Chief Company News Correspondent
Maria's Feed
Mar 20, 2015

Lufthansa long-haul routes to be hit by Saturday strike

FRANKFURT, March 20 (Reuters) – Lufthansa
cancelled almost half of its lucrative long-haul flights
scheduled for Saturday as pilots planned a fourth straight day
of walkouts in a protracted row over early retirement benefits
and cost cuts.

Lufthansa wants to cut spending to levels nearer those of
its rivals. It is squeezed by budget carriers Ryanair
and easyJet on European routes and by airlines such as
Turkish and Emirates on long-haul flights.

Mar 17, 2015

Lufthansa cancels 750 flights due to pilots’ strike

FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) – Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has canceled 750 flights or about half the total due to a strike planned by pilots for Wednesday, affecting thousands of passengers in a long-running dispute over early retirement benefits and plans to expand budget flights.

The German airline is trying to cut costs and renegotiate expensive labor agreements as it tries to compete with low-cost carriers and rivals such as Emirates and Turkish Airlines, but its efforts have been resisted by pilots who staged 10 strikes last year.

Mar 12, 2015

Weidmann rejects Greek criticism of ECB, puts onus on governments to help Athens

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) – ECB policymaker Jens
Weidmann put the onus squarely on governments on Thursday to
decide whether they wanted to cover Greece’s funding needs,
saying this was “less than ever” a task for the euro zone’s
central banks.

Rejecting the Greek finance minister’s characterisation of
ECB policy towards Athens as “asphyxiating”, Weidmann said
Greece had lost a lot of trust and that he did not see the
country regaining access to capital markets by mid-year.

Mar 6, 2015

Iran tourism sector aims to rebuild as international tensions thaw

BERLIN, March 6 (Reuters) – Iranian businessman Cyrus
Etemadi has had a stand at Berlin’s ITB travel trade fair every
year for more than 20 years, even when tension with the West
meant few tourists visited the former ancient kingdom of Persia.

As the pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani, successor to
hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, tries to reverse the path of
antagonism to the West, Etemadi hopes he can rebuild his tour
business, Cyrus Sahra, to its former strength.

Mar 6, 2015

Condor will rise to the challenge from Lufthansa’s Eurowings, says CEO

BERLIN, March 6 (Reuters) – German airline Condor, owned by
tour operator Thomas Cook, plans to meet competition
from Lufthansa’s proposed low-cost long-haul operation
head-on, its chief executive said.

Lufthansa said this week that it would start long-haul
budget flights to tourist destinations in the likes of Cuba and
Thailand under the Eurowings banner from the autumn, but Condor
CEO Ralf Teckentrup is confident that his company’s tourism
expertise will ensure it continues to compete.

Mar 5, 2015

European tourism buoyed by recovering economies and cheap oil

BERLIN (Reuters) – Travel and tourism companies are looking forward to a solid year in Europe thanks to recovering economies and a fall in oil prices.

Many recent economic data reports have beaten expectations and signs of a long-awaited recovery in Europe are starting to show through in the profits of leading global companies.

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
currency.

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
reporting.