Company news in brief

26 October 2020 | Business

Barrick Gold plans to expand in Tanzania

Barrick Gold Corp said on Friday Tanzania has awarded 10 new exploration licenses to the Canadian miner and it plans to spend US$8 million to carry out exploration in the country this year.

Barrick oversees the management of its assets in Tanzania through Twiga Minerals Corp, a joint venture formed last year between the company and the government of Tanzania.

Twiga Minerals manages the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines in Tanzania.

"We are gearing up to potentially make North Mara and Bulyanhulu into a combined Tier One complex, capable of producing at least 500 000 ounces of gold annually for more than 10 years in the lower half of the industry's cost profile,"Barrick chief executive officer Mark Bristow said in a statement.

Barrick said it would also be looking to expand the life of operations as well as other new Tanzanian opportunities within the Twiga framework. – Nampa/Reuters

American Express profit slumps

Credit card issuer American Express Co reported a nearly 40% slump in quarterly profit on Friday, hurt by lower spending by its users, while it also set aside US$665 million for potential defaults.

Net income fell to US$1.07 billion, or US$1.30 per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from US$1.76 billion, or US$2.08 per share, a year earlier.

Consolidated loss provisions in the quarter stood at US$665 million, down 24% from US$879 million a year earlier.

Total credit reserve levels at the end of the third quarter were generally consistent with second-quarter levels, the company said.

Total revenue, excluding interest expense, fell 20% to US$8.8 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

Daimler lifts profit forecast

Daimler raised its profit outlook for 2020 on Friday after a record 24% jump in Chinese demand for its Mercedes-Benz cars boosted margins in the third quarter, though it warned that a spike in Covid-19 infections made forecasting hard.

Earlier last week, Daimler's chief executive said there was anecdotal evidence that wealthy Chinese families unable to splash out on expensive European holidays during the pandemic were buying luxury goods at home instead.

Benefiting from higher prices and a fall in fixed costs, the adjusted return on sales by its Mercedes-Benz cars and vans division rose to 9.4% in the quarter ending Sept. 30 from 7% a year earlier, rebounding from minus 1.5% in the second quarter.

The German car and truck maker said it now expected full-year earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to match last year's levels, whereas it had previously forecast a drop in earnings. In 2019, EBIT came in at 10.3 billion euro.

In the third quarter, Daimler's adjusted EBIT rose to 3.48 billion euro (US$4.1 billion) from 3.14 billion a year earlier. – Nampa/Reuters

Barclays beats profit forecasts

Barclays on Friday reported stronger than expected third-quarter results thanks to a return to profit for the bank's consumer businesses and chief executive Jes Staley said he aimed to stay on for two more years.

Barclays reported profit before tax of 1.1 billion pounds (US$1.4 billion) for the three months to the end of September, almost double the 507 million pounds analysts had forecast.

The bank booked 608 million pounds in provisions for bad loans and other charges, down 63% from the previous quarter and well below the 1 billion pounds analysts had expected.

However, Barclays said it was considering further cost-cutting measures, which could result in more charges.

The bank's consumer, cards and payments business made a profit of 165 million pounds in the quarter after a loss in the second quarter as US credit card spending recovered.

Huawei's nine-month revenue growth slows

China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd reported a 9.9% rise in nine-month revenue on Friday, as US export restrictions and the global Covid-19 pandemic weakened sales growth in products such as smartphones and telecoms equipment.

Revenue reached 671.3 billion yuan (US$100.44 billion) over January-September, it said in a statement, without providing a segment breakdown. Revenue grew 13% in the January-June period.

Net profit margin for the nine months was 8.0%, versus 8.7% over the same period a year earlier.

Consumer Business Group chief executive Richard Yu earlier this year said Huawei would soon stop making high-end Kirin chips as US restrictions on supplying the firm take effect. Analysts expect its stockpile of the chips to run out next year.

Domestically, consumers have rushed to buy Huawei smartphones on concerns over the availability of newer models.

Overseas, however, Huawei has faced sluggish sales, due in part to its lack of access to Alphabet Inc's Google Mobile Services. – Nampa/Reuters

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