Chief Company News Correspondent
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Apr 27, 2014

Siemens and France weigh in as GE preps Alstom deal

PARIS/FRANKFURT, April 27 (Reuters) – Siemens and
the French government intervened in U.S.-based General
Electric’s plan to buy the power arm of France’s Alstom
on Sunday by offering an alternative tie-up between
European “champions” and a pledge to act in France’s national
interest.

Though Alstom is privately owned, France’s firebrand Economy
Minister Arnaud Montebourg issued a stark reminder of the
influence the government holds over a company that relies
heavily on orders from state rail operator SNCF and partly
state-owned utility EDF.

Apr 27, 2014

Siemens weighs in as GE prepares Alstom power deal

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Alstom’s (ALSO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) arch rival Siemens wants talks with the struggling French engineering group, the German company said on Sunday, the day General Electric (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boss Jeff Immelt is due in Paris to thrash out a deal to buy Alstom’s global power arm.

Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said in a statement that it had written a letter to “signal its willingness to discuss future strategic opportunities” with the French group.

Apr 22, 2014

Philips warns of challenging year after first-quarter profit drops

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Philips (PHG.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly operating profit and warned of a challenging 2014 owing to unfavorable exchange rates and slowing demand for medical equipment in China and Russia.

The Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliances group said on Tuesday that earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) dropped 22 percent to 314 million euros ($433.4 million) in the first quarter through the end of March, missing consensus for 341 million in a Reuters poll.

Apr 22, 2014

Philips warns of challenging year after Q1 profit drops

FRANKFURT, April 22 (Reuters) – Philips reported a
bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly operating profit and
warned of a challenging 2014 owing to unfavourable exchange
rates and slowing demand for medical equipment in China and
Russia.

The Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliances group
said on Tuesday that earnings before interest, tax and
amortisation (EBITA) dropped 22 percent to 314 million euros
($433.4 million) in the first quarter through the end of March,
missing consensus for 341 million in a Reuters poll.

Apr 16, 2014

Germany’s GEA sells heat exchangers business for $1.8 bln

FRANKFURT, April 16 (Reuters) – German industrial machinery
and engineering company GEA Group has struck a deal to
sell its heat exchangers division for about 1.3 billion euros
($1.8 billion) to concentrate on its burgeoning food equipment
business.

GEA said it will use proceeds from the sale to private
equity investor Triton for acquisitions to sharpen its focus on
food-related operations, which will now account for more than 70
percent of group revenues.

Apr 3, 2014

Europe launches satellite to monitor environment, disasters

DARMSTADT, Germany (Reuters) – Europe on Thursday launched the first satellite of its multibillion-euro Copernicus Earth observation project that will supply valuable images in the event of natural disasters or even a plane crash.

The Sentinel-1a satellite, which blasted off into Earth’s orbit from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana at 5.02 p.m. ET, will be used to monitor sea ice, oil spills and land use and to respond to emergencies such as floods and earthquakes.

Apr 3, 2014

LED makers get smart to rise above price war and growth cliff

FRANKFURT, April 3 (Reuters) – Lighting companies like
Philips and Osram are scrambling to develop
more advanced technology as a price war for LED bulbs threatens
to eat into profits and bring on a period of low growth as the
long-life bulbs become more common.

The market for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is growing
rapidly as companies, hotels and shops switch from incandescent
light bulbs, which are being banned in countries around the
world, to these more efficient and durable lights.

Mar 29, 2014

German execs criticize West for allowing tension with Russia to rise

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Several top German executives criticized the strategy of the U.S. and Europe in dealing with Russia after it took control of the Crimea region, fearing the consequences for their businesses.

The European Union, United States and other Western nations have imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its seizure of the Crimea region of Ukraine and have threatened broader economic penalties if the crisis escalates, triggering the worst East-West clash since the Cold War.

Mar 10, 2014

Europe’s regional airports struggle as traffic shifts to hubs

BERLIN, March 10 (Reuters) – Dozens of small European
airports, which blossomed with the advent of no-frills flying,
face cutbacks or even closure as traditional airlines become
more competitive and regulators clamp down on state aid.

After years of suffering at the hands of budget airlines
such as Ryanair and easyJet, carriers including
Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France
have cut costs and consolidated to close the price gap
on short-haul European routes.

Mar 6, 2014

Tourism industry emerges from downturn

BERLIN, March 6 (Reuters) – The outlook for the global
travel industry looks brighter for 2014 as European economic
recovery and rising consumer confidence are prompting
holidaymakers and businesses to loosen their purse strings
again.

Growth is still unevenly spread across regions, according to
comments from the industry’s biggest trade fair in Berlin this
week, with some destinations such as Egypt, China and Thailand
facing a tough time due to political turmoil, security concerns
or stricter regulations.