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Wed, Oct 01, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■RETAIL

Tesco profits jump 11%

Britain’s biggest retailer, Tesco, said yesterday its net profit jumped by almost 11 percent during the group’s first half to more than £1 billion (US$1.8 billion) as it beat off economic woes. Tesco said in an earnings statement that profit after tax increased 10.9 percent to £1.038 billion in the six months to Aug. 23, compared with the same period last year. The supermarket giant also said it was on track to create 30,000 jobs this year.

■INSURANCE

Alico gets fund boost

A Japanese insurer that is a unit of troubled American International Group Inc (AIG) has received ¥90.7 billion (US$872 million) in additional funds to bolster its financial strength, the company said yesterday. Alico Japan said it received the money on Monday from its US parent, American Life Insurance Co, which is part of the AIG group, after the plunge in the price of AIG shares. As a result, Alico Japan’s capital base stands at ¥328.2 billion, it said in a statement. Alico Japan has been reassuring its clients that there will be no problems with their insurance policies.

■AUTOMOBILES

Toyota adds rear airbag

Toyota has developed a rear window air bag to upgrade protection for back-seat passengers, the company said yesterday. In the event of a rear-end collision, the air bag is ejected from the roof lining above the rear window and spreads like a curtain to protect the heads of the rear passengers, Toyota Motor Corp said in a statement. Toyota said the rear window curtain-shield air bag is the world’s first. The new safety gear will debut in the “iQ” compact four-seater vehicle, to be introduced later this year, Toyota said.

■TOYS

Bratz dolls annoy Mattel

Barbie-maker Mattel Inc filed court papers asking a federal judge to block MGA Entertainment Inc from making or selling Bratz dolls. Attorneys for Mattel filed the papers on Monday in Riverside, California, just over a month after a jury awarded the company US$100 million in damages in the fight over the pouty-lipped dolls. Judge Stephen Larson will hear arguments on the injunction request on Nov. 10.

■AVIATION

Boeing deliveries delayed

Boeing Co said yesterday it would reassess its 787 Dreamliner delivery schedule for the Japanese market once an ongoing strike ends, raising concern that a prolonged production halt could further push back deliveries. Japan’s two biggest airlines — Japan Airlines Corp and All Nippon Airways — have already announced expected delays in receiving the 787 jets because of a strike by Boeing machinists that came on top of an 18-month delay in the shipment of the planes. “Frankly, we do not know when the strike will end,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division, said in Tokyo.

■AUTOMOBILES

Volvo cuts 1,400 jobs

Volvo, one of the world’s top heavy duty truck makers, said yesterday it would cut 1,400 jobs in Belgium and Sweden because of declining demand for its trucks in Europe. “The company will initiate negotiations with the unions regarding staffing level cutbacks of approximately 1,400 employees at the company’s plant in Ghent in Belgium and Gothenburg and Umeaa in Sweden,” Volvo Trucks said in a statement.

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