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Jan 18, 2012

Swatch Group supply cuts start to hurt watchmakers

GENEVA, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Swatch Group’s
decision to lower watch part supplies to rival watchmakers this
year has already impacted the industry, forcing some brands to
hold back production and others to scramble for alternatives,
executives told a fair this week.

The outlook for 2012 might be more gloomy than it was for
2011 but the Swiss watch industry is enjoying record demand,
having recovered much faster than expected from the 2008/2009
downturn, putting unprecedented pressure on its production base.

Jan 18, 2012

Swiss watchmakers brace for tougher 2012

GENEVA (Reuters) – Swiss watchmakers expect slower growth this year after a record 2011 as strong demand from Asia is unlikely to make up for weakness in America and Europe, executives at the Geneva watch fair warned this week.

Demand might not have softened yet for some but many watch brands predict that worries about euro zone debt and unemployment in America will weigh on discretionary spending.

Jan 17, 2012

Metro halts Kaufhof department stores sale

GENEVA, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Metro, the
world’s fourth-biggest retailer, has halted the sale of its
Kaufhof department stores, blaming a difficult economic backdrop
which also knocked fourth-quarter sales as cash-strapped
Europeans cut spending on non-essentials.

“We have always stressed that a sale must reflect the
potential of Galeria Kaufhof. Currently, the earnings potential
can be better tapped by us than by a sale”, chief executive Olaf
Koch said on Tuesday.

Jan 16, 2012

Asian luxury demand underpins Richemont Q3 sales

ZURICH/GENEVA, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Sales growth at
Richemont held up in the company’s third quarter,
easing fears the sector might be in for a marked slowdown this
year and allowing the Swiss luxury goods group to confirm its
profit goal for the year.

The maker of Cartier jewellery and IWC watches said on
Monday sales rose 24 percent at constant exchange
rates between October and December against the year before,
beating forecasts for a 20 percent rise in a Reuters poll.

Jan 12, 2012

German retailer Douglas faces family buyout

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The family of Douglas Holding AG (DOHG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Henning Kreke aims to take the German fragrance-to-jewelry retailer private with the help of financial investors.

“The Kreke family fully backs the Douglas Group and is considering raising its stake jointly with financial investors,” Kreke told Reuters in e-mailed comments on Thursday.

Jan 7, 2012

48 hours in Aberdeen, Scotland

ABERDEEN, Scotland (Reuters) – The northern Scottish town of Aberdeen is much maligned for being as grey as its nickname of the Granite City suggests but its compact city centre can sparkle when the sun shines off its grey stone buildings.

The oil capital of Europe, a North Sea base for the likes of BP, Shell and Exxon and also home to a fledgling offshore renewables industry, is a useful starting point for exploring the whisky distilleries, castles, Highlands and golf links of the northeastern region of Scotland.

Jan 6, 2012

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Aberdeen, Scotland

ABERDEEN, Scotland, Dec 6 (Reuters) – The northern
Scottish town of Aberdeen is much maligned for being as grey as
its nickname of the Granite City suggests but its compact city
centre can sparkle when the sun shines off its grey stone
buildings.

The oil capital of Europe, a North Sea base for the likes of
BP, Shell and Exxon and also home to a fledgling offshore
renewables industry, is a useful starting point for exploring
the whisky distilleries, castles, Highlands and golf links of
the northeastern region of Scotland.

Jan 5, 2012

German Christmas shoppers unfazed by euro crisis

FRANKFURT, Jan 5 (Reuters) – German shoppers were out
in force over Christmas, with strong sales from DIY stores
operator Praktiker and fashion house Gerry Weber
suggesting consumers have not been fazed by the euro
zone debt crisis.

The sales may have been partly the result of discounting,
which has helped to lure cash-strapped shoppers in other
European countries, like Britain.

Dec 12, 2011

Virgin gatecrashes BA’s bmi deal

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic VA.UL has gatecrashed rival British Airways’ deal to buy Lufthansa AG’s (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) UK unit bmi, agreeing a counterbid it hopes will be more appealing to regulators.

British Airways owner IAG (ICAG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said in early November it had reached an agreement in principle to buy bmi, lured by its coveted slots at London’s Heathrow airport and seemingly leaving Virgin out in the cold.

Dec 9, 2011

Can Lufthansa survive economic turbulence?

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The forecast for the world’s airlines is becoming increasingly gloomy, with industry body IATA on Wednesday warning they could face combined losses of over $8 billion next year if Europe fails to bring its debt crisis under control.

Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Europe’s second-largest airline by market value, has already downgraded profit expectations this year, announced plans to freeze some investments and is reducing the number of seats it offers in response to a drop in bookings.

    • About Victoria

      "Based in Frankfurt, covering German companies in the retail, travel and leisure sectors. In my previous Reuters incarnation in London, I focused on green tech firms, utilities and an array of smallcaps that came my way on the Breaking News team. I started my career as a translator with the Financial Times in London before switching into journalism."
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