Top Headlines - part 50

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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World Tablet Shipments To Increase 64%, Exceed Laptop Sales in 2013

World Tablet Shipments To Increase 64%, Exceed Laptop Sales in 2013

BUSINESS

  • World tablet shipments to increase 64% in 2013, surpassing laptop shipments
  • Smaller screen sizes should account for 45% of tablet market product sales in 2013
  • North America to remain largest tablet market player in 2013 with 35% market share, 85 million units

Global tablet shipments are anticipated to increase 64% to exceed 240 million units in 2013, according to research in the NDP DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast report.

Meanwhile, laptop shipments should hit around 207 million by the end of the year.

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft Safety Concerns Affect Investor Confidence

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft Safety Concerns Affect Investor Confidence

BUSINESS

  • Dreamliner flights cancelled due to fuel leak, braking problems
  • Boeing market value falls $2.8 billion
  • 800 Dreamliner orders still standing

Aerospace manufacturer Boeing has reported safety issues with its star 787 Dreamliner aircraft, causing investor confidence to fall and potentially harming the company’s image.

Security problems this week saw two Dreamliner flights cancelled – one because of a fuel leak, the other because of an error with the braking system – and an additional Dreamliner aircraft experienced a fire in its auxiliary power unit. Boeing says the problems are unrelated.

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Mobile Division Drives Record Operating Profit For Samsung Electronics

Mobile Division Drives Record Operating Profit For Samsung Electronics

BUSINESS

  • Samsung operating profit hits $8.3 billion, a 89% jump over 2011
  • 70% of operating income generated by mobile division
  • Samsung to become top home appliance maker by 2015 with $18 billion in sales

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest technology company by revenue, says its operating profit for the end of 2012 has set a new record with $8.3 billion, which marks an 89% jump over 2011.

Revenue was also up 18% on last year at $52.6 billion.

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US Book Giant Barnes & Noble Reports Disappointing Holiday Retail Sales

US Book Giant Barnes & Noble Reports Disappointing Holiday Retail Sales

BUSINESS

  • Barnes & Noble sales down close to 11% at end of 2012
  • Nook e-reader sales down 13%
  • Holiday season sales started strong but then declined

American bookseller Barnes & Noble saw combined store and online sales drop nearly 11% during the holiday season 2012 compared to 2011.

Far below expectations, sales for the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader fell close to 13%. On a positive note, the book giant saw sales grow by over 13% for its digital books, digital newsstand and apps.

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US Automotive Manufacturers See Jump in December Sales

US Automotive Manufacturers See Jump in December Sales

BUSINESS

  • US automakers sell 14.5 million new vehicles in 2012 for a 13.4% increase over 2011
  • 44.5% of US auto sales generated by General Motors, Chrysler Group and Ford Motor
  • US consumers looking to replace their aging vehicles

American automobile manufacturers posted their highest sales in 2012 since the start of the 2008 recession, all combined registering some 14.5 million new vehicles sold, or a 13.4% increase from 2011, says sales tracker Autodata.

Of that total, 44.5% of sales came from the Detroit 3 – General Motors, Chrysler Group and Ford Motor.

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Samsung Overtakes Nokia As Top Mobile Phone Brand

Samsung Overtakes Nokia As Top Mobile Phone Brand

BUSINESS

  • Samsung surpasses Nokia for cell phone shipments, with Apple following in third place
  • Operating systems, price affect standings
  • 654 million smartphones were shipped in 2012

For the first time since 1998, Samsung has overtaken Nokia as the top cell phone brand of the year, according to a report by IHS iSuppli.

Samsung accounted for 29% of world cell phone shipments, while Nokia registered 24%. Apple came in third, shipping 10% of cell phones.

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Media Ratings Leader Nielsen Moves Into Radio With Arbitron Acquisition

Media Ratings Leader Nielsen Moves Into Radio With Arbitron Acquisition

BUSINESS

  • Nielsen will pay $1.26 billion for Arbitron radio ratings technology company
  • Radio reaches 92% of US adults and teens
  • Nielsen, Arbitron deal pending regulatory approval 

US television ratings leader Nielsen Holdings is buying radio ratings technology company Arbitron for $1.26 billion to improve monitoring of unmeasured areas of media consumption, such as out-of-home and streaming audio.

The deal will allow Nielson to offer advertisers better insight into consumer behavior across television, radio and web media so they can maximize marketing investments.

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