Hyundai Q4 profit spikes
South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co defied the COVID-19 pandemic by yesterday posting a surprise 78 percent surge in fourth-quarter profit, as robust domestic sales offset weak overseas demand. Net profit in the October-to-December period jumped to 1.38 trillion won (US$1.25 billion) from 772 billion won a year earlier, Hyundai said in a statement. Domestic sales in the final three months rose 5 percent, driven by its luxury Genesis line, while foreign sales dropped 6.6 percent, said the company, which along with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp is among the world’s top 10 automakers. Full-year profits came to 2.12 trillion won, down 33.5 percent from 2019.
Novartis net profit up 13%
Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis AG yesterday said that its net profit for last year jumped 13 percent to US$8.1 billion after a restructuring saw it hive off its Alcon business. Sales edged up 3 percent to US$48.7 billion, the company said in a statement. Sales at its generic medicines unit Sandoz were down 1 percent on the year, while the main pharmaceuticals division posted a gain of 3 percent, helped by demand for its new cardiac treatments such as Entresto. Novartis said that it expects sales to rise this year in the bottom to the middle of a 1 to 5 percent range.
Spanish stays plummet
Overnight stays at Spanish hotels plunged last year, even as room rates dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced half of the country’s lodgings to close their doors, official data showed on Monday. Spain, the world’s second-most visited country after France before the pandemic, recorded 91.6 million overnight hotel stays, a 73 percent drop from 2019, the INE national statistics office said. About 55 percent of those stays were by Spanish residents. As of the end of last month, 48.2 percent of all hotels in Spain were open, and the average cost of hotel rooms had fallen by 6 percent, the INE said.
Rolls-Royce cuts forecast
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC projected free-cash outflows of about ￡2 billion (US$2.73 billion) this year, saying that new curbs on travel would delay a recovery in long-distance flights. The UK jet-engine maker now expects flying hours for wide-body aircraft to reach 55 percent of 2019 levels, versus an earlier assumption of 70 percent, it said in a statement yesterday. Rolls-Royce generates service revenue based on the amount of time planes equipped with its engines are in the air. The forecast marks another sign that renewed curbs on travel are postponing a recovery in aviation, after planemaker Airbus SE last week slowed a ramp-up in production, including the twin-aisle jets that carry Rolls-Royce engines.
EQT to acquire Exeter
Sweden’s EQT AB, one of Europe’s biggest private equity firms, has agreed to take over Exeter Property Group in a US$1.9 billion deal that gives it access to real-estate assets across the US and Europe. EQT is to pay about US$800 million in new shares and the rest in cash for closely held Exeter, the Stockholm-based firm said yesterday. EQT chief executive officer Christian Sinding said that the transaction feeds into his firm’s “strategy of building a globally scaled real-estate platform.” The takeover gives EQT control over a US-based property business with more than US$10 billion under management.
Tesla Inc temporarily halted some production at its auto assembly plant in California because of problems with its supply chain, but work has begun to resume, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail on Thursday. “We are experiencing some parts supply issues, so took the opportunity to bring Fremont production down for a few days to do equipment upgrades and maintenance,” Musk said in an all-staff message seen by Bloomberg. The factory was “back up and running as of yesterday,” and would rapidly ramp up to full production of Model 3 and Model Y cars “over the next several days,”
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is expected to post a 25 percent year-on-year increase in sales in the first quarter of this year to US$12.91 billion, up from US$10.31 billion a year earlier, as its production is at full capacity, market advisory firm TrendForce Corp said in a note last week. The increase would help TSMC cement its leadership in the industry by taking a 56 percent market share in the global pure wafer foundry business, TrendForce said. Its forecast was in line with TSMC’s estimate in January, which pointed to a range of US$12.7 billion to US$13 billion for the
MULTI-USE: The arrangement of seats in future vehicles would be different, allowing passengers to do everything they do at home, the CEO of the firm’s EV platform said Electric vehicles (EVs) developed on a Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) platform would be built like “a smartphone on a different platform,” Jack Cheng (鄭顯聰), chief executive officer of the Hon Hai-initiated MIH Open Platform Alliance, said on Saturday. It would be the ultimate goal to make vehicles built on the platform an extension of the driver’s home, he said during an online presentation. The alliance aims to provide resources to automakers and boost Taiwan’s EV development, with a vision to make an EV its owner’s “second home,” Cheng said. “Whatever they can do in their home, they will be able
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was on Thursday set to sell local currency bonds, as it prepared for a spending blitz amid a global chip shortage. The world’s largest contract chipmaker planned to price about NT$16 billion (US$565.25 million) of notes in three parts in an auction, though the actual issuance size might change. The manufacturer would have to contend with a recent rise in rates globally that has sent many corporate bond yields up from record lows in the past few weeks. The debt offering comes at a promising time for the semiconductor industry as the world scrambles its way