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Dec 6, 2011

Metro warns euro crisis hitting Xmas trade

FRANKFURT, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Metro, the
world’s No.4 retailer, issued a profit warning that sent
shockwaves through the sector on Tuesday, saying Christmas
trading had started slowly and the euro zone debt crisis was
undermining consumer confidence.

Shares in the German group, which runs cash and carries,
hypermarkets, electrical goods and department stores, slumped
over 10 percent.

Nov 28, 2011

MAN, IPIC end Ferrostaal wrangling with sale deal

FRANKFURT, Nov 28 (Reuters) – German truckmaker MAN
agreed to sell its Ferrostaal unit in a deal that ends
a year-long dispute, prevents further related losses and removes
the last remaining legal risks for shareholders from a bribery
scandal that rocked the group.

Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company
(IPIC) will sell back its 70 percent stake in Ferrostaal to MAN,
which then will sell the unit in its entirety to the MPC Group
based in Hamburg, the German industrial company said on Monday.

Nov 27, 2011

NSN CEO says no more cash from Nokia, Siemens

HELSINKI/FRANKFURT, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Struggling
Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), the world’s
second-largest maker of mobile phone network equipment, cannot
expect any more cash injections from its two parent companies,
chief executive of the venture said in a letter to employees.

Parents Nokia and Siemens have
provided capital “for the last time” and expect this investment
will provide results, according to a copy of a letter sent from
CEO Rajeev Suri to NSN’s 74,000 employees, which was obtained
by Reuters.

Nov 23, 2011

Reckitt fined $32 mln by Germany for price-fixing

FRANKFURT, Nov 23 (Reuters) – British consumer goods
maker Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc was fined 24 million
euros ($32 million) by the German cartel office on Wednesday for
fixing prices on dishwashing and laundry products with German
rival Henkel AG & Co.

The fine was imposed on Reckitt and one of its employees
after it was accused of illegally coordinating dishwasher
detergent prices and exchanging competitive-sensitive
information. The Reckitt employee, who was not named, no longer
works for the company, said a source with knowledge of the
situation.

Nov 18, 2011

Metro promotes finance chief to CEO, break-up eyed

DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT, Nov 18 (Reuters) – World No.4
retailer Metro has picked its high-flying finance
director to be its next chief executive, signalling it will
stick with a plan to eventually break itself up and defying
calls for it to name a retail specialist.

Olaf Koch, who at 41 is the youngest chief executive of any
of Germany’s 30 biggest listed companies, was not the preferred
candidate of the labour representatives on the supervisory board
and was only appointed thanks to the new chairman’s casting
vote, company sources said on Friday.

Nov 9, 2011

Henkel steps ups cost cuts as slowdown bites

FRANKFURT, Nov 9 (Reuters) – German consumer goods group
Henkel is stepping up cost cuts to battle an
expected global slowdown and protect profit margins as it
reported third-quarter profits that slightly missed market
expectations.

A slowdown at its highly profitable adhesives division and
concerns its 2012 financial targets are too ambitious given
expected difficult economic conditions overshadowed an increased
2011 outlook for sales growth on Wednesday.

Nov 8, 2011

Hugo Boss ups 2015 targets on Chinese growth

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German fashion house Hugo Boss AG (BOSG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) sharply raised its earnings outlook for 2015 on Tuesday as it increases its network of stores and eyes strong growth in China.

The group, best known for its men’s suits, said it now expects sales of 3 billion euros (2.5 billion pounds) in 2015 and core earnings of 750 million. That compares with previous targets of 2.5 billion in sales and 500 million in core earnings.

Nov 3, 2011

Unilever, Beiersdorf show scars of tough times

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Two of Europe’s biggest
consumer products groups showed tough times were catching up on
them on Thursday with Unilever warning of flat to lower
profit margins for 2011 while Beiersdorf saw only
marginal sales growth.

Both were reporting third-quarter results with Anglo-Dutch
Unilever cautioning about rising commodity costs and
poor consumer confidence, while Hamburg-based Beiersdorf saw a
fall in profits as it invested heavily behind its Nivea brand.

Nov 3, 2011

Metro says profit goal tougher, needs good Xmas

DUESSELDORF, Germany, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Metro AG ,
the world’s No.4 retailer, said Europe’s debt crisis and
weakening economic growth meant it was unlikely to meet its goal
of 10 percent earnings growth this year without a bumper
Christmas.

However the German group, which runs cash-and-carry stores,
hypermarkets, electrical goods and department stores, said on
Thursday it should at least meet analysts’ forecasts for 5
percent growth after a solid third quarter, aided by cost cuts.

Oct 28, 2011

Metro seen cutting profit goal, CEO news eyed

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Metro AG (MEOG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could become the latest European retailer to warn on profits next week, piling pressure on the German group to sort out a successor to Chief Executive Eckhard Cordes.

Europe’s shoppers are curbing spending as their disposable incomes are squeezed by rising prices, subdued wage growth and government austerity measures.

    • 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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