Sat, Jul 27, 2013 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

AUTOMAKERS

Toyota leads world

Toyota shrugged off China sales woes to stay the world’s top-selling automaker for the first half of this year, outpacing US rival General Motors (GM), which boasted such bragging rights for seven decades until 2008.

Toyota Motor Corp sold 4.91 million cars and trucks around the world for the January-June period, down 1.2 percent from the previous year, according to numbers it released yesterday. GM said earlier this month it sold 4.85 million vehicles worldwide in the six months.

ICELAND

S&P downgrades outlook

Standard & Poor has revised the outlook for Iceland’s long-term credit rating to negative from stable on Friday, advising the government against pursuing a plan for massive mortgage relief. The credit rating agency said its move was based on an estimate that there was “at least a one-in-three chance” that it could lower Iceland’s ratings within the next two years.

FOOD AND DRINKS

Starbucks profits rise

Starbucks says its profit climbed 25 percent in the latest quarter as caffeine-addicted customers helped boost sales and its coffee costs eased. The results topped Wall Street expectations and the company raised its full-year guidance. Starbucks’ shares were up almost 7 percent in aftermarket trading. The Seattle-based chain, which has more than 19,000 locations around the world, said global sales rose 8 percent at cafes open at least 13 months, with all regions registering growth. In its flagship US market, the figure rose 9 percent.

BOOKS

Amazon posts Q2 loss

Amazon.com reported a surprise loss in the second quarter, as a 22 percent jump in revenue was not enough to make up for rising operating expenses. The world’s largest online retailer has been spending heavily on order fulfilment and digital content rights, which continue to weigh on profit margins. Amazon, which also makes the Kindle tablets and e-reader devices, said on Thursday that its loss was US$7 million, or 2 cents per share, in the April-June quarter. That is down from earnings of US$7 million, or 1 cent per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 22 percent to US$15.7 billion from US$12.83 billion.

GAMES

Zynga shares tumble

Social games pioneer Zynga reported Thursday that it lost money and players in the last quarter, sending it already struggling shares tumbling. Zynga said that it lost US$15.8 million on revenue that shrank 38 percent from a year earlier to US$230.7 million. Meanwhile, the number of people playing Zynga games daily plunged 45 percent from last year to 39 million, according to the company. The number of monthly active users was down 39 percent to 187 million in a year-over-year comparison.

MOBILE PHONES

Qualcomm optimistic

Leading mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm Inc said on Thursday that the next generation of smartphones will take another stride forward as the company reported robust quarterly earnings. “We still think the next smartphone is going to surprise you with the things it can do,” Qualcomm director of CPU product management Travis Lanier said. “There is a way to go in innovation.” The California-based company made a profit of US$1.58 billion on revenue of US$6.52 billion in the quarter that ended on June 30. Profit was up 21 percent from the same quarter last year, while revenue increased 35 percent.

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