Ash costs US$1.7 billion
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says disruptions to European air travel from the volcanic ash cloud have cost the industry at least US$1.7 billion. IATA says airlines lost revenues of US$400 million each day during the first three days of grounding. The group’s chief executive says the scale of the disruption was worse than after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US. Giovanni Bisignani told a news conference in Berlin that at one stage 29 percent of global aviation and 1.2 million passengers a day were affected by the airspace closure ordered by governments fearful of the risk ash clouds posed to airplanes.
Committee to meet on yuan
A US Senate committee said on Tuesday it would hold a hearing this week to take up the issue of China’s alleged manipulation of its currency, the yuan, and its impact on the US economy. The US Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, led by Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, will hear from experts and business leaders as well as from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
Peugeot Citroen revenue up
French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen SA yesterday raised its earnings expectations for the first half after first-quarter revenue rose by 27.5 percent. The Paris-based company expects to report “significant” recurring underlying profit in the first half compared with the “positive” outcome expected in February. The maker of the popular Peugeot 207 and Citroen C4 Picasso said that revenue in the first three months rose to 14 billion euros (US$18.8 billion) from 11 billion euros a year earlier, led by market share gains in Europe and stable demand elsewhere. The automaker said it won’t offer a dividend for last year when it made record losses.
Saab posts first-quarter profit
Swedish aerospace and defense group Saab yesterday posted a first-quarter net profit of 69 million kronor (US$9.6 million), mainly on the back of lower costs. Saab, a maker of fighter jets and weapons systems, also reiterated its outlook for this year, saying it expects revenues and order intake to stay on the same level as last year, and also said it sees its profitability growing. Its long-term financial targets were kept unchanged. Revenues for the quarter reached 5.38 billion kronor, more or less flat from the 5.4 billion kronor reported in the same period last year.
■FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Heineken Q1 earnings up
Brewer Heineken NV said yesterday its first-quarter operating earnings rose despite falling sales, as costs declined and it was able to sell more high-margin beer. Revenue at the world’s third-largest beer maker fell 3.5 percent to 2.94 billion euros (US$3.95 billion) in the first quarter, Heineken said. It said in a statement that operating earnings before amortization had grown in the “mid single digit” range, “driven by lower costs and improved pricing and sales mix.”
Wynn opens new casino
Billionaire Steve Wynn opened his latest hotel and casino in Macau yesterday and said he aims to start building a massive new resort there next year. Wynn said the project — to be located in the territory’s Cotai area, a piece of reclaimed land seen as the next great hope for global gambling — would likely feature less than 2,000 rooms, about 400 tables, restaurants, shopping and meeting rooms.