Company news in brief

17 May 2021 | Business

TFG flags up to 85% decline in profit

South African retailer TFG flagged an up to 85% decline in full-year profit on Friday, hurt by Covid-19-led lockdowns across its markets.

It also booked an after-tax non-cash impairment of R2.7 billion for its London business, which includes the Hobbs and Phase Eight clothing brands.

The clothes, homeware and jewellery retailer said basic headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit measure in South Africa, for the year ended March 31 is expected to have declined by between 75% and 85%.

Group turnover grew by 21% in the fourth quarter to March, TFG said, aided by the contribution of recently acquired budget clothing retailer Jet. Excluding Jet, turnover grew by 6% compared to the same period a year ago.

TFG bought Jet in September from struggling department chain owner Edcon after it filed for business rescue earlier last year. – Nampa/Reuters

Delta will require vaccine for new employees

Delta Air Lines will require all new hires in the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19, one of the first major companies to issue such a mandate.

Delta is not making the requirement for current employees. More than 60% of Delta's employees are already vaccinated, according to the company.

While private U.S. companies can require employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19, experts have said they could put themselves at risk of legal and cultural backlash if they do so.

Delta’s chief executive Ed Bastian noted, however, that employees who are not vaccinated may not be able to work on international flights given possible entry requirements by other countries.

Delta is among US airlines that plan to resume pilot hiring this year after a freeze on hires during the pandemic. – Nampa/Reuters

Amazon to create 10 000 jobs in UK

Amazon will create 10 000 new permanent jobs in the United Kingdom in 2021, taking its total workforce in the country to more than 55 000, it said on Friday.

The announcement provides a welcome boost to Britain's precarious labour market, with unemployment running at almost 5%.

Amazon said the new jobs will include roles across its operations network, at its corporate offices and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

In addition to roles that pick, pack and ship customer orders, jobs will be created in engineering, human resources, IT and finance.

Amazon also announced a 10-million-pound investment over three years to train up to 5 000 employees in new skills. – Nampa/Reuters

Coca-Cola discontinues energy drink

Coca-Cola Co said on Friday it would discontinue its energy drink in North America, a product it launched with flare last year as it pushed into new beverage categories.

The decision comes as a part of the company's move to streamline products and focus on its fast-moving beverages as consumers pick up more of its traditional sodas and flavoured sparkling waters as they come out of the pandemic.

Coca-Cola Energy will remain on shelves in other parts of the world, the company said.

Coca-Cola still holds a majority stake in Monster Beverage Corp, one of the top energy drink makers in the United States.

Rival PepsiCo, in the meantime, has ramped up its presence in the category with the purchase of Rockstar Energy, launch of fruity flavours of Mountain Dew and a new version targeting morning consumers. – Nampa/Reuters

Rosneft records strong quarter

Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft on Friday reported first-quarter net income of 149 billion roubles (US$2 billion), buoyed by a recovery in oil prices and almost fully recovering from a loss a year ago.

Sova Capital brokerage said this was the strongest quarter for Rosneft since before it acquired Anglo-Russian TNK-BP in 2013.

Rosneft posted a loss of US$2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020. But earnings at the group, which is around one-fifth owned by BP, have been boosted by a 20% annual increase in oil prices supported by a global deal on production cuts.

The deal was also partly behind a first-quarter decline in Rosneft's oil and gas condensate production, which came in at 3.75 million barrels per day (bpd) from 4.64 million bpd a year ago. Output, however, edged up 1% from the previous quarter.

Production was also pressured by Rosneft's sale of some mature assets in southern Russia, along with underperforming brownfields elsewhere, to raise capital to develop its giant northern Vostok Oil project. – Nampa/Reuters

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