Chief Company News Correspondent
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Jul 10, 2012

German transport firms turn offshore headache into profits

BRANDE, Denmark/BREMERHAVEN, Germany, July 10 (Reuters) -
A ndreas Wellbrock is proud of his pontoon.

The floating vessel transports gigantic tripods -
reminiscent of rusty space rockets – through the harbour of
Bremerhaven, a German port city located on the North Sea.

Jun 26, 2012

Margin-hunting airlines may shed catering units

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A plastic tray, a hard bread roll and cellophane-wrapped cutlery: airline food can be a joyless culinary experience for economy class flyers, and some carriers may now be about to shed their catering units to focus on the hunt for higher margins.

Steady cashflow produced by the catering operations is likely to attract buyers should the sales go ahead, and airlines may also hope that the food suppliers will produce inflight meals more cheaply if they are in independent hands.

Jun 16, 2012

Germany’s Biotest first drugmaker to exit Greece

FRANKFURT/ATHENS (Reuters) – German pharmaceutical firm Biotest said it would stop shipments to Greece in July, becoming the first drugmaker to announce it would quit the debt-mired country’s market because its bills had not been paid.

Though a relatively small player in Greece, the company’s exit sets an unwelcome precedent for a country whose healthcare system is crumbling under the weight of economic crisis and administrative deadlock.

Jun 14, 2012

Centrotherm left in the cold by finance problems

FRANKFURT, June 14 (Reuters) – The crisis surrounding the
German solar power industry deepened on Thursday with equipment
maker Centrotherm saying it could no longer use
existing credit lines and was talking to its banks, a day after
smaller peer SolarWatt filed for insolvency.

Shares in Centrotherm, the world’s second-biggest maker of
production equipment for solar panels and photovoltaic cells,
fell as much as 40 percent to an all-time low of 3.08 euros per
share, a far cry from the record high of 69.68 euros per share
reached in November 2007.

Jun 4, 2012

Springer JV buys control of Polish website from TVN

FRANKFURT/WARSAW, June 4 (Reuters) – German publisher Axel
Springer and Swistzerland’s Ringier agreed on Monday
to pay $267 million to buy 75 percent of Poland’s top Internet
portal Onet.pl from Polish broadcaster TVN to boost
their position in eastern Europe.

For heavily indebted TVN, one of Poland’s top two private
broadcasters, the sale will bring the media group back to its
roots after it agreed to forego control of its pay-television
unit to Vivendi’s Canal+.

May 3, 2012

Betfair wins German online licence

LONDON/FRANKFURT, May 3 (Reuters) – The first licences to
offer online gambling in Germany have been awarded, with British
online betting firm Betfair benefiting from the state
of Schleswig Holstein’s liberalised gambling rules.

The northern state, whose centre-right coalition government
voted in favour of relaxing its gambling laws in September, said
on Thursday that it had awarded three licences valid to 2018 -
one to Betfair for sports betting, one to Germany’s Jaxx AG
and one to the state lottery.

Apr 25, 2012

Siemens cuts profit outlook on wind project delays

FRANKFURT/MUNICH (Reuters) – German engineering conglomerate Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) slashed its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday after incurring another major charge related to delayed offshore wind power projects in the second quarter.

The cut was slightly less than analysts feared, however, as the charge was offset by a better-than-anticipated performance at the group’s core industrial and healthcare businesses.

Apr 25, 2012

Siemens cuts outlook on delayed wind projects

FRANKFURT/MUNICH, April 25 (Reuters) – German engineering
conglomerate Siemens AG slashed its full-year outlook
on Wednesday after incurring another major charge related to
delayed offshore wind power projects in the second quarter.

The announcement comes a day after Siemens named a new chief
for the affected Power Transmission division, having ousted the
unit’s former CEO Udo Niehage.

Apr 24, 2012

Siemens ousts Power Transmission chief after profit hit

FRANKFURT, April 24 (Reuters) – German engineering
conglomerate Siemens AG ousted the chief of its Power
Transmission business, which has been hit with costly delays to
offshore wind projects.

Germany’s biggest company by market capitalisation said on
Tuesday Karlheinz Springer, 54, would replace Udo Niehage as the
unit’s chief executive on May 1.

Apr 17, 2012

Sky splashes out to tighten hold on German soccer

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Sky Deutschland, part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, heavily outbid Deutsche Telekom to retain key rights to German league soccer on Tuesday, a costly move seen as crucial for the loss-making pay-TV group.

Competition drove the price up sharply, with the German Football League (DFL) saying media rights for the four seasons starting 2013/14 would raise an average 628 million euros ($820 million) per year, up 52 percent on the current four-year deal.