Chief Company News Correspondent
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Jan 13, 2012

SAP beats forecasts with Q4 profit rise

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s SAP (SAPG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s biggest maker of business software, reported a better than expected rise in fourth-quarter sales and profits on Friday, sending its shares up 4 percent.

Operating profits were up 10 percent at 1.78 billion euros ($2.28 billion) in the quarter, ahead of the consensus forecast of 1.65 billion euros expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Jan 9, 2012

Audi gains ground on premium car rivals

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Audi, the premium car brand of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), posted record sales in 2011 as demand for luxury cars in China and Russia helped it gain ground on bigger rivals like BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Daimler’s (DAIGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Mercedes-Benz.

Audi on Monday unveiled sales growth of 19.2 percent for last year, outpacing 12.8 percent for the BMW brand and 8.0 percent at Daimler’s luxury brand.

Jan 6, 2012

Warm winter brings extra chill for German retailers

FRANKFURT, Jan 6 (Reuters) – European retailers,
already battling weak consumer demand, look set to find their
shelves laden with scarves, coats, toboggans and de-icers due to
an unseasonably mild winter.

Toboggans, a hot commodity during last year’s snowy winter,
are shelf warmers this year, Germany’s retailers’ association
HDE said on Friday. It also said sales of winter clothes and ski
equipment were so far falling short of year-earlier levels.

Jan 3, 2012

Will Sky Deutschland triumph in Bundesliga auction?

FRANKFURT, Jan 3 (Reuters) – A bidding war over rights
to show top-flight German soccer league matches could prove
risky for Sky Deutschland.

The German pay-TV broadcaster’s stock has lost about a
quarter of its value over the past three months on concern that
a battle with Deutsche Telekom for Bundesliga rights
could hurt profit and that it may need a capital increase soon.

Jan 2, 2012

Lufthansa warns EU scheme to raise fares

FRANKFURT/PARIS (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa told passengers on Monday to brace for higher ticket prices as it refuses to shoulder the costs of a carbon trading scheme at the centre of a brewing trade spat.

The world’s second largest long-haul carrier after Dubai’s Emirates said it faced 130 million euros ($169 million) in extra costs this year and became the first major operator to announce possible surcharges since the EU scheme took effect on January 1.

Dec 22, 2011

RWE, Gazprom end talks on joint power ventures

FRANKFURT, Dec 22 (Reuters) – RWE AG and
Gazprom have terminated talks about joint power
production ventures, a setback in the German utility’s efforts
to seek Russian-funded growth to help make up for its domestic
market’s exit from nuclear power.

“Although our discussions were conducted in a very
constructive manner we were unfortunately not able to agree on a
framework for cooperation which would be sustainable for both
parties,” RWE Chief Executive Juergen Grossmann said in a
statement on Thursday.

Dec 20, 2011

Deutsche Telekom could be forced into arms of Sprint

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom may be forced into a tie-up of its sub-scale U.S. wireless unit with Sprint Nextel after a $39 billion deal with AT&T collapsed.

AT&T said on Monday it had dropped its bid for T-Mobile USA, bowing to fierce regulatory opposition and leaving both companies scrambling for alternatives.

Dec 20, 2011

D. Telekom mum on Plan B for T-Mobile USA

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom offered no detailed plan of how it will bounce back from the collapse of its deal with AT&T, only assuring investors on Tuesday it was working on a long-term plan for its subscale U.S. wireless unit.

AT&T said on Monday it had dropped its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA, bowing to fierce regulatory opposition and leaving both companies scrambling for alternatives.

Dec 20, 2011

Deutsche Telekom silent on Plan B for T-Mobile USA

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom offered no detailed plan of how it will bounce back from the collapse of its deal with AT&T, only assuring investors on Tuesday it was working on a long-term plan for its subscale U.S. wireless unit.

AT&T said on Monday it had dropped its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA, bowing to fierce regulatory opposition and leaving both companies scrambling for alternatives.

Dec 19, 2011

Etihad buys Air Berlin stake to win scale in Europe

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Etihad Airways is taking a stake of almost 30 percent in Germany’s Air Berlin (AB1.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), becoming the first Gulf carrier to challenge European legacy airlines by putting cash on the table to gain scale.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad will spend about 73 million euros ($95 million) to buy new shares of Air Berlin, raising its stake to 29.21 percent from just below 3 percent, and will lend the German carrier $255 million, the two companies said on Monday.