Tue, Jun 25, 2013 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AVIATION

Dreamliner stalls again

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet was forced to make an emergency landing during a US domestic flight on Sunday, due to a problem with its brake system, United Airlines said in a statement. A spokeswoman for Boeing, which makes the Dreamliner, said the problem with the braking system forced the plane “back to base,” without giving details of the malfunction or how long it might take to repair it. It marks the latest problem to plague Boeing’s flagship plane and at least a third one in a month. An All Nippon Airways flight on the Dreamliner was canceled on June 12, when an engine would not start. A day earlier, a Singapore-bound flight operated by Japan Airlines had to turn back mid-flight because of a problem with the anti-icing system.

RETAIL

Starbucks pays taxes

US-based coffee giant Starbucks said on Sunday it had paid £5 million (US$7.7 million) in British corporation tax and will pay another £15 million by next year after facing a backlash from lawmakers and customers over non-payment. The moved comes despite Starbucks claiming that it remained unprofitable in Britain, and that it was looking at closing its struggling stores in the country. Corporation tax is levied on a company’s profits and currently stands at 23 percent in Britain. Starbucks said in December last year that it intended to pay £10 million in British corporation tax this year and next year.

AUTOMAKERS

Honda eyes female buyers

Honda Motor Co is targeting female drivers for its redesigned 2014 Acura MDX sport wagon with the luxury brand’s most expensive advertising campaign yet. Using the slogan “Made for Mankind,” a female narrates the moody ads showing women hiking a mountain ridge, dancing and interacting with a robot. The commercial debuts during the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Finals this month, while the full campaign starts on July 7, Tokyo-based Honda said. Honda is betting the ads will boost Acura sales that have fallen 25 percent in the US from a peak of 209,610 in 2005. With the new MDX, Acura said it’s trying to make an emotional appeal to female luxury-car buyers.

INSURANCE

Swiss Re to cut costs, debts

Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, plans to reduce costs and repurchase debt as it seeks to boost profitability and increase its dividend. Swiss Re expects costs savings of as much as US$300 million by 2015 to help expand in faster-growing markets, such as Brazil and China, the company said in a statement before a meeting with investors in Zurich today. The firm plans to cut leverage by more than US$4 billion by 2016 and said a subsidiary is offering to repurchase three tranches of senior debt.

ENERGY

Essar beats expectations

Essar Energy PLC reported better-than-expected full-year earnings as improving refining capacity at its core oil refineries — Vadinar in India and Stanlow in Britain — pushed up margins. The London-listed power, oil and gas arm of privately owned Indian conglomerate Essar Group, said earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization, on a current price basis, was US$1.34 billion in the year ended March 31, compared with a company-provided analysts’ estimate of US$1.17 billion. The company this year moved its year-end to March from December, making the previous comparative period a 15-month one.

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