Renault posts losses
Renault yesterday reported its first loss in a decade and cut its margin target for this year, as it attempts to draw a line under the Carlos Ghosn affair and reboot its Nissan alliance. The French automaker is trying to move on from the internal turmoil sparked by the scandal involving its former CEO Ghosn with a management shake-up. Meanwhile, it is grappling like other automakers with tumbling demand in some key markets like China. Renault posted a loss of 141 million euros (US$153 million) for the group share of net income, in part as a result of charges linked to some of its Chinese joint ventures. The contribution from Nissan, in which Renault has a 43 percent stake, also fell and it was hit by a French deferred tax charge. Renault set an operating margin target next year of between 3 and 4 percent, down from 4.8 percent last year, and sliced its proposed dividend for last year by almost 70 percent from a year earlier.
Carriers face US$5bn hit
An outbreak of COVID-19 in China could mean a US$4 billion to US$5 billion drop in worldwide airline revenue, the International Civil Aviation Organization said on Thursday. The UN agency reported that 70 airlines have canceled all international flights in and out of China, and 50 others have reduced their operations. Preliminary estimates show this has meant a reduction of nearly 20 million passengers compared with expectations for the first quarter. That figure equates to potential lost revenue of up to US$5 billion, the agency said. “Prior to the outbreak, airlines had planned to increase capacity by 9 percent on international routes to/from China for the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019,” it said in a statement. However, foreign airline traveler capacity in and out of the country has gone down 80 percent, it added.
Chocolatier offers 3D fare
Hotels, pastry chefs and coffee chains can soon start offering guests customized 3D-printed chocolate thanks to a little-known Swiss chocolatier. Barry Callebaut AG, the behind-the-scenes producer of a quarter of the world’s chocolate, is giving gourmet clients access to a method of printing personalized designs en masse, the Zurich-based company said in a statement yesterday. The technology would first be available through the company’s Mona Lisa brand, which makes chocolate decorations, sprinkles and figurines. The move comes as the chocolate industry faces meager growth prospects. Lindt & Spruengli has said it plans to close 50 stores in the US.
India budges on US imports
India has offered to partially open up its poultry and dairy markets in a bid for a limited trade deal during US President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country this month, people familiar with the protracted talks say. India, the world’s largest milk-producing nation, has traditionally restricted dairy imports to protect the livelihoods of 80 million rural households. It has offered to allow imports of US chicken legs, turkey and produce, such as blueberries and cherries, government sources said, and has offered to cut tariffs on chicken legs from 100 percent to 25 percent. US negotiators want that tariff cut to 10 percent. India is also offering some access to India’s dairy market, but with a 5 percent tariff and quotas, the sources said. However, dairy imports require certification that they are not derived from animals fed internal organs, blood meal or tissues of ruminants.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s