Ford boss planning to retire
Alan Mulally will likely retire and be replaced as chief executive of Ford Motor by chief operating officer Mark Fields by the end of next year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Fields could stake over the chief executive position as soon as Thursday next week, according to some media reports. Mulally, a former top executive at Boeing, won strong reviews for his leadership of Ford, helping it avoid a government bailout during the financial crisis. The No. 2 US automaker notched impressive sales growth under Mulally. Earnings rose 26.3 percent last year to US$7.2 billion.
Philips posts Q1 loss
Royal Philips NV says its first-quarter profits declined as growth slowed in several divisions and consumers spent less on light bulbs. The world’s largest lighting maker yesterday said first-quarter net profit was 138 million euros (US$190 million), down from 161 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Revenues were down 4.8 percent to 5.02 billion euros. It said profit margins worsened in part due to restructuring costs. Chief executive officer Frans van Houten cited “market headwinds in among others, Russia and China,” and said the strong euro also hurt reported figures.
Card firm to list in London
British greeting cards retailer Card Factory plans to list its shares on London’s stock market next month, joining a spate of store groups seeking flotations as the outlook for consumer spending improves. The over 700-store firm, majority owned by private equity group Charterhouse Capital Partners, yesterday said it expected to raise ￡90 million (US$151 million) from an offer of new and existing shares to institutional investors. The firm sold more than 285 million single cards in the year to Jan. 31 and revenue grew 9 percent to ￡326.9 million, while underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 9.2 percent to ￡80.4 million at a margin of 24.6 percent.
Samsung calls in expert
Samsung Electronics Co says Apple Inc’s patent-infringement claims of US$2.19 billion are 57 times higher than what the Galaxy maker should pay if a jury finds it infringed smartphone technology. Samsung called on a Yale University business school professor on Monday to make its case to a federal jury in San Jose, California, that if it has to pay anything, the amount should be as little as US$0.35 a phone — a stark comparison to Apple’s demand for more than US$40 a phone. The South Korean company also began its offensive attack on Monday, accusing Apple of infringing two of its patents.
Goldcorp drops hostile bid
Canadian giant Goldcorp on Monday said it would drop its hostile takeover bid for rival Osisko Mining, leaving Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited to go it alone. Goldcorp had offered C$7.65 per share, but last week Yamana and Agnico Eagle upped the ante in the bidding war with a cash-and-stock offer worth C$8.15 per share, in a deal valued at C$3.9 billion (US$3.54 billion). Osisko’s main asset is a massive gold mine in Canada’s Quebec Province. Over its 16-year lifespan, the Malartic mine is expected to turn out 500,000 to 600,000 ounces of gold per year, according to the company.