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.
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.
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.
LONDON (Reuters) – Electronic cigarette firms in Italy say a new levy that doubles the price of e-liquid refills unfairly helps tobacco giants like Philip Morris International and will hurt their industry.
The tax, which was adopted in January, is set at half the rate of that on traditional cigarettes. The controversy centres on the fact that the lower rate is applied to both electronic cigarettes and to tobacco products such as Marlboro HeatSticks, which Philip Morris is launching in Italy alongside a 500 million euro (369 million pounds) factory investment.
LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Electronic cigarette firms in
Italy say a new levy that doubles the price of e-liquid refills
unfairly helps tobacco giants like Philip Morris International
and will hurt their industry.
The tax, which was adopted in January, is set at half the
rate of that on traditional cigarettes. The controversy centres
on the fact that the lower rate is applied to both electronic
cigarettes and to tobacco products such as Marlboro HeatSticks,
which Philip Morris is launching in Italy alongside a 500
million euro ($568 million) factory investment.
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – British American Tobacco
, the world’s second-biggest tobacco company, reported
slightly better than expected sales for 2014, gaining share in a
market shrinking as more smokers stub out the habit.
The company, with operations in over 200 countries, was hit
hard by the strong British pound and said that impact would
continue this year, especially as some currency hedges expire.
LONDON/SHANGHAI, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Chen Chen, a 27-year-old
financial analyst in Shanghai, has cut back on bottled milky tea
in favour of fresh-squeezed juices. Like more and more of her
compatriots, she wants to consume more natural ingredients and
less fat and salt.
“Health is a key factor,” she said.
Chinese consumers like Chen are making new demands of
international food brands, posing challenges for Western firms
already grappling with slower sales and intense competition in
the world’s most populous nation.
LONDON/SAO PAULO, Feb 23 (Reuters) – British American
Tobacco Plc is considering a buyout of the 24.7 percent
stake it does not already own in Souza Cruz SA,
Brazil’s largest cigarette company, in a deal that could cost
about 2.3 billion pounds ($3.53 billion).
In a statement on Monday, London-based BAT said it was
looking to pay 26.75 reais in cash for each share of Souza Cruz.
That is 13 percent above Souza Cruz’s closing price on Friday
and represents a 30 percent premium to its volume-weighted
average closing price over the last three months.
VEVEY, Switzerland, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Nestle, the
world’s largest packaged foods maker, forecast sales to rise 5
percent this year, in line with its long-term goals, following a
weaker year in 2014 that was hurt by deflation in Europe and
slowing demand in Asia.
The Switzerland-based maker of Nescafe coffee and KitKat
chocolate said on Thursday that 2014 organic sales, which
excludes currency swings and acquisitions, rose 4.5 percent.
Analysts on average had expected 4.5 percent, a Reuters poll
found, after Nestle signaled in October it was likely to fall
short of its 5 percent goal.
LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) – The death of Italian billionaire Michele Ferrero could ultimately herald a deal involving the chocolate empire bearing his name, with the family’s third generation leading it into a future of increasingly hungry multinationals.
The maker of Nutella spread and Ferrero Rocher chocolates has long been viewed as an appetising target for rivals such as Mondelez International, Nestle, Mars and Hershey. But given the strength of its brands, the high margins on chocolate and sluggishness of packaged food overall, the Italian business could feasibly be on the shopping list of any global food company.