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Apr 1, 2015

Barry Callebaut first-half results surprise on volume gain

LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut (BARN.S: Quote, Profile, Research) reported bigger-than-expected gains in half-year sales and profits as cost cuts helped counter the impact of the surging Swiss franc, and confirmed mid-term targets subject to the currency swings.

The company, which sells chocolate and other cocoa products to candy makers such as Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and Hershey (HSY.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said on Wednesday that sales jumped nearly 12 percent to 3.24 billion Swiss francs (2 billion pounds) in the half year ending Feb. 28.

Mar 26, 2015

Exclusive: AB InBev to nominate JAB partner as chairman – sources

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest brewer, is close to proposing JAB Holding Chief Executive Olivier Goudet as its next chairman, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

The ascent of Goudet, a Frenchman who has been on the AB InBev board since 2011, highlights the close ties between the associates of JAB and 3G Capital, two of the most important private investors in the global consumer goods industry. 3G Capital has four of its founding partners on the brewer’s board.

Mar 26, 2015

AB InBev to nominate JAB partner as chairman – sources

LONDON/NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev
, the world’s largest brewer, is close to proposing JAB
Holding Chief Executive Olivier Goudet as its next chairman,
according to four sources familiar with the matter.

The ascent of Goudet, a Frenchman who has been on the AB
InBev board since 2011, highlights the close ties between the
associates of JAB and 3G Capital, two of the most important
private investors in the global consumer goods industry. 3G
Capital has four of its founding partners on the brewer’s board.

Mar 23, 2015

Special Report: When it comes to e-cigs, Big Tobacco is concerned for your health

LONDON (Reuters) – The health warning on a MarkTen electronic cigarette package is 116 words long.

That’s much longer than the warnings on traditional cigarette packsĀ in the United States. Nicotine, the e-cigarette warning says, is “addictive and habit-forming, and it is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.” It is not intended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, or people … who take medicine for depression or asthma. “Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain,” says MarkTen, a leading brand in the United States. The ingredients can be “poisonous.”

Mar 23, 2015

When it comes to e-cigs, Big Tobacco is concerned for your health

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – The health warning on a MarkTen
electronic cigarette package is 116 words long.

That’s much longer than the warnings on traditional
cigarette packs in the United States. Nicotine, the e-cigarette
warning says, is “addictive and habit-forming, and it is very
toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.”
It is not intended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding,
or people … who take medicine for depression or asthma.
“Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and
cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain,” says MarkTen, a
leading brand in the United States. The ingredients can be
“poisonous.”

Mar 13, 2015

Weak euro to help European companies, force U.S. rivals to adapt

LONDON (Reuters) – The euro’s slide toward parity with the dollar will provide a much-needed boost for European companies this year and force U.S. rivals to adapt their businesses or risk losing market share.

While currency hedging arrangements mean the benefits may not be seen straight away, the currency’s weakness has already cheered European chief executives by making their products cheaper overseas and lifting the value of dollar-based sales.

Mar 11, 2015

UK votes to ban cigarette pack branding, industry threatens legal action

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Britain’s parliament approved
legislation on Wednesday to ban branding on cigarette packs,
drawing immediate threats of legal action from the country’s $29
billion tobacco industry.

Aimed at improving public health and cutting the number of
child smokers, the measure is likely to crimp tobacco company
profits and emulates Australia, which in 2012 enacted a law
forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain olive green packaging
with images showing the damaging effects of smoking.

Mar 11, 2015

Swiss makers quietly gear up with smartwatches of their own

LONDON/FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) – To observers of the
secretive Swiss watch industry, its quiet, seemingly passive
response to Apple Inc’s plan to attack their
centuries-old business could be mistaken for submission before
an overwhelming adversary.

But luxury and fashion groups Richemont, LVMH
, Swatch Group and Guess Inc have been
busy in the past year tinkering with smartwatches of their own,
while aiming to preserve their products’ more timeless appeal.

Mar 6, 2015

Wine is great for drinking, not investing, says top critic

LONDON (Reuters) – Splashing out on pricey wine is great if you plan to drink it down the road, says Robert Parker, the world’s most famous wine critic, but not as a financial investment.

Parker, credited with popularizing the 100-point system widely used to rate wine, says wine can be lucrative, but only if investors are willing to sit on inventory for as long as a decade, which can be tough.

Mar 2, 2015

Advent plans sale of Partner in Pet Food: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Partner in Pet Food (PPF), a European pet food maker, has been put up for sale by private equity firm Advent International, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The move by Advent is the latest in a string of deals in a growing and increasingly lucrative pet care industry.