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Fri, Feb 01, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

■ ELECTRONICS

Sony posts record profit

Japan's Sony Corp said yesterday that its third-quarter net profit jumped 25 percent to a record high, helped by the flotation of its financial arm and reduced losses from the PlayStation 3. Sony said its game unit had finally swung back into the black after it introduced a cheaper version of the video game console in response to fierce competition from rival Nintendo Co. Net profit rose 25.2 percent to ¥200.2 billion (US$1.88 billion) in the last three months of last year, a company statement said. Sony also revised its full-year outlook, predicting a 169 percent rise in net income to ¥340 billion, up from a previous forecast of ¥330 billion.

■ ELECTRONICS

Matsushita's profit up 46%

Japanese electronics maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co said yesterday its profit climbed 46 percent in the last quarter of last year on strong sales of appliances and digital audiovisual products. Matsushita's net income rose to ¥115.2 billion (US$1.08 billion) from ¥78.7 billion in the same period the previous year, the maker of Panasonic brand products said in a release. Quarterly sales fell 4 percent to ¥2.34 trillion from ¥2.44 trillion a year earlier, the Osaka-based manufacturer said. Matsushita left unchanged its forecast for the fiscal year ending March next year at ¥246 billion profit on sales of ¥8.780 trillion.

■ AVIATION

New Beijing airport planned

China's aviation regulator has recommended building a second Beijing airport by 2015 to cope with surging travel, news reports said yesterday. The proposal comes as the Chinese capital's current airport prepares to open a new terminal next month that will double its size ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August. Regulators have formally recommended building the new airport and are trying to pick a site, Xinhua news agency and newspapers said, citing Yang Guoqing (楊國慶), deputy minister of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China. The existing Beijing airport, which says it is one of the world's 10 busiest, has expanded repeatedly in recent years in response to fast-growing traffic.

■ OIL

Shell's net profit soars

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell said yesterday that net profits leapt 23 percent last year to a record US$31.33 billion, energized by soaring crude prices. Net profit on a current cost of supply basis, excluding fluctuations in the value of inventories, rose 9 percent to US$27.56 billion last year, compared with the figure for 2006. The record-breaking figures were recorded last year as oil prices raced towards US$100 per barrel. In the fourth quarter alone, net profit rocketed 60 percent to US$8.47 billion, compared with the same period of 2006, Shell said.

■ AUTOMOBILES

Samsung told to pay up

A court yesterday ruled in favor of creditors of Samsung's failed automaking unit, which had sued the group for US$4.5 billion in South Korea's biggest civil lawsuit. The Seoul Central District Court ordered Samsung subsidiaries to sell shares given to creditors in 1999 in lieu of Samsung Motor's huge debts. But it reduced the repayment claimed by the creditors. It ruled that Samsung should sell 2.3 million shares rather than 3.5 million, because key creditor Seoul Guarantee Insurance had already sold the margin to others.

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