Thu, Jul 19, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Novartis sees strong growth

Novartis AG said that its net profit rose 3 percent in the second quarter amid strong growth for some of its top products, as the Swiss pharmaceuticals giant moves to spin off its Alcon eye-care business. New chief executive officer Vas Narasimhan touted Novartis’ plans to create a “focused medicines company.” Second-quarter core net profit rose to US$3.01 billion from US$2.87 billion a year earlier. Novartis’ overall net profit was skewed by a US$5.7 billion net gain from the sale of its stake in the GSK consumer healthcare joint venture. Sales climbed 5 percent to US$13.16 billion.


ASML profits up by 25%

Dutch global high-tech bellwether ASML Holding NV yesterday reported its profits rose 25 percent year-on-year to 584 million euros (US$679 million) in the second quarter, up from 466 million euros in the same quarter last year. “Our second-quarter sales were above expectations, including higher-than-forecasted EUV sales,” said chief executive officer Peter Wennink, referring to the company’s cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet light lithography machines. Second-quarter sales rose to 2.7 billion euros from 2.1 billion euros in the same period last year.


Swatch thanks millenials

Swatch, the world’s top watchmaker, yesterday announced an all-time record in half-year sales, saying it has millennials to thank for bringing wristwatches back. Group net sales increased by 14.7 percent at current exchange rates in the first half of this year to 4.27 billion Swiss francs (US$4.26 billion). Net profit rose by 66.5 percent to SF468 million, with operating profit soaring 69.5 percent to SF629 million, the statement said.


Carlyle plans oil, gas fund

Carlyle Group LP is trying to raise a US$4 billion fund that is to invest in oil and gas assets outside North America, a person familiar with the matter said. The fund plans to buy companies active in the energy supply chain and use them to acquire assets in exploration and production, refining, marketing and oilfield services. A representative for the private equity firm declined to comment. The Financial Times reported on the fund earlier on Tuesday.


Bank program vindicated

New research published by the European Central Bank pushes back against criticism leveled at its 2.4 trillion euro stimulus program, indicating it did not increase inequality and helped boost poorer households’ income by putting people back to work. The arguments in the paper released yesterday help counter accusations, particularly from German politicians and news media, that the stimulus program hurt savers by depressing returns and benefited financially wobbly southern European governments such as Italy’s through lower borrowing costs.


Buybacks aim to stem rout

More companies are pledging to buy back their shares as authorities seek to stem a US$2 trillion rout in the equity market. At least 109 firms have announced repurchase plans or bought back shares this year, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Home appliances maker Midea Group Co (美的集團) is one of the latest, with plans to spend up to 4 billion yuan (US$595.18 million) buying its shares after they slid 19 percent from January to early this month.

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