Business News - part 40

Search Engine Giant Google Hits Record $50 Billion In Revenue

Search Engine Giant Google Hits Record $50 Billion In Revenue

BUSINESS

  • Google revenue up 36% in fourth quarter 2012 compared to 2011
  • Google desktop search clicks down 4% in last six months
  • Competition from mobile presents challenge for Google

Search engine leader Google has posted $50 billion in annual revenue for the first time, with fourth-quarter revenue of $14 billion, or 36% higher than for the same period in 2011.

Google CEO Larry Page says: "In today's multi-screen world we face tremendous opportunities as a technology company focused on user benefit. It's an incredibly exciting time to be at Google."

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IKEA Gets Green Light To Open 25 Stores In India

IKEA Gets Green Light To Open 25 Stores In India

BUSINESS

  • IKEA to open 25 stores in India for investment of nearly $2 billion
  • Foreign retail investment in India expected to boost economy, generate jobs
  • India's retail sector expected to double to $874 billion by 2017

Swedish furniture giant IKEA Group has received approval to set up fully stocked stores in India, but still needs the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to approve the plan.

With an investment of approximately $2 billion, IKEA plans to open up to 25 stores over the next 15 to 20 years – the first of which is expected to launch five years after final validation.

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft Battery Maker Under Investigation

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft Battery Maker Under Investigation

BUSINESS

  • Investigators looking at 787 Dreamliner battery to determine source of malfunction
  • Boeing puts delivery of new 787 Dreamliners on hold
  • Japanese airlines forced to cancel hundreds of flights

Officials from the US Federal Aviation Administration and Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau toured the headquarters of GS Yuasa Corp., the lithium ion battery manufacturer for Boeing's Dreamliner 787, as part of an investigation into recent malfunctioning of the jets.

Earlier this month, an All Nippon Airways Dreamliner was forced to make an emergency landing because of a problem with its battery. At the start of January, a fire also broke out in the battery of a Japan Airlines 787 jet parked at Boston Logan International Airport.

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Struggling Phone Maker Nokia To Outsource IT Jobs To India

Struggling Phone Maker Nokia To Outsource IT Jobs To India

BUSINESS

  • Nokia restructures IT operations, cuts 300 IT staff to reduce costs; another 10,000 mobile division jobs to be eliminated by end 2013
  • Nokia phone shipments slip to 86 million units from 114 million units
  • Finnish government to assist Nokia’s Chennai, India site with unpaid tax claim

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia Corp. aims to cut costs by outsourcing some of its IT operations to India’s HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services, including the transfer of roughly 820 mostly Finland-based Nokia staff to India. 

The company will also cut 300 jobs at its global IT operations, with these changes primarily affecting staff in Finland. The reductions are the latest in a round of cost-saving strategies announced last June, including the elimination of 10,000 mobile division jobs expected by year end 2013.

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Auto Leader GM Investing In North American Factories, Launching New Vehicles

Auto Leader GM Investing In North American Factories, Launching New Vehicles

BUSINESS

  • GM to invest $1.5 million in automotive facilities across North America
  • GM to introduce 20 new vehicles in US
  • GM to save thousands in production costs with next-generation Chevy Volt

General Motors Co. North America has big plans for 2013, including investing $1.5 million in factories and introducing 20 new vehicles in the US.

This investment comes in addition to the $10.2 billion that has already been invested since July 2009. Around 2,000 jobs have been added since 2009.

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Can Music Retail Giant HMV Be Saved?

Can Music Retail Giant HMV Be Saved?

BUSINESS

  • HMV calls Deloitte to oversee final effort to save its failing business
  • Over 4,000 jobs in jeopardy
  • Digital music revolution appears to be biggest contributor to HMV's demise

Iconic CD and DVD retail chain HMV Group Plc (HMV) faces financial collapse and has recently appointed Deloitte LLP as its administrator to try and salvage its business.

HMV has ceased trading shares and issued a statement saying: “The board regrets to announce that it has been unable to reach a position where it feels able to continue to trade outside of insolvency protection, and in the circumstances, therefore, intends to file notice to appoint administrators to the company and certain of its subsidiaries with immediate effect.”

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US Industrial Output Rises For Second Month In A Row In December

US Industrial Output Rises For Second Month In A Row In December

BUSINESS

  • Industrial production up 0.3% in US end of 2012
  • American factory output expected to be boosted by turnaround in foreign markets
  • Manufacturing output up 0.8%.

Industrial output in the United States rose 0.3% in December, the second straight month to see growth, says the Federal Reserve. In November, industrial production was up 1%.

Economists had estimated anywhere between a 0.2% drop to a 0.6% rise for December.

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Watchmaker Swatch To Buy Luxury Jeweler Harry Winston For $1 Billion

Watchmaker Swatch To Buy Luxury Jeweler Harry Winston For $1 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Harry Winston acquisition to help Swatch better compete in jewelry market
  • Purchase does not include Harry Winston diamond-mining operation
  • Deal comes after partnership with Tiffany ends

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group AG will purchase American watch and jewelry manufacturer HW Holdings Inc., owner of the Harry Winston luxury brand, for $750 million and assume $250 million in debt to expand in the jewelry market.

The purchase does not include Toronto-based parent company Harry Winston Diamond Corp. When the transaction is completed, it will change its name to Dominion Diamond Corp. It will focus exclusively on diamond mining. Swatch will buy diamonds from Dominion.

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Credit Card Giant American Express To Cut 5,400 Jobs Worldwide in 2013

Credit Card Giant American Express To Cut 5,400 Jobs Worldwide in 2013

BUSINESS

  • American Express cuts 8.5% of workforce, mostly in its travel business
  • American Express aims to streamline operations, be more nimble in future
  • American Express forced to pay $600 million in after-tax charges

American Express Co., the largest US credit-card issuer by purchases, will cut 5,400 jobs worldwide – or 8.5% of its workforce – to reduce costs and streamline operations.

The cuts will be made over the course of the year, and most will come from its travel business, which has seen a number of changes as customers book travel arrangements online and via their smartphones instead of with travel agents.

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Automotive Leader Ford Adds 2,200 New Jobs in The US

Automotive Leader Ford Adds 2,200 New Jobs in The US

BUSINESS

  • Ford to expand US workforce to meet rising sales
  • New jobs to include mainly engineers, production and IT workers
  • Ford sold 2.3 million cars in 2012, up 5% from 2011

Ford will hire an additional 2,200 new staff in the United States to meet the demand of rising car sales. Aimed at boosting the automaker’s US fleet, the aggressive hiring strategy is Ford’s biggest expansion in salaried workers in a decade.

Around three-quarters of the new positions will be in the production, engineering and information technology departments.

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