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Royal Mail profit soars before privatisation LONDON: Britain's Royal Mail more than doubled annual profit on the back of an online shopping boom, providing a timely boost as it plans for a stock market listing this year.In a marked turnaround for a business that has been fighting to adapt to a more competitive market and falling letter volumes, Royal Mail reported adjusted operating profit of 403 million pounds ($613 million) in the year to March 31, against 152 million pounds a year earlier.The increase reflected the impact of growing parcel volumes fuelled by internet shopping, alongside price rises and cost cuts after modernising its sorting operations. Parcel volumes rose 9 percent to account for almost half of Royal Mail's revenue.An initial public offering (IPO) is expected to value the state-owned business at 2-3 billion pounds - Britain's biggest privatisation for 20 years. Royal Mail has 150,000 staff and annual sales of 9.15 billion pounds. Momentum behind ...

German software giant SAP to hire people with autism BERLIN: German software giant SAP said on Tuesday it intended to employ hundreds of people globally with autism as software testers and programmers over the next seven years.The company, which has already launched pilot projects in India and Ireland, said the move aimed to find workers "who think differently", leading to innovation.By 2020, one percent of SAP's currently 65,000-strong workforce is expected to be affected by autism, a company spokesman told AFP. In India the ...
Softbank to issue record bonds for Sprint takeover TOKYO: Japanese mobile operator Softbank said Tuesday it planned to raise $3.9 billion through a record bond issuance in June to finance its proposed takeover of US firm Sprint Nextel.Softbank, which is under pressure from Sprint shareholders to raise its bid, will sell five-year debt to Japanese investors after a similar issuance worth 300 billion yen in March, a company spokeswoman said."The latest bonds will finance our planned takeover of Sprint and other issues," she ...
Marks & Spencer logs falling annual profits LONDON: British high street retailer Marks & Spencer said Tuesday that annual net profits fell nine percent amid "challenging" trading conditions.Earnings after taxation declined to £466.7 million ($712 million, 552 million euros) in the 52 weeks to March 30, compared with £513.1 million in the previous financial year, M&S said in a results statement.Underlying pre-tax profits sank six percent to £665.2 million.Group sales however rose 1.3 percent to £10 billion, lifted by a strong performance ...
Vodafone says annual profit slumps on eurozone woes LONDON: British mobile phone giant Vodafone said Tuesday that annual net profits tumbled 90 percent after it took a vast £7.7-billion ($11.7 billion, 9.1-billion-euro) impairment charge relating to its businesses in debt-laden eurozone nations Italy and Spain.Earnings after taxation nosedived to £673 million in the group's financial year to the end of March, compared with £7.0 billion in 2011-2012, Vodafone said in a results statement.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...
Libya's ports reopen after protests, gas complex attacked TRIPOLI: Libya's oil terminals at Tobruk and Zueitina re-opened over the weekend after protests forced both ports to shut, Libya's deputy oil minister Omar Shakmak said.However, fresh trouble arose at Libya's gas-exporting Mellitah complex, he added, where guards were again attacked overnight after clashes in March forced a halt in flows.This time operations had not been affected, Shakmak said, in the brief assault in which the attackers seized vehicles and weapons from the guards.Mellitah is ...
First flight nears, A350 could make Paris show flypast PARIS: Airbus could steal the Paris air show with a flypast of its newest passenger jet, the A350, as confidence grows over a maiden flight some four weeks away.The timescales of its previous airliner launches suggests the European manufacturer could be ready to fly the aircraft in mid-June, depending on weather and ground trials, giving pilots a narrow time window to test the plane's basic characteristics in flight before the June 17-23 air show.With just ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,279.74 0.08
Arrow Nasdaq 4,579.79 0.30
Arrow S&P 2,010.40 0.05
Arrow FTSE 6,837.92 0.27
Arrow DAX 9,799.26 0.01
Arrow CAC-40 4,461.22 0.08
Arrow Nikkei 16,321.17 1.58
Arrow H.Seng 24,306.16 0.57
Arrow Sensex 27,090.42 0.08

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln