Company news in brief

15 June 2021 | Business

Vodafone opts for Samsung in Britain

British telecoms group Vodafone has chosen Samsung Electronics as vendor for 5G network equipment in Britain, the pair said yesterday, a breakthrough for the South Korean company in Europe's telecoms gear market.

The tie-up comes as European mobile operators increasingly consider Samsung in the race to replace China's Huawei as a supplier. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Britain has already ordered all Huawei equipment to be removed from its 5G network by the end of 2027, echoing a US campaign against Huawei, citing national security risks. Samsung is banking on Europe to maintain growth in its network equipment business, a senior executive told Reuters earlier this month, as 5G rollouts widen around the world.

The European telecoms equipment market is dominated by Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, but Samsung has entered the picture after it unexpectedly landed a US$6 billion deal with US giant Verizon in September.

Executives from Spain's Telefonica and France's Orange previously told Reuters that they had held talks with the South Korean firm. – Nampa/Reuters

BP joins consortium seeking wind power

British oil major BP will join Norway's Statkraft and Aker Offshore Wind to bid for permits to build offshore wind power projects off Norway, the companies said yesterday.

The consortium in which each partner will have a 33.3% stake plans to bid for offshore wind power projects in the Soerlige Nordsjoe II licensing area in the southern part of the North Sea, one of the two areas opened in Norway.

The area is suitable for bottom-fixed wind power platform and sits on a maritime border with Denmark, providing a potential to export electricity to neighbouring markets.

"Our partnership with Aker and BP will create significant value and contribute towards Europe's energy transition," Statkraft chief executive Christian Rynning-Toennesen said in a statement.

Offshore wind has started to look more economically feasible with costs coming down quicker than expected and as the EU introduces more ambitious targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions, he added. – Nampa/Reuters

Toshiba's chairman wants to stay on

Toshiba Corp's chairman of the board yesterday pushed back against investor calls for him to resign, blaming its former chief executive for a "confrontational stance" towards shareholders that helped pitch the Japanese company into crisis.

Toshiba has come under fierce global scrutiny after an independent investigation last week revealed management colluded with the Japanese government to put pressure on foreign investors in what one shareholder has called the world's worst corporate scandal in a decade.

Yesterday, Nagayama apologised at a news conference broadcast online and said there were lapses in governance but added he wanted to stay on and help reconstruct management at the conglomerate.

Nagayama also said Toshiba will hold an emergency general meeting to appoint new board members and wants to include two of its foreign directors among a planned four- or five-member committee that will conduct a strategic review.

The crisis at Toshiba has renewed concern about governance in the world's third-largest economy and its openness to foreign investors. – Nampa/Reuters

Ted Baker reports loss for pandemic-hit year

Upmarket British retailer Ted Baker yesterday reported an underlying loss for the pandemic-hit fiscal 2021 and said its first-quarter revenue for the current year fell 20% due to coronavirus restrictions during the period.

The British company, which has had a number of operational and management setbacks over the past two years, reported an underlying pre-tax loss of 59.2 million pounds for the year ended January 30, compared to a 4.8 million pound profit the previous year.

Analysts on average estimated pretax loss of 76 million pounds according to Eikon data from Refinitiv.

While some retailers have benefited from a shift towards athleisure during the pandemic, Ted Baker's annual sales plummeted 44% to 352 million pounds partly due to its focus on formal and occasion wear. E-commerce sales rose 22% to 144.9 million pounds.

The London-listed company, under new boss Rachel Osborne, has been working on winning back customers and investor trust after a string of setbacks that followed the departure of previous chief executive and founder Ray Kelvin following misconduct allegations. He has denied the accusations. – Nampa/Reuters

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