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Fri, Jul 31, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■CHEMICALS

BASF net profit slumps

Germany’s BASF, the world’s top chemicals group, said yesterday its second-quarter net profit slumped 74 percent, and while its business appeared to have reached bottom, it saw no signs of a sustained upturn. The group said its net profit came in at 343 million euros (US$480 million) on sales down 23 percent to 24.7 billion euros. In a statement, finance director Kurt Bock said that owing to the global downturn and the cost of integrating the Swiss company Ciba, “BASF expects a significant decline in sales and earnings in 2009.” “We are therefore unlikely to achieve our goal of earning our cost of capital in 2009,” Bock said.

■TELECOMS

Alcatel-Lucent turns profit

French-US telecommunications firm Alcatel-Lucent said yesterday it had earned a profit of 14 million euros (US$19.7 million) in the second quarter. That represents the first profits the company has booked since Alcatel and Lucent merged on Dec. 1, 2006. By the second quarter of last year, the company had lost 1.1 billion euros. Turnover stood at 3.9 billion euros for the quarter, down 4.8 percent from the first quarter of last year. However, company head Ben Verwaayen said market conditions would “remain difficult” and that the market for its products would shrink by between 8 percent and 12 percent this year.

■AVIATION

Rolls-Royce profit surges

Aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce PLC yesterday reported a five-fold rise in first-half results as it marked up the value of foreign currency hedges on its books. The British company made £1.86 billion (US$3 billion) in the six months ended last month, compared with £292 million a year earlier. Looking ahead, the world’s second-largest aircraft engine maker said its order book jumped by £2 billion to a record £57.5 billion. It said it increased despite a challenging external environment and the impact of delays in production of the Airbus A380, which are now being delivered to airlines, and Boeing 787, which hasn’t flown yet.

■TELECOMS

BT sees drop in profit

BT Group PLC, Britain’s largest telecoms company, yesterday reported a 33 percent drop in first-quarter profits amid tough competition and falling prices for Internet connections. Net profit in the three months to June 30 fell to £214 million from £318 million the year before. Revenues rose 1 percent to £5.2 billion, boosted by favorable exchange rates and acquisitions. Chief executive Ian Livingstone said the group is “on track to deliver reductions in operating costs and capital expenditure of well over £1 billion and to generate group free cash flow of over £1 billion this year.” The company said it also expects revenues to fall by between 4 percent and 5 percent.

■ELECTRONICS

Siemens net profit down 7%

Siemens AG said yesterday that net profit for its fiscal third quarter fell 7 percent as the global recession curbed demand for its products, which range from light bulbs to high-speed trains. The Munich-based company said net profit in three months to June 30 fell to 1.3 billion euros from 1.4 billion euros a year ago. Revenues for the third quarter fell 4 percent to 18.3 billion euros from 19.2 billion euros. The company confirmed its full-year targets, even in the “current challenging global economic environment.”

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