Business News - part 42

US Retail Sales May Indicate Economy Improving

US Retail Sales May Indicate Economy Improving

BUSINESS

  • US retail sales up 1.1% in February, more than double analyst expectations
  • Sales related to home, car, building and garden supplies see biggest increase
  • Discretionary purchases continue to lag; restaurant and drinking-establishment sales drop 0.7% 

According to the US Census Bureau, February retail sales in the US reached over $421 billion, marking an increase of 1.1% since January and nearly 5% above numbers from the same time last year.

This news more than doubled the anticipated 0.5% estimate from cautious market analysts.

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Asia Airline Cathay Pacific Reports 83% Loss

Asia Airline Cathay Pacific Reports 83% Loss

BUSINESS

  • Cathay sees largest drop in profit since 2003 due to high fuel prices, increased competition and weak demand; Cathay air cargo business revenue down 5.5%
  • Cathay has 84 aircraft on order for delivery before 2020
  • IATA forecasts airline industry profit will rise in 2013

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific reports profit fell 83% in 2012 to $118 million due to a number of economic factors, marking Cathay’s largest drop in profit since 2003.

Christopher Pratt, chairman of Cathay Pacific, says the airline’s drop in profit can be attributed to high fuel costs, increased competition in Asia-Pacific, a decline in consumer and corporate travel, and weak cargo demand.

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Media Giant Time Warner Set To Spin Off Magazine Unit Time Inc.

Media Giant Time Warner Set To Spin Off Magazine Unit Time Inc.

BUSINESS

  • Time Inc. to be spun off as separate publicly held company by year end
  • Time Warner, Meredith Corp deal unsuccessful
  • Time Inc. revenue down from $5.4 billion to $3.4 billion in past decade

Media conglomerate Time Warner is offloading Time Inc., its nine-decade-old, US-leading magazine unit that publishes Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Time, People and many other popular magazines.

Time Inc. will be spun off as a separate publicly held company by year end.

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Chinese Automotive Sales Up 19.5% In First Two Months of 2013

Chinese Automotive Sales Up 19.5% In First Two Months of 2013

BUSINESS

Automotive sales in China, the largest vehicle market in the world by number of units sold, rose 19.5% in January and February compared to the same period in 2012, which may be a sign of economic recovery.

This comes after two years of modest market growth.

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Google Cuts 1,200 Jobs In Motorola Mobility Unit

Google Cuts 1,200 Jobs In Motorola Mobility Unit

BUSINESS

  • Google cutting 10% of workforce in Motorola Mobility Holdings due to poor performance
  • Cuts mostly to affect employees in China, India
  • Motorola Mobility to exit unprofitable markets, focus efforts on a few cell phones rather than many low-end devices

Search engine giant Google Inc. will be laying off 1,200 employees in its Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. unit because it is losing money and not competitive, according to a company email published in the Wall Street Journal.

Motorola Mobility also is said to be unable to keep costs down.

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European Union Imposes Microsoft With $733M Fine For Non-Compliance

European Union Imposes Microsoft With $733M Fine For Non-Compliance

BUSINESS

  • Microsoft issued $733 million fine for not complying with European Commission
  • Microsoft upgrade does not offer choice of internet browsers
  • Microsoft has over $2.8 billion in fines related to antitrust regulations

The European Commission has recently fined Microsoft Corporation $733 million for not complying with the computer giant’s previous commitment to offer users a browser choice screen that would enable them the ability choose their preferred web browser easily and expeditiously.

Based on the original agreement between the two parties back in 2009, these commitments imposed by the Commission were legally binding on Microsoft until 2014. However, through an investigation the Commission found that Microsoft failed to include the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012. As a result, 15 million Windows users did not have access to the choice screen during this period.

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European Auto Show: Volkswagen Golf Wins Car of The Year, Nissan Reveals Redesigned LEAF

European Auto Show: Volkswagen Golf Wins Car of The Year,  Nissan Reveals Redesigned LEAF

BUSINESS

  • Volkswagen Golf wins Car of the Year award for second time
  • Golf model key to help Volkswagen surpass Toyota as world’s largest vehicle manufacturer
  • Redesigned Nissan LEAF offers cut-in-half charging time

The Volkswagen Golf has been named Europe’s Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show. The Golf previously won the award in 1992.

The winner of the prestigious Car of the Year is decided by automotive journalists from more than 20 countries. The Volkswagen Golf received 414 votes this year, with the Subaru BRZ following in second with 202 votes and the Volvo V40 in third with 189 votes.

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Electronics Leader Samsung Invests $112 Million in Sharp

Electronics Leader Samsung Invests $112 Million in Sharp

BUSINESS

  • Samsung invests in Sharp to gain technology, improve focus on OLED TV screens
  • Funds to help introduce new LCD technology
  • Investment makes Samsung largest foreign shareholder in Sharp

South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. has made a $110 million investment in struggling Japanese television manufacturer Sharp Corp, providing benefits to both companies.

Samsung will benefit by gaining access to Sharp’s technology for manufacturing high-resolution indium gallium zinc oxide screens, thinner than conventional LCDs. The investment will also allow Samsung to focus on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV screens.

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Handset Maker LG Plans To Sell 40 Million Smartphones In 2013

Handset Maker LG Plans To Sell 40 Million Smartphones In 2013

BUSINESS

  • LG aims to nearly double smartphone sales in 2013, shift to high-end devices
  • LG shipped 26.3 million smartphones in 2012
  • LG hopes to become a top-tier smartphone brand

LG Electronics Inc., the world’s fifth-largest handset maker, plans to increase smartphone sales worldwide and reach a sales goal of 40 million units in 2013.

It also plans to shift its focus from basic to high-end devices.

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US Air Force Awards $427 Million Contract to Defense Contractor Sierra Nevada Corp

US Air Force Awards $427 Million Contract to Defense Contractor Sierra Nevada Corp

BUSINESS

  • US Air Force orders 20 A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircrafts from Sierra Nevada Corp to use in Afghan Air Force training exercises
  • Deal helps Sierra Nevada subcontractor Embraer boost its defense unit
  • Sierra Nevada Corp beat out competitor Beechcraft Corp, who tried to win the deal twice

The United States Air Force has awarded a $427 million contract to defense contractor Sierra Nevada Corp related to light air support aircraft, maintenance and training to the Afghan Air Force.

Sierra Nevada beat out Beechcraft Corp for the deal.

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