Thu, Nov 05, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Recalls fail to stop Honda

Honda Motor Co yesterday reported a quarterly profit of ¥127.7 billion (US$1 billion), up 7 percent from its revised result from the year before, even as costs of a massive recall related to defective air bags dented the boost from healthy sales. The company kept its annual profit target unchanged at ¥525 billion. Hard hit by air bag problems at supplier Takata Corp, Honda said recall-related operating losses totaled ¥87.5 billion for the quarter. Sales for the July-September fiscal second quarter rose nearly 16 percent to ¥3.6 trillion.


Sprint cuts Softbank profits

Softbank Group Corp operating profit rose as the mobile carrier and Internet investment company boosted Japanese wireless subscribers, offsetting losses at its Sprint Corp unit in the US. The Japanese company yesterday reported operating income of ¥342.2 billion in the three months to September, while net income declined 56 percent to ¥213.3 billion after taking a one-time charge for the loss in value of subsidiaries. Softbank said that having Sprint — the No. 4 US wireless carrier — return to profit has become a challenge, with costs mounting to attract and keep subscribers.


Glencore keeps forecasts

Glencore PLC, the miner and commodities trader weighed down by a US$30 billion debt load, said trading was stronger in the third quarter, allowing it to maintain its full-year profit target amid a rout in raw materials prices. Adjusted earnings before interest and tax would be US$2.5 billion to US$2.6 billion for this year, the Swiss company said yesterday, reiterating an August forecast. In the trading business, there were “improved contributions from metals and minerals and agricultural products,” it said. The firm also said it would cut an additional 55,000 tonnes of copper output by the end of 2017. Glencore also outlined a new goal to trim borrowings by US$5 billion to US$25 billion by the end of the year, while at the same time targeting net funding of US$40 billion.


M&S raises margin targets

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) yesterday reported another dip in quarterly underlying sales in its non-food business. The 131-year-old firm said sales of general merchandise, spanning clothing, footwear and homeware, at stores open more than a year, fell 1.9 percent in the 13 weeks to Sept. 26, its fiscal second quarter. However, with the non-food division increasing its gross margin by a better-than-expected 2.85 percentage points in the first half, the company raised its full-year guidance to an increase of between 2 and 2.5 percentage points, from between 1 and 1.5 percentage points.


Maersk to lay off 4,000

Maersk Line, the world’s No. 1 one container shipping firm, yesterday said it would cut 4,000 jobs by the end of 2017 and defer vessel investments to buoy up its dominant position in a falling market. Maersk Line is to slash administrative costs by US$250 million over two years. The maritime division of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moeller-Maerskis cutting capacity as it battles price and demand falls, and has warned that a fall in activity will hit annual results due for publication tomorrow. Late last month, petroleum division Maersk Oil announced it would slash its workforce by between 10 and 12 percent in the face of low oil prices.

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