02122016Fri
Last update: Fri, 12 Feb 2016 06am

Global Business & Economy

World - Global Business & Economy

German retail giant Metro says sales up in Q1 FRANKFURT: German retail giant Metro said Thursday that profits rose strongly in the first quarter, helped by strong Christmas business and gains from divestments.Metro, which runs its business year from October to September, said in a statement that bottom-line net profit rose by 36 percent to 549 million euros ($620 million) in the three months to December.Underlying or operating profit jumped by 42 percent to 1.2 billion euros, while sales slipped by 1.3 percent to 17.09 billion euros. "The very good Christmas business made a contribution to this performance, especially in the group's home market of Germany, where it generated significant sales growth," Metro said.Underlying profits were also boosted by the successful closing on the sale of the group's cash and carry business in Vietnam, it explained."In terms of reported earnings, we managed to post significant gains as a result of the closing on the sale of Metro C&C Vietnam, ...

World - Global Business & Economy

UK's Tesco takes full control of Harris+Hoole coffee chain LONDON: Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, has taken full control of the Harris+Hoole coffee shop chain by buying out its founding investors, it said on Wednesday. The supermarket chain purchased a non-controlling stake in an agreement struck three years ago. That deal included an option which Tesco has now exercised. When Dave Lewis became Tesco chief executive in 2014 analysts had speculated the firm's stake in the coffee shop chain and its Giraffe restaurant chain could ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Brazil's inflation outlook worsens in central bank poll BRASILIA: Economists raised their forecasts for Brazil's 2016 and 2017 inflation rate in a weekly central bank poll, adding pressure on policymakers to resume interest rate hikes despite a recession.The median expectation of about 100 analysts in the survey projected inflation at 7.56 percent at end-2016 and 6.00 percent at end-2017, up from 7.26 percent and 5.80 percent respectively in the prior week's poll. The forecasts are usually updated every Monday but were postponed this ...

World - Global Business & Economy

UK trade deficit widens in Q4, likely dragging on economic growth LONDON: Britain's trade deficit with the rest of the world worsened in the fourth quarter and likely dragged on economic growth, despite improving in the month of December, official data showed on Tuesday.The Office for National Statistics said Britain's total trade deficit widened to 10.352 billion pounds in the fourth quarter from 8.575 billion pounds in the previous quarter, marking the biggest trade gap since the start of 2015.Trade will likely appear as a drag ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US small business confidence at two-year low WASHINGTON: US small business confidence fell in January to its lowest level in nearly two years amid worries about the near-term outlook for business conditions and sales growth, consistent with a recent slowdown in economic growth.The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.3 points to 93.9 last month, the weakest reading since February 2014. Still, small businesses remained fairly upbeat about the labor market.The NFIB said there ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Cyprus peace deal will pay for itself: UN NICOSIA: A UN-backed peace deal to end the division of Cyprus would cover its own costs in the long term by creating jobs and prosperity, the world body's envoy said Tuesday."Having a united island at peace with itself and its neighbours will create more jobs, more prosperity. So, the solution will pay for itself," Espen Barth Eide told reporters."The only issue is that you need an upfront sum of money in order to make some ...

World - Global Business & Economy

UK supermarket Sainsbury's outpaced big rivals in January LONDON: British supermarket Sainsbury's continued to outperform rivals in the early weeks of the year, industry data showed on Tuesday, providing reassurance for investors ahead of the takeover of Argos-owner Home Retail .Total sales at Sainsbury's rose 0.6 percent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to Jan. 31 and its market share edged up 0.1 percentage points to 16.8 percent, market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said on Tuesday .Sainsbury's said last week it had agreed a 1.3 ...