Chinese telecom firm ZTE said it swung to a net loss in the third quarter due to weaker demand amid the global economic slowdown. ZTE reported a net loss of 1.945 billion yuan ($ 311.43 million) for the three months ended September 30 compared with a net profit of 299.27 million yuan in the same period last year. Revenue fell 13 percent to 18.09 billion yuan from 20.83 billion yuan a year earlier. ZTE released a profits warning earlier this month, saying it expected a net loss of between 1.9 billion and 2.0 billion yuan for the third quarter. The company earlier this month announced that US network giant Cisco Systems had ended a 2005 strategic cooperation agreement, after the Chinese firm was accused by US lawmakers of posing a security threat.
Ford cutting 1,500 UK jobs as Europe losses grow
Carmaker Ford said it will cut 1,500 jobs in Britain, closing a plant and eliminating a stamping and tooling facility, as it warned that losses in Europe will exceed $1.5 billion this year. Ford Motor Co., which earlier announced the closure of another plant in Brussels, is struggling in Europe, as are many major carmakers. Sales are down as the region’s economic crisis hurts demand from households and businesses. Ford said its transit van plant in Southampton would be closed in July and the stamping and tooling facility at the plant in Dagenham, east London, would shut sometime in 2013. Transit van production will be consolidated at the plant in Kocaeli, Turkey.
The Southampton plant, which employed 500 workers, was Ford’s last vehicle assembly plant in Britain. Production has fallen from 66,000 vehicles in 2008 to 28,000 last year, when work was reduced to a single shift.
Ford now has 11,500 workers at plants in Britain, the Unite union said.
Debenhams, ASOS buck retail gloom
LONDON: British retailers Debenhams and ASOS laid out plans to deliver future growth overseas as their rising profits showed their resilience to weaker home market conditions. Both Debenhams, Britain’s No. 2 department store group, and ASOS, the fast-growing online fashion retailer, have bucked the gloomy trend in the sector, dogged by weak consumer confidence. Debenhams increased its target for online sales to 600 million pounds ($ 961.8 million) from 500 million through the next three to five years. The group also upped its target for overseas franchise stores from 130 to 150, with a focus on new openings in the Middle East and Asia. Debenhams currently trades from about 170 stores in Britain, Ireland and Denmark, and 71 overseas franchise stores. The group, which ranks behind rival John Lewis in terms of annual sales, also posted a 4.2 percent increase in full-year pretax profit to 158.3 million pounds, against a forecast 157.5 million, driven by its breadth of products, appeal to a range of customers and multiple routes to market.
Staff end strike at Kingfisher
MUMBAI: Staff at India’s Kingfisher airline, whose fleet has been grounded since October 1, have agreed to end their strike over unpaid wages and return to work, the company’s chief executive said. Kingfisher planes will however be unable to return to the skies until it has persuaded Indian aviation regulators to reinstate its flying licence, which was suspended recently. “All employees have agreed to resume duty right now. They are on duty as we speak,” chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal said. “We are all in this together and looking forward to getting the airline going in the next few weeks.” The truce with employees came before the start of the three-day Formula One Grand Prix near New Delhi, in which Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya’s co-owned Force India Formula One team will compete.
PepsiCo. builds Thai factory
BANGKOK: PepsiCo. Inc. has invested $ 170 million in a new factory in Thailand to stay ahead in one of the few markets where it outsells Coca-Cola after ending a longstanding bottling agreement with a local company. The plant, located in an industrial estate in Rayong, 140km southeast of Bangkok, is one of PepsiCo’s largest beverage facilities in the world, Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading General Manager for beverages, Jagrut Kotecha, told reporters. It will start production from Nov. 2. PepsiCo’s market leadership in Thailand will be put to test when a 59-year contract with Thai bottler and distributor Sermsuk Pcl. ends on Nov. 1 as the Thai arm of Pepsi-Cola will be cut off from Sermsuk’s distribution network. PepsiCo. is teaming up with DHL and local distributors across Thailand to fill the void. “We are working to make sure Pepsi is available to consumers anytime and anywhere they want in Thailand,” said Kotecha.
From Arab News