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World Business Quick Take



Mitsubishi posts Q1 profit

Mitsubishi Motors Corp posted a ¥30.5 billion (US$328 million) profit for the January-March quarter, a reversal from red ink the previous year as government incentives helped along a gradual global recovery. Japan’s No. 5 automaker posted a ¥50.1 billion loss in January-March last year, but sales and profitability improved after that for a full fiscal year in the black, the Tokyo-based company said yesterday. Mitsubishi, which makes the Pajero sport utility vehicle and the i-MiEV electric car, recorded ¥4.76 billion in profit for the fiscal year ending March 31. It had a ¥54.9 billion loss the previous fiscal year. It is forecasting net profit to improve to ¥15 billion for the fiscal year through March next year.


AliExpress to accept PayPal

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba (阿里巴巴) said yesterday its new transaction platform would accept payments from users of US online payment service PayPal, amid efforts to expand overseas. AliExpress allows small businesses to purchase products listed on the site in their preferred currency using PayPal, Alibaba said in a statement. PayPal, a subsidiary of US e-commerce giant eBay, has more than 84 million active users around the world and allows payment in 24 currencies. AliExpress was officially launched on Monday, but has been trialed since September.


Software AG boosts profit

Germany’s Software AG yesterday cited improved sales and a recovery in demand for information technology services as its first-quarter net profit rose 9 percent. The software maker based in Darmstadt posted a net profit of 28 million euros (US$37.3 million) in the January-March period, compared with 25.6 million euros a year earlier. Revenues rose 51 percent to 250.3 million euros in the quarter, compared with 165.3 million euros a year earlier. Of those figures, the company’s maintenance revenue, a key barometer of future business, was up 17 percent to 85.4 million euros. Revenues were up across the board, including WebMethods, which includes business process management applications, which rose 9 percent to 81.4 million euros.


Electrolux returns to profit

Swedish appliance maker Electrolux AB said yesterday it returned to a profit from a loss in the first quarter, helped by favorable currency exchange rates and lower raw material prices. The company, based in Stockholm, reported a net profit for the first quarter of 911 million kronor (US$127 million), up from a loss of Kr346 million a year earlier. The company said the result was boosted by currency effects, increased efficiency in its operations and lower prices on raw materials. However, it said rising raw material prices could boost costs by up to Kr1 billion this year.


Consumer confidence grows

A survey says German consumer confidence is improving for the second consecutive month, reflecting hopes for an economic recovery. Survey institute GfK, based in Nuremberg, said yesterday that both economic and income expectations for next month had risen considerably in Europe’s biggest economy. The GfK’s overall indicator forecasts a value of 3.8 points next month, following a revised value of 3.4 points for this month. Last month, Gfk had recorded a value of 3.2, when it had fallen for a fifth consecutive month, as consumers worried about jobs and the implications of the debt crisis in other European countries.

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