Tue, Apr 16, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MEDIA

Vivendi sales beat forecast

Vivendi SA beat estimates for first-quarter sales as the French media conglomerate controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore continued to benefit from a buoyant music market. Revenue rose 5.7 percent on a constant currency basis to 3.46 billion euros (US$3.91 billion) from 3.12 billion euros a year earlier, the company said in a statement yesterday. Analysts had expected 3.38 billion euros. The results might bode well for Vivendi’s effort to sell as much as 50 percent of its Universal Music Group unit, a bright spot for the group.

ADVERTISING

Publicis to acquire Epsilon

Publicis Groupe SA is to pay US$4.4 billion in cash to acquire Alliance Data Systems Corp’s marketing unit Epsilon, as the French advertising group seeks to deepen its digital expertise and expand in the US. The takeover, the biggest-ever for Publicis, was announced by the Paris-based company in a statement on Sunday. Publicis is the owner of agencies Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett Worldwide. Epsilon runs loyalty programs and e-mail marketing and collects data, including transactions, location and Web activity.

AVIATION

Jet Airways cuts operations

India’s ailing Jet Airways Ltd has drastically reduced operations amid talks with investors to purchase a controlling stake in the airline and help it reduce its mounting debt. The airline is operating seven aircraft that are flying only domestic routes, spokesman Gaurav Sahni said yesterday. Jet Airways pilots have been demonstrating in Mumbai over lack of pay. The demonstration was not expected to affect operations, Sahni said.

AUTOMOTIVE

Musk again tweets forecast

Tesla Inc chief executive officer Elon Musk, already in hot water over his Twitter use, posted another production forecast reminiscent of the one that landed him before a US federal judge earlier this month. Musk on Sunday wrote that Tesla would make more than 500,000 vehicles in the next 12 months. A similar tweet sent almost two months ago in which Musk said the company would build half a million vehicles this year led the US authorities to argue he was in contempt of a settlement reached with the regulator last year.

UNITED KINGDOM

London home prices rebound

Asking prices for London homes rebounded this month, and beleaguered sellers hope the extension of the Brexit process will help bolster the property market in coming months. Average values increased 1.1 percent after dropping by the same amount last month, property Web site Rightmove said in a report yesterday. That left prices down 2.2 percent from a year earlier, with the number of sales agreed by real-estate agents falling 5.6 percent. Family homes showed the biggest increase, indicating that the pressure for households to get on with moves is outweighing the political turmoil over Brexit.

EUROPEAN UNION

Copyright reforms adopted

The European Council yesterday adopted copyright reforms championed by news publishers and the media business, but opposed by US tech giants like Alphabet Inc’s Google. Nineteen member countries adopted the reforms that were agreed last month by the European Parliament, but Italy, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland voted against the controversial legislation, and three members abstained.

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