Lufthansa cancels flights
German airline Lufthansa said yesterday it had cancelled most of its domestic, European and long-haul flights at six German airports due to strike action by ground personnel and some cabin crew. Out of nearly 1,800 planned flights yesterday, “we will operate 20 short and medium-range flights and 12 long-distance services,” a spokesman said. Services union Verdi called the strike after three rounds of pay talks with management ended without any agreement.
Philips earnings fall
Royal Philips NV, the maker of lights, home appliances and health care equipment, says first quarter earnings fell on the back of soft sales and unfavorable annual comparisons. Even so, the company said yesterday that its underlying margins had improved due to cutting costs. In the first quarter, Philips made a net profit of 162 million euros (US$212 million), down from 183 million euros a year earlier when it enjoyed 119 million euros worth of one-time gains, notably from the sale of its Senseo coffee maker brand. Sales fell 1 percent to 5.26 billion euros.
Small profit for LG Display
LG Display Co reported a small profit in the first three months of the year, reflecting slackening orders from its key client, Apple Inc, during a typically slow period for the consumer electronics market. LG Display said yesterday its net income for the January-March period was 3.5 billion won (US$3.1 million), compared with a net loss of 129.2 billion won a year earlier. Its first quarter sales rose 10 percent to 6.8 trillion won. Operating profit stood at 151.3 billion won, compared with a 211.1 billion won loss a year earlier.
Firms in merger talks: report
Shares in Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding surged yesterday following a report that the shipbuilding giants are starting merger talks. Mitsui Engineering surged 13.01 percent to ￥191 (US$1.92), while Kawasaki Heavy was down 0.90 percent at ￥330. Earlier, the Tokyo Stock Exchange temporarily suspended trading in the firms’ shares “to confirm whether the report is true or not,” it said in a statement. However, both firms dismissed the report in the leading Nikkei business daily.
ABB to acquire Power One
Swiss-Swedish engineering giant ABB said yesterday that it would acquire the California company Power One, which specializes in renewable energy such as solar, for US$1 billion. The transaction, which has been approved by the US company’s board, should wrap up during the second quarter, ABB said in a statement. The engineering giant said it would pay US$6.35 per share in cash, or a total of $1.028 billion, but stressed that the deal would also allow it to absorb Power One’s US$266 million cash holdings.
Lloyds aims to issue shares
Lloyds Banking Group PLC, the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, plans to issue new shares to raise ￡350 million (US$532.9 million). The bank will use the proceeds to fund discretionary payments on Tier 1 hybrid capital securities to be made during this year, it said in a statement yesterday. The plans were first disclosed in its last year’s results, London-based Lloyds said. Lloyds will issue almost 713 million shares at about 49.09 pence apiece. The company’s stock closed at 47.49 pence in London trading on Friday.