Company news in brief

31 July 2018 | Business

Thomas Cook mulling airline sale

British travel company Thomas Cook is considering splitting off its airline and selling a stake to an outside investor to reduce debt, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. The newspaper, citing unnamed industry sources, said internal discussions were at an early stage and no change was likely imminently.

However, the sale of a stake in the airline - possibly to Chinese conglomerate Fosun, an existing 12% shareholder in the group - would make it easier for both the travel business and the airline to expand, the newspaper said.

-Nampa/Reuters

Walmart discovers why 'last mile' is hard

Standing before an audience of 14 000 people last year, Walmart Inc executives described a radical plan to help it fend off Amazon.com Inc and other online delivery services from stealing its customers.

Walmart’s own store employees would bring online orders directly to shoppers’ homes after completing their usual shifts of up to nine hours on the sales floors. Aiming to lower the retailer’s shipping costs by tapping its massive workforce, the program was part of a multi-pronged strategy to boost its US$11.5 billion US ecommerce business and tackle one of the biggest challenges in retail: the so-called “last mile” of delivering goods to online customers.

-Nampa/Reuters

BMW to raise prices in China

German carmaker BMW said it will raise the prices of two US-made crossover sport-utility vehicles in China to cope with the additional cost of tariffs on US car imports into the world’s biggest auto market.

In a move due to take effect on Monday, BMW said in a statement to Reuters over the weekend that it will increase maker-suggested retail prices of the popular, relatively high-margin X5 and X6 SUV models by 4% to 7%.

-Nampa/Reuters

Apple, Amazon lead pack to US$1trn

For a long time, Apple appeared to be flying solo to a US$1 trillion market value, but Amazon is right at its heels - and experts have no fears of a tech bubble.

Apple, at US$939 billion, remains the highest-valued private company on the global markets - and could well cross the US$1 trillion finish line after it releases its quarterly results Tuesday.

But Amazon is right behind: on Friday, its market cap reached US$917 billion, before finishing at US$882 billion, thanks to quarterly figures well received by investors.

Google's parent company Alphabet (US$886 billion) and Microsoft (US$827 billion) are also on track, while Facebook (US$505 billion) is out of the race, having shed US$119 billion in value after results released Thursday.

-Fin24

ExxonMobil profits jump

Higher oil prices enabled US oil giant ExxonMobil to report increased profits Friday, but the results missed analyst expectations as the company cited natural gas and refining outages.

Net income jumped 18% in the second quarter to US$4 billion compared to the same period a year earlier. That translated into 92 cents a share, well below the US$1.27 expected by analysts.

-Fin24

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