Business News - part 43

Scandinavian Airline SAS Seeks Savings, Cuts Salaries and 6,000 Jobs

Scandinavian Airline SAS Seeks Savings, Cuts Salaries and 6,000 Jobs

BUSINESS

  • Nearly 40% of SAS jobs to be cut to help secure credit
  • Reductions expected to save SAS $440 million per year
  • Analysts predict SAS will be bought by larger airline

Scandinavian airline SAS AB is forced to cut 6,000 positions as well as reduce salaries and pensions to qualify for credit lines through banks and Scandinavian governments.

The airline, which is owned by the governments of Norway, Sweden and Denmark as well as private investors, has not turned a full-year profit since 2007.

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Boston Scientific Buys Vessix Vascular To Accelerate Entry Into Renal Denervation Market

Boston Scientific Buys Vessix Vascular To Accelerate Entry Into Renal Denervation Market

BUSINESS

  • Boston Scientific to pay up to $425 milllion for Vessix Vascular
  • Boston Scientific latest company to buy into renal denervation hypertension treatment
  • Procedure available in Europe; yet to be approved in United States

Boston Scientific will buy Vessix Vascular, a privately owned manufacturer of radiotherapy-based systems that treat high blood pressure, in a deal reportedly worth up to $425 million.

As part of the agreement, Boston Scientific will pay $125 million upfront with up to $300 million extra as development and sales-based milestones are reached.

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Fast-Food Industry Update: McDonald’s Sales Slip For First Time Since 2003

Fast-Food Industry Update: McDonald’s Sales Slip For First Time Since 2003

BUSINESS

  • Nearly 33% of all McDonald’s revenue comes from US
  • US sales drop lower than analyst expectations; only UK saw gain in EU
  • Fast-food competitors Burger King and Wendy’s see sales rise

The world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s saw monthly sales fall for the first time in 9 years, with revenue down in most parts of the world.

Overall, in October revenue for stores open at least 13 months fell by 1.8% globally.

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Time Warner Cable Television Business Going Strong

Time Warner Cable Television Business Going Strong

BUSINESS

  • Time Warner reports a 12% increase in revenue since 2011
  • Quality programming and national sporting events making Time Warner more appealing to advertisers
  • Time Warner expects 9% increase in US advertising revenue in fourth quarter

Time Warner Inc. – the parent company for cable channels such as TNT, TBS and HBO – reported its strongest financial quarter ever, boasting a 12% revenue increase from 2011.

Time Warner’s recent success can be attributed to a variety of factors, including a 7% increase as compared to last quarter in what cable-TV providers pay.

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Mobile Phone Network Leader Ericsson Hurt By Drop in Profit, Cutting Jobs In Sweden

Mobile Phone Network Leader Ericsson Hurt By Drop in Profit, Cutting Jobs In Sweden

BUSINESS

  • Ericsson to cut 1,550 jobs in Sweden; restructuring to cost $600 million
  • Ericsson earlier this year predicted compound growth between 2% - 8% through 2014
  • Competitors Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent also facing job cuts

The world’s biggest manufacturer of mobile-phone networks Ericsson AB will cut 1,550 positions in Sweden in response to a drop in profit.

Ericsson and other wireless carriers have been hurt by competition from China and the sluggish economy.

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Suzuki Stops Selling Cars In The US Automotive Market

Suzuki Stops Selling Cars In The US Automotive Market

BUSINESS

  • Suzuki files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in US
  • Suzuki to continue to service vehicles and honor warranties; sales will stop when inventory runs out
  • Suzuki to focus vehicle sales on emerging markets, especially India.

Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corp. will cease selling cars in the world’s second-largest market, the United States, where it has failed to make a profit. Its American subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and, as of end September, had $233 million in assets and $346 million in debt.

The company cited a number of factors that influenced its decision to stop selling in the US market, including the strength of the yen, its limited number of models (all of which are compact cars) and local safety regulations.

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US Consumer Survey: Toyota Makes Most Reliable Cars in America

US Consumer Survey: Toyota Makes Most Reliable Cars in America

BUSINESS

  • Japanese automakers take top seven spots in US Auto Reliability Survey
  • American automakers near bottom of list; Ford ranked 27 out of 28 brands
  • Ford vehicles facing technology issues

Toyota Motor Corp. sells the most reliable cars in the US, according to the annual Auto Reliability Survey conducted by magazine Consumer Reports.

The top seven manufacturers on the list are Japanese, with Toyota in the lead. Jaguar ranked at the bottom of the 28 brands surveyed, with US automaker Ford Motor Co. placing just before it at number 27.

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Disney Buys Star Wars, Indiana Jones Franchise Owner Lucasfilm For $4 Billion

Disney Buys Star Wars, Indiana Jones Franchise Owner Lucasfilm For $4 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Disney buys Lucasfilm to add popular live action and animated characters
  • Disney estimates Lucasfilm to generate $860 million in sales in 2012
  • New Star Wars trilogy scheduled to be released in 2015

Entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. has agreed to purchase production company Lucasfilm, owner of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, for $4.05 billion in an effort to reinvent the company by adding popular live action and animated characters.

The deal also includes Lucasfilm special effects business Industrial Light & Magic, and LucasArts, which produces video games. The acquisition of LucasArts should help boost Disney’s ailing interactive unit.

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UBS Cutting 10,000 Jobs to Increase Profit

UBS Cutting 10,000 Jobs to Increase Profit

BUSINESS

  • UBS posts $2.31 billion third-quarter loss
  • Bulk of job cuts in London, US; to be completed by 2015
  • UBS under investigation linked to London Interbank Offered Rates

Switzerland's largest bank UBS AG plans to cut 10,000 jobs – or 15% of its global workforce – by 2015 as part of a strategy to increase profit and save $3.6 billion. The move comes after the bank posted a third-quarter loss of $2.31 billion.

UBS currently employs 64,000 employees in 57 countries, down from 83,500 in 2007. The majority of the job cuts will be in London and the United States. Some 2,500 cuts will be made in Switzerland where UBS is headquartered.

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AstraZeneca Looks to New Leadership As Drug Patent Expiration Hurts Sales

AstraZeneca Looks to New Leadership As Drug Patent Expiration Hurts Sales

BUSINESS

  • Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s new leader, expected to combat decline in sales and pre-tax profit caused by expiration of drug patents
  • Most critical losses through to 2016 include best-selling drugs Crestor, Seroquel and Nexium
  • Recovery plan includes annual strategy review, outsourcing of product development and acquisitions

Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is looking to the leadership of new chief executive Pascal Soriot to counter the company’s decline in revenue and pre-tax profits as reported in the third quarter.

Poor financial results, including a 56% decrease in net profit and a 19% decrease in sales, largely reflect the expiration of significant drug patents and entrance of cheaper generic brands into the market.

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