Top Headlines - part 66

Sony Cuts 10,000 Jobs Worldwide To Reduce Costs

Sony Cuts 10,000 Jobs Worldwide To Reduce Costs

BUSINESS

  • Sony to layoff 6% of global workforce in restructuring
  • Sony saw record annual net loss of $6.4 billion in 2011
  • Sony CEO sets target to increase sales 10% or $105 billion by March 2013

Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp plans to cut 10,000 jobs and restructure the company in an effort to reduce costs and revitalize itself. The layoffs represent 6% of the company’s global workforce.

At a press conference, Chief Executive Officer and President Kazuo Hirai explained a strategy intended to make Sony profitable again. In addition to reducing employees, Sony will spend $1 billion on restructuring.

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Apple iPad to Maintain Grip on Global Tablet Market

Apple iPad to Maintain Grip on Global Tablet Market

BUSINESS

  • iPad sales to reach 73 million units in 2012 for over 61% market share
  • Global tablet sales to jump 98% to nearly 119 million
  • Android to reach 37% market share by 2016

Apple’s domination of the tablet PC market is set to continue through 2012, with Android unable to reproduce the success it enjoyed in the smartphone sector, according to information technology research group Gartner.

In its recent global sales report, the research firm estimates that global tablet sales will jump to close to 119 million by the end of the year, nearly doubling last year’s figure of 60 million units.

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AT&T Sells Majority of Yellow Pages Print Unit To Focus on Mobile

AT&T Sells Majority of Yellow Pages Print Unit To Focus on Mobile

FINANCE

  • AT&T maintains 47% stake in Yellow Pages, rest sold to private equity firm Cerberus
  • Yellow Pages saw sales fall 16% in 2011
  • AT&T to focus on mobile, TV and internet

US phone carrier AT&T Inc. is selling its majority stake in its Yellow Pages Unit (YP Holdings LLC) to private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP for $950 million.

The deal includes 1,200 print Yellow Pages directories, the online directory yp.com, AT&T’s local ad network and the YPmobile app. It does not include AT&T AdWorks. The print version of the Yellow Pages reaches 150 million homes and businesses in 22 states.

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US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

ECONOMY

  • S&P Retail Index up 0.8% in March
  • Apparel, discount, department stores see year-on-year increases in March
  • Retailers believe April sales will slow; International Council of Shopping Centers says sales could rise 3% - 4%

Earlier Easter preparations and spring temperatures stirred a spending frenzy as March sales rose for the 13th time in fifteen months. March sales rose 3.9% according to Retail Metrics, a figure higher than the 3.3% analysts were seeking.

Excluding Walgreen's decline, March's total sales reached 6.5%.

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Australia's “Down Under” Tourism Comes Out On Top

Australia's “Down Under” Tourism Comes Out On Top

WORLD

  • Domestic tourism contributed over $73 billion annually to Australian economy
  • Travel to Australia from China up 4.5% over last year
  • Potential to add $9 billion to Australia's tourism economy by 2020

According to a new report recently released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA), domestic tourism was responsible for contributing more than $73 billion annually to the national economy.

Further, results published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that tourism’s direct contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $34.6 billion in over 2010 – 2011. Despite the high Aussie dollar, natural disasters and global economic challenges, the numbers equate to an increase of about 2.7% in total tourism GDP over 2010 – 2011.

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Ford’s $600 million Chinese Plant Expansion Key to Asian Market Domination

Ford’s $600 million Chinese Plant Expansion Key to Asian Market Domination

BUSINESS

  • Ford investing $600 million into automotive plant in Chongqing, China
  • Chongqing plant to produce 950,000 vehicles each year, up by nearly 60%
  • Growth of China’s auto market expected to slow down but continue to grow steadily

US automotive giant Ford will invest $600 million into its Chongqing, China, manufacturing base in hopes of profiting from the world’s largest automotive market. Funding from Ford and venture partner Changan Ford Automobile will enable the Chongqing plant to produce 950,000 vehicles each year, or up by 350,000 vehicles for a nearly 60% production increase.

The $600 million will raise the total amount invested in the Chongqing facility to over $4 billion. With this investment Ford hopes to keep pace with Volkswagen and General Motors, the top foreign auto manufacturers in China. In 2011, Ford’s sales in China came in at around 20% of General Motors, which sold 2.5 million vehicles and continues to boast record sales.

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US Retail: J.C. Penney Cuts 900 Staff in Streamline Restructuring

US Retail: J.C. Penney Cuts 900 Staff in Streamline Restructuring

BUSINESS

  • Cuts represent 14% of employees at company headquarters
  • Pittsburgh call center to close with call volume down 30%
  • J.C. Penney intends to cut $900 million in expenses in two years

US department store chain J.C. Penney Co. has laid off 900 employees in an effort to cut costs. The majority of the jobs cut where at the Plano, Texas, headquarters. The remaining 300 positions will be cut July 1 when the company’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, call center closes.

The cuts represent 14% of the 4,400 employees at company headquarters. No senior executives were affected by the cuts.

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Molson Coors Signs $3.54 Billion Deal for StarBev

Molson Coors Signs $3.54 Billion Deal for StarBev

BUSINESS

  • Molson Coors to take over StarBev’s nine breweries in eastern and central Europe
  • Deal should boost profit within first year of transfer
  • Molson Q4 profits up 35% after poor third quarter

Denver brewing company Molson Coors has agreed to a $3.54 billion deal for the acquisition of European brewer StarBev.

Molson Coors, the exclusive brewer of Carling larger in the United States, will now add beer brands such as Staropramen, Ozusko, Bergenbier and Borsodi to its line-up, taking control of StarBev’s nine breweries in eastern and central Europe.

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Hard Times At Yahoo See 14% of Global Workforce Cut

Hard Times At Yahoo See 14% of Global Workforce Cut

BUSINESS

  • Nearly 2,000 employees to be cut
  • Move expected to save $375 million annually
  • Skype hiring 400 more staff

For the sixth time in four years, one of the world’s most popular websites Yahoo has laid off more employees. This time approximately 2,000 staff were given severance packages and told to leave, which accounts for 14% of Yahoo’s global staff.

It is anticipated the company’s product division suffered the greatest losses although layoffs were expected in all departments. 

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Japan Automakers See Dramatic Boost in Vehicle Sales

Japan Automakers See Dramatic Boost in Vehicle Sales

BUSINESS

  • Automobile sales in Japan jumped 78% in March
  • Japan’s surge in vehicle sales attributed primarily to government subsidies for energy efficient vehicles
  • Honda sees increase in sales domestically and internationally

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association recently announced that new vehicle sales in Japan jumped 78% in March, in part due to local government subsidies for energy efficient cars.

According to the association, new auto sales reached nearly 500,000 vehicles last month, up over 200,000 vehicles from March 2011 when Japan was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami, dramatically impacting vehicle production and sales.

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