World Business Quick Take - Taipei Times
Thu, Feb 08, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Industrial output slows 0.6%

Industrial production slipped in December last year after strong momentum throughout the year helped Europe’s largest economy expand at the fastest pace since 2011. Factory output declined 0.6 percent from November last year, when it increased a revised 3.1 percent, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy said yesterday. “Industrial output was very dynamic in the course of 2017, but has lost some momentum lately,” the ministry said in a statement. “Nonetheless, production is clearly pointing upward... Strong manufacturing momentum can be expected in the coming months.”

TRADE

China demands WTO talks

China has sent the US a demand for talks on compensation for steep US tariffs imposed on imported solar panels and washing machines, WTO filings showed on Tuesday. China said it was asserting its right as a major exporter to demand compensation, and said it believed the US measures broke numerous WTO rules. China’s move follows similar steps by Taiwan and South Korea.

SOLAR POWER

BP to invest US$500 million

BP PLC plans to invest US$500 million per year on low-carbon energy, which presents a growing challenge to its traditional oil business. The UK-based oil producer sees “significant commercial potential” in solar power and is becoming more active in trading carbon credits, BP deputy CEO Lamar McKay said in London. It also plans to set targets for emissions from operations, he said. In December last year, BP re-entered the solar market after a six-year absence with a US$200 million investment in a company that develops photovoltaic farms in Europe.

ENTERTAINMENT

Disney profit surges 78.4%

Walt Disney Co, which is buying some of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s film and TV units, on Tuesday reported a 78.4 percent surge in quarterly profit as it recorded a US$1.6 billion gain due to changes to US tax law. Net income attributable to the company rose to US$4.42 billion, or US$2.91 per share, from US$2.48 billion, or US$1.55 per share. Disney’s revenue rose 3.8 percent to US$15.35 billion in the first quarter ended Dec. 30 last year, from US$14.78 billion a year earlier.

MINING

Rio Tinto increases dividend

Rio Tinto Group yesterday rewarded shareholders with a record dividend as the mining giant reported a bumper annual net profit of US$8.76 billion last year, a 90 percent jump as commodity prices strengthened. The Anglo-Australian firm had posted US$4.62 billion in annual profit in the previous financial year, turning around a loss in 2015, when key metals prices slumped and the growth in Chinese demand slowed. Underlying profit for the year to Dec. 31 last year was US$8.63 billion, a 69 percent rise from the previous period.

ALCOHOL

Carlsberg eyes mild growth

Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S yesterday said it expected operating profit to grow by a mid-single-digit percentage this year and that it would increase dividend payout. Net profit without impairments last year rose to 4.93 billion Danish kroner (US$819.6 million), slightly greater the 4.86 billion kroner expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. Carlsberg, the world’s third-largest brewer, gave no quarterly earnings figures. However, fourth-quarter sales fell to 13.36 billion kroner, missing the 13.63 billion kroner expected in the poll.

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