Japan deficit continues
Japan reported its 20th straight monthly trade deficit last month, as soaring energy imports continued to offset the value of exported goods. The deficit totaled ￥800.3 billion (US$8 billion), up 3.5 percent from a year earlier, government figures released yesterday showed. It was a record deficit for the month of February, but lower than January’s much-larger deficit.
Lithuania hopes to join euro
Lithuania hopes to follow in the footsteps of Baltic neighbors Estonia and Latvia by joining the eurozone single currency bloc next year, Lithuanian Minister of Finance Rimantas Sadzius said on Tuesday. Lithuania tried to join the now 18-member euro area in 2006-2007, but was blown off track as the global financial crisis gathered pace, plunging the economy into deep recession. Sadzius said the aim is for Lithuania to have completed negotiations by July after the European Commission submits a report on what steps Vilnius must take to ensure it meets the economic requirements for euro entry.
Oracle Q3 net profit up
Oracle said on Tuesday its fiscal third-quarter net income rose 2 percent, helped by higher cloud software subscription revenue, but investors wanted more growth and the company’s stock fell in late trading. For the three months through Feb. 28, the business software maker earned US$2.57 billion, or US$0.56 per share, up from US$2.5 billion, or US$0.52 per share, in the same quarter the year before. Revenue rose 4 percent to US$9.31 billion from US$8.96 billion.
Deutsche Telekom cuts jobs
German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom will cut 4,900 jobs over the next two years from its information technology and consultancy unit T-Systems, the company said on Tuesday. “We will cut 2,700 jobs this year and 2,200 jobs next year in Germany,” a spokesman said, confirming a report by daily Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung. T-Systems generated revenue of about 9.5 billion euros (US$13 billion) last year. The company employs about 50,000 people, but the spokesman said the layoffs were only planned in home-market Germany for now.
Adobe subscribers increase
Adobe Systems Inc added online subscribers at a faster-than-projected clip in the fiscal first quarter, as the company attempts to return to growth by selling Internet subscriptions for applications such as Photoshop. The software maker added 405,000 customers for its Creative Cloud Web software, bringing the total to 1.84 million and exceeding analysts’ estimates. Sales dipped less than 1 percent to US$1 billion and profit excluding certain items declined to US$0.30 a share for the period ended Feb. 28, the company said on Tuesday.
Samsonite profit jumps
US luggage maker Samsonite yesterday said its net profit jumped 18.6 percent last year. However, despite strong worldwide sales, its expansion in China was hit by an official crackdown on corruption. The firm said annual profit reached US$176.1 million last year, up from US$148.4 million in 2012, with net sales hitting a record US$2.04 billion, up 15 percent from the previous year. However, China sales only grew 5.3 percent after years of “stellar” growth, in part due to the crackdown on corruption.