DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 20 (Reuters) – German group
Metro, the world’s fourth-largest retailer, forecast
flat profit this year due to a stuttering global economy and
costs from expanding its cash-and-carry and consumer electricals
Metro, which also runs hypermarkets and department stores,
said on Tuesday it would be 2013 before investors could expect
an increase in profit, as it reported a 1.8 percent decline in
2011 earnings before interest, tax and special items (adjusted
EBIT) to 2.37 billion euros ($3.1 billion).
BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – Feathers, unscratchable gold, bamboo and even straw. Adorning watches with regular gold and silver is rather boring these days, as designs at the 2012 Baselworld watch fair showed.
Displays sparkling with the usual gold, diamonds and other precious gems, watchmakers were also keen to show their expertise by designing and working with new materials.
BASEL, Switzerland, March 14 (Reuters) – Traditionally
dominated by timepieces for men looking to show off their status
with a Rolex or Omega, the $21 billion Swiss watchmaking
industry is starting to design intricate watch movements for the
neglected female market.
Until recently, the women’s market was mostly focused on
simple quartz watches for under 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,100) or
luxury diamond-encrusted pieces with mind-blowing price tags.
BASEL, Switzerland, March 13 (Reuters) – Watch
companies are having to move fast to build in-house production
or alliances with Swiss makers of movements, dials and cases to
replace supplies being cut by Swatch Group and to satisfy rising
demand, experts said at an industry fair.
Specialist suppliers are being snapped up by larger players,
leaving smaller independent watch companies with fewer options
as Swatch, the world’s largest watchmaker and for
decades the main supplier of movements to the industry, cuts
deliveries to focus on its own brands.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Massages, steam baths and a rest from an increasingly busy lifestyle are drawing a growing number of Germans to spa breaks, one of the tourism sector’s fastest-growing segments.
Tour operators boast above-average growth in spa holiday bookings and see no end to demand as Germans, the world’s biggest spenders on holidays, add more short “wellness” trips close to home to their annual vacation schedule.
BERLIN, March 9 (Reuters) – With a weak western
European economy, fear of political unrest in North Africa and a
cruise business hit by the Costa Concordia disaster, travel
groups are looking to eastern Europe, China and corporate travel
to brighten up 2012.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
expects global arrivals of international travellers to increase
by 3-4 percent this year, after a 4.4 percent increase to 980
million in 2011, with growth driven by emerging markets.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Cruise bookings for next year could remain slow until the industry manages to dispel safety concerns after the Costa Concordia capsized off the west coast of Italy in January.
Cruise bookings tumbled after the Costa Concordia struck a rock near the Isola del Giglio and grounded on her side, killing at least 25 people and raising questions about the safety of the luxury cruise ship industry.
BERLIN, March 8 (Reuters) – Egypt and Tunisia are
unlikely to see tourism – a vital prop for their battered
economies – revive anytime soon as holidaymakers continue to
shun North African destinations a year after the “Arab Spring”
Bookings to the two countries collapsed last year after
popular uprisings across the Arab world toppled veteran rulers
in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and forced Yemen’s president to
sign away his powers.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German consumer goods group Henkel (HNKG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) stuck to its 2012 margin target despite posting quarterly results at the low end of market expectations, hurt by a slowdown in its adhesives business in Asia.
Henkel, whose consumer brands include Persil detergent in most of Europe and Schwarzkopf hair products, said on Thursday fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 12.3 percent year-on-year to 502 million euros ($658.7 million), compared with a forecast for 516 million.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German sportswear group Adidas stuck to forecasts for a slowdown in sales growth in 2012, disappointing investors who had hoped for more in a banner year for sports events with the Olympics and European soccer championships.
The company said on Wednesday sales growth would slow to 5-9 percent on a currency-neutral basis from the 13 percent reported for 2011. Analysts described this as a cautious move from a company that upgraded forecasts four times in 2011.