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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A probe that landed on a comet in a first for space exploration has ended up in the shadow of a cliff, about a kilometer (0.6 miles) from its intended resting place, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Thursday.
The lander, named Philae, was released from its mothership Rosetta on Wednesday as it orbited comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in the climax of a 10-year mission for the ESA.
BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Nov 12 (Reuters) – The European Space
Agency landed a probe on a comet on Wednesday, a first in space
exploration and the climax of a 10-year-odyssey, but an
anchoring system problem may hamper planned investigations into
the origins of Earth and the solar system.
The 100-kg (220-pound) lander – virtually weightless on the
comet’s surface – touched down on schedule at about 1600 GMT
after a seven-hour descent from its orbiting mothership Rosetta,
now located a half-billion kilometres (300 million miles) from