BASF, Sinopec to build plant
The German chemicals giant BASF and Chinese partner Sinopec (中國石化) will invest around US$1.4 billion to expand a joint facility in Nanjing, China, BASF said yesterday. The project got a green light from the Chinese government on July 1 and will use cutting edge technology to make products for the construction, electronics, pharmaceutical, automotive and chemical engineering sectors, a statement said. The joint venture BASF-YPC, which has existed since 2000, will build 10 new chemical plants and expand three existing ones. The expanded plants are to begin operations in 2011.
Ikea to trim more jobs
Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea needs to trim more jobs amid sluggish sales, the group’s founder Ingvar Kamprad said in an interview published yesterday. Ikea has shed some 5,000 jobs worldwide and more cuts were necessary, he said. “We need to trim staff in production and logistics,” Kamprad was quoted as telling financial daily Dagens Industri. “We need to adjust ourselves to sales that are way below budget estimates and become more efficient,” he said. Sales in the 250 stores it operates worldwide were 7 percent less than expected.
Peugeot sales drop 14%
Sales at French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen fell 14 percent in the first six months of the year amid a sharp decline in the crisis-hit world auto market, the French company said yesterday. The company said however that its “share of the European market remained stable at 13.6 percent” — a 0.3 percent increase from the second half of last year. In China, the company said its sales rose 13.8 percent in the first half. PSA Peugeot Citroen also said that auto sales had fallen less sharply in Europe in the second quarter than in the first quarter thanks to government schemes to encourage people to trade their old cars for newer models.
Air France passengers down
Air France-KLM, Europe’s biggest airline, which has already been forced to cut operations in the economic crisis, saw passenger traffic fall 6.4 percent last month, the company said yesterday. The biggest drop came in Asia, where passenger numbers fell 10.8 percent, while traffic in Africa and the Middle East dropped just 0.2 percent. The European network saw a 6.8 percent decline in traffic. Air France-KLM said it carried a total of 6.4 million passengers last month. The airline also said however that the decline in cargo traffic had stabilized, edging down only 0.4 percent in the course of the month. “These figures confirm again the trend towards a stabilization of the cargo activity, with a progressive adjustment of capacity to demand,” it said.
Pepsi to invest in Russia
Soft drink and snack maker PepsiCo Inc announced plans on Monday to boost its investment in Russia, continuing a trend of consumer companies seeking growth in emerging markets as their US sales soften. With its biggest bottler, Pepsi Bottling Group Inc, PepsiCo plans to invest another US$1 billion in Russia over three years, taking the partnership’s Russian stake above US$4 billion just as US President Barack Obama opens his first official visit to Moscow. Pepsi in 1974 became the first Western consumer product to be made and sold in the USSR.