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Feb 13, 2015

Nivea-maker Beiersdorf sees faster sales growth in 2015

FRANKFURT/HAMBURG, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s Beiersdorf
, the owner of the Nivea skin cream brand, expects its
sales growth to accelerate in 2015 thanks to increased market
share and resilience in emerging economies.

Beiersdorf has reorganised its business, redesigning the
Nivea logo, focusing on emerging markets and stripping out
underperforming lines to regain ground from rivals such as
France’s L’Oreal.

Feb 11, 2015

Europe tests spaceplane in push for reusable space tech

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – An experimental spaceplane successfully returned to Earth on Wednesday after a 100-minute test flight that the European Space Agency (ESA) hopes will pave the way for the continent’s first reusable space transportation systems.

Reusable spaceplanes that can carry out controlled landings on runways rather than splashing down in the ocean could help bring down costs. They could also enable scientists to bring back samples from celestial bodies such as comets.

Feb 6, 2015

Wage cuts and discounts as Swiss companies respond to franc strength

ZURICH, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Swiss companies are cutting
prices, asking suppliers for discounts, paying staff in euros
and demanding new hours to protect profits from a soaring franc

The central bank last month abandoned its cap on the Swiss
franc, causing the currency to strengthen and prompting firms
across Switzerland to warn of a plunge in profits. The
1.20-per-euro cap had protected the export-reliant economy from
the effects of a strong currency since 2011.

Feb 6, 2015

Swiss bank Pictet posts 459 mln Sfr in full-year net profit

ZURICH, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Swiss private bank Pictet has
posted a net profit of 459 million Swiss francs ($499 million)
for 2014, the first time it has publicly disclosed full-year
results following a change in its structure which had endured
for 209 years.

The Geneva-based private bank, Switzerland’s third-largest
wealth manager, has been dragged into the spotlight because its
switch to a limited partnership last year required some public

Feb 5, 2015

ABB fourth-quarter falls short as oil price, weak economy weigh

ZURICH, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Swiss engineering group ABB
has reported lower than expected fourth-quarter
results as the global economy failed to pick up and a slide in
oil prices prompted customers to hold off ordering new

Like rivals Siemens and Schneider Electric
, ABB has grappled with a sluggish global recovery that
has delayed capital spending by its customers, which include
utility companies and oil, gas and mining firms, as well as a
slide in oil prices.

Dec 5, 2014

German man sentenced to three years, nine months for joining IS

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A 20-year-old German man was sentenced to 3 years and 9 months in prison on Friday after he admitted joining Islamic State militants in Syria, in the first trial in Germany of a home-grown jihadi accused of membership of the insurgent group.

Judges decided to treat the man, known as Kreshnik B., who was born in Germany to Kosovan parents and spent six months in Syria last year, as a juvenile because of his lack of maturity. They said there was no evidence he had participated directly in fighting.

Dec 2, 2014

Lufthansa pilots to strike again on long-haul on Thursday

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) said they would strike again on Thursday on long-haul and cargo flights, after a two-day stoppage on Monday and Tuesday stranded thousands of travellers.

The union said in a statement that short and medium-haul flights and those of budget carrier Germanwings would not be affected by the action on Thursday.

Dec 2, 2014

Lufthansa pilot strike extends to long-haul flights

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) extended their latest two-day stoppage on Tuesday, grounding long-haul flights in addition to domestic and European routes and stranding thousands of travellers.

The strike, the ninth this year in a dispute over an early retirement scheme, has forced Germany’s flagship airline to cancel close to half of all scheduled flights for Monday and Tuesday, affecting about 150,000 passengers.

Dec 1, 2014

Thousands stranded as Lufthansa pilots strike again

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Pilots at Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) started a two-day walkout on Monday, their ninth strike this year, forcing Germany’s flagship airline to cancel close to half of all scheduled flights and leaving thousands of travellers stranded.

The 1,350 cancelled flights will affect 150,000 passengers and wipe several more millions of euros off the airline’s earnings, according to analysts.

Nov 28, 2014

Europe’s space-based, laser-powered data highway passes early test

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A European satellite beamed images to earth using new laser-based communications technology on Friday, opening the way for uninterrupted and near instantaneous viewing of natural disasters being sent to governments and relief agencies.

The images were a test of a 450 million euro ($562 million) space data highway being constructed. Called European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS), it will allow faster and more secure transmission of large amounts of data, such as pictures and radar images, to and from earth.