Honda profit declines
Honda Motor Co recorded a 6.7 percent decline in profit last quarter as vehicle sales slipped and an unfavorable exchange rate hurt earnings at the Japanese automaker. Its fiscal second-quarter profit totaled ￥196.5 billion (US$1.8 billion), down from ￥210.7 billion the previous year. Quarterly sales declined 2.9 percent to ￥3.7 trillion as auto sales declined in the US, Japan, the rest of Asia and Europe. Higher income tax expenses also hurt results, Honda said. The Tokyo-based company lowered its full-year profit forecast through March next year to ￥575 billion from the ￥645 billion given in August and below the ￥610 billion earned the previous fiscal year.
Juncker expects no tariffs
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday said that he believes the US will not impose new tariffs on imported European vehicles in the next few days. In an interview with the Suddeutsche Zeitung, Juncker said he was “fully informed” on the issue and that US President Donald Trump “will not do it.” He told the German newspaper that “Trump will criticize a little, but there will not be tariffs on cars.” Trump is due to decide by the middle of this month whether to impose the supplemental tariffs on vehicles built in EU countries.
Apple eyes green bonds
Apple Inc is joining Europe’s market for green bonds with one of the largest-ever corporate issues of “environmentally friendly” debt in the region, a source said. The California-based iPhone maker was poised to sell 2 billion euros (US$2.2 billion) of six and 12-year bonds, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak about it. The company would use the proceeds to reduce its carbon footprint, along with greener materials in its products and resource conservation, the source said.
Gap CEO to step down
Gap on Thursday announced that chief executive officer Art Peck is stepping down as the company struggles to turn around a long-standing sales slump. The San Francisco-based retailer also lowered its earnings outlook for the year as sales at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy fell in the most recent quarter. The company’s stock tumbled 7 percent to US$16.75 in after-hours trading following the announcement. The shares were trading at about US$41 when Peck took the CEO spot in early 2015. Effective immediately, Robert Fisher, Gap’s non-executive chairman of the board, would serve as president and CEO on an interim basis, the company said. Fisher is the son of Gap cofounders Donald and Doris Fisher.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Cup tax announced
The nation is to impose a so-called latte levy on disposable coffee cups by 2021 in a bid to change habits and cut the environmental impact from the use of single-use plastics, Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton said on Wednesday. The government hopes the proposed levy of up to 0.25 euros per cup would encourage coffee drinkers to instead carry reusable “Keep Cups” that already allow people to claim discounts at some coffee shops. “One of the things we clearly have to do is cut down on single-use disposables and the most obvious one of those is disposable cups,” Bruton told broadcaster RTE. Up to 200 million single-use coffee cups are thrown away every year by the nation’s 4.9 million people, a report found last year.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
GOGOROS TO GO: The scooter maker’s CEO said that the electric vehicles ‘are the perfect complement to a program designed to stimulate the Taiwanese economy’ Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) yesterday announced a draw to encourage people to claim their Triple Stimulus Vouchers digitally. The prizes include movie tickets and 25 electric scooters donated by Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), Wang said. The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that it would hold a scooter draw every day for the next 10 days, beginning yesterday, after which there would be a draw every week for 15 weeks. The first winner was a Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行) credit card user, the ministry said. The benefits of claiming the vouchers digitally extend beyond the draws, with many businesses offering special deals for