markets
BMW AG said yesterday tough auto markets worldwide and investment in new technology dented its first-quarter earnings. Net profit fell 3 percent to 1.312 billion euros (US$1.726 billion). Revenues fell 4.1 percent to 17.55 billion euros. While the company’s drop in profit for the quarter was smaller than at German competitors Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG, BMW gave a cautious outlook, staying its forecast for earnings was “on a similar scale” to last year’s. “We do not expect to receive a great deal of impetus from most European markets,” chief executive Norbert Reithofer said.
DreamWorks in Web deal
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc is buying AwesomenessTV, a YouTube teen network, for about US$33 million in cash as it looks to tap into the popularity of online content. DreamWorks said on Wednesday that AwesomenessTV founder and chief executive Brian Robbins would continue to direct growth at the company, while also developing a DreamWorks branded digital family channel. The deal includes the possibility of additional cash payments of up to US$117 million if certain earnings targets are reached next year and in 2015.
Visa raises its forecast
Visa Inc said on Wednesday that its net income slipped nearly 2 percent in the first three months of this year from the year before, when the company benefited from an adjustment to its income tax provision. Even so, the company raised its earnings growth forecast for this fiscal year from the high teens to about 20 percent, citing a more certain revenue outlook and earlier-than-planned share buybacks. For the fiscal second quarter, Visa reported net income of US$1.27 billion, or earnings per share of US$1.92. Revenue in the latest quarter rose nearly 15 percent to US$2.96 billion from US$2.58 billion the previous year.
Siemens trims targets
German giant Siemens yesterday trimmed its full-year targets as it posted mixed second quarter numbers. Full-year revenues were projected to decline, but orders would rise “moderately,” Siemens said. Siemens, which runs its business year from October to September, said that orders rose by 20 percent to 21.451 billion euros in the period from January to March, but revenues were down 7 percent at 18.011 billion euros. Net profit grew by 10 percent to 1.03 billion euros, falling short of analysts’ expectations.
Shell CEO to retire next year
Royal Dutch Shell said yesterday that its chief executive since 2009, Peter Voser, would retire next year as it reported first-quarter results that beat expectations. Adjusted net profit on a current cost of supply basis rose to US$7.5 billion in the quarter from US$7.3 billion the previous year, the company said.