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.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
NERVOUS MARKET: With the infection sources still unknown for three COVID-19 cases that had departed Taiwan, investors have become uneasy, an analyst said Local shares yesterday came under heavy downward pressure, falling more than 1 percent as renewed fears over a possible increase in domestic COVID-19 infections hit market sentiment after the nation last week reported a case related to a Belgian national. Selling focused on the bellwether electronics sector, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which pushed down the broader market as investors ignored gains posted by tech heavyweights on the US market at the end of last week, dealers said. The TAIEX closed down 151.77 points, or 1.2 percent, at 12,513.03, on turnover of NT$231.43 billion (US$7.84 billion). Foreign