Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ENTERTAINMENT

Sony Q2 profit skyrockets

Sony Corp yesterday reported that its fiscal second-quarter profit zoomed 26-fold from the same period last year, boosted by the success of its imaging sensors, game products and the latest Spider-Man movie. Tokyo-based Sony reported a July-to-September profit of ¥130.9 billion (US$1.2 billion), up from ¥4.8 billion reported in the same period last year. Quarterly sales rose 22 percent to ¥2.06 trillion. The Japanese electronics and entertainment giant raised its full-year profit forecast to ¥380 billion, up by nearly 50 percent from its earlier forecast of ¥255 billion profit.

TIREMAKERS

Michelin to start Thai guide

Michelin, facing fierce competition from lower-cost Chinese competitors as it expands in Asia, is counting on a little luxury splash from haute cuisine to boost its brand image. The French company is introducing its eponymous restaurant guide for Bangkok next month as part of a broader effort to increase the brand’s appeal in Asia. In July, it bought a 40 percent stake in the US-based Robert Parker wine guide, which hosts tasting events on the continent, including in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau, where Michelin already has food guides. While selling tires might seem to have little to with finding a tasty coq au vin at a fancy restaurant, Michelin sees the unprofitable guides as helping to position its brand as high-quality.

AIRLINES

Ryanair earnings jump 11%

Ryanair Holdings PLC’s first-half earnings gained 11 percent as price declines stabilized over the peak summer months, more than offsetting the cost of a pilot shortage that triggered flight cancelations for about 700,000 passengers. Net income in the six months to Sept. 30 rose to 1.29 billion euros (US$1.5 billion), compared with 1.17 billion euros a year earlier, Dublin-based Ryanair said yesterday. Europe’s biggest discount airline stood by its forecast for full-year profit in the range of 1.4 billion euros to 1.45 billion euros, even after paying out 25 million euros in refunds and 40 million euros for extra staffing costs.

REAL ESTATE

NZ to ban foreign buyers

New Zealand’s new government yesterday said it would change the law to prevent foreigners from buying existing homes in the South Pacific nation to reduce speculation and make it easier for first-time buyers to enter the market. “Foreign speculators will no longer be able to buy houses in New Zealand from early next year,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at news conference in Wellington. New Zealand house prices have surged over the past few years, driving the average value in biggest city Auckland to more than NZ$1 million (US$684,870).

ALCOHOL

Giants eye pot possibilities

A decision by Corona distributor Constellation Brands Inc to buy a minority stake in a Canadian pot company marked the first major foray by an alcohol brand into the nascent marijuana industry. With the taboo now broken, brewers and distillers such as Molson Coors Brewing Co, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, Diageo PLC and Pernod Ricard SA might already be examining the marijuana space, beverage industry analysts said, adding that Constellation’s move only intensifies the competitive pressure. Victor, New York-based Constellation agreed to pay about C$245 million (US$190.8 million) for a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corp, a Canadian seller of medicinal marijuana products.

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