Monday, 30 Mar 2020

Credit Suisse CEO resigns after two spying scandals

Accor launches buyback programs as profit falls

Accor SA said Thursday that its net profit for 2019 fell, and launched two new share buyback programs for the 2020-21 period.

The French hotel group said net profit for the year was 464 million euros ($501.0 million) compared with EUR2.23 billion the previous year, when the disposal of 65% of AccorInvest’s capital resulted in a EUR2.4 billion capital gain, the company said.

Revenue rose 3.8% on a like-for-like basis to EUR4.05 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were up to EUR825 million from EUR719 million the previous year.

"The group delivered a record performance again for FY19. This is all the more outstanding against a difficult macroeconomic background," Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin said.

Accor said it would propose a dividend of EUR1.05 a share at the annual shareholders’ meeting on April 30.

Looking ahead, the company said it would launch two new share buyback programs of EUR300 million in 2020 and EUR400 million in 2021.

Write to Giulia Petroni at [email protected]

A.P. Moller-Maersk Slips To Loss In Q4, EBITDA Up; Sees Lower EBITDA In FY20

A.P. Moller – Maersk (AMKAF.PK,AMKBF.PK) reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter loss, group share was $72 million, compared to prior year’s profit of $32 million.

Loss from continuing operations was $61 million, compared to loss of $72 million a year ago. The prior year results included IFRS 16 and MSS.

Underlying profit from continuing operations was $29 million, compared to $65 million last year.

Revenue dropped to $9.67 billion from prior year’s $10.24 billion, partly due to front-loading on the Pacific last year.

Profit before depreciation, amortisation and impairment losses, etc. or EBITDA edged up to $1.463 billion from $1.449 billion a year ago. EBITDA margin improved by 0.9 percentage point to 15.1 percent from 14.2 percent last year.

Further, the Board of Directors proposed an ordinary dividend to the shareholders of DKK 150 per share, same as last year.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2020, A.P. Moller – Maersk expects EBITDA of around $5.5 billion. In fiscal 2019, EBITDA was $5.71 billion.

The outlook for 2020 is impacted by the current outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, which has significantly lowered visibility on what to expect in 2020.

The company said it expects a weak start to the year as factories in China are closed for longer than usual in connection with Chinese New Year and as a result of the COVID-19.

Bouygues 2019 profit falls despite higher sales

Bouygues SA said Thursday that net profit for 2019 fell despite growing revenue due to a decline in non-current income.

The construction-and-media conglomerate made a net profit of 1.18 billion euros ($1.27 billion) for the year compared with EUR1.31 billion for 2018. It said profits suffered from a reduced nonrecurrent income, particularly in its telecom business.

However, strong performance across all businesses drove the company’s sales for the year to EUR37.93 billion, up from EUR35.56 billion a year earlier. On a like-for-like basis, sales rose 5% at constant exchange rates.

Results were ahead of market forecasts, which estimated a net profit of EUR1.15 billion and sales for EUR37.19 billion.

The board has declared a yearly dividend of EUR2.6, of which EUR0.90 was exceptional, up from EUR1.7 the previous year.

IMF experts meet Lebanese Prime Minister as visit begins -TV

BEIRUT, Feb 20 (Reuters) – A team of IMF experts met Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Thursday at the start of a visit to provide Lebanon with advice on how to tackle an unprecedented financial and economic crisis, Lebanese broadcasters LBC and al-Jadeed reported.

The IMF has said the team will visit from Feb. 20-23 to meet authorities on economic challenges and provide broad technical advice. Lebanon has not requested IMF financial assistance.

Suspected gunman in Germany expressed right-wing views in letter: Bild

BERLIN (Reuters) – A gunman suspected of shooting nine people dead at two shisha bars in a southwestern German city expressed extreme right-wing views in a letter of confession he left behind, newspaper Bild reported on Thursday.

The man has been found dead at his home and another body was discovered at the home of the man in Hanau, police said on Thursday.

Bild said, without citing its source, that the man left a video claiming responsibility too.

The police could not immediately be reached for comment.

Credit Suisse CEO resigns after two spying scandals

Hong Kong (CNN Business)There’s another leadership change atop a major Swiss bank.

UBS (UBS), the world’s largest wealth manager, has announced that Sergio Ermotti is stepping down as CEO. He’ll be replaced by Ralph Hamers, the current chief executive of Dutch bank ING (ING).
Axel Weber, the chairman at UBS, said in a statement that Hamers “is the right CEO to lead our business into its next chapter.” Hamers will take up the post on November 1.

    Both of Switzerland’s top banks have announced a change in leadership this month.
    Credit Suisse (CS) CEO Tidjane Thiam resigned earlier this month after acknowledging that two spying scandals last year had “disturbed” the firm. He’s been replaced by company veteran Thomas Gottstein.

    Change at UBS

    Ermotti became chief executive of UBS in 2011 in the aftermath of a rogue trader scandal that cost it $2 billion.
    He oversaw efforts to beef up the bank’s wealth management business amid continued weakness at its investment banking division. Asia has been a particular focus.
    In 2018, UBS became the first foreign bank to be allowed to take control of its business in China. It received approval from regulators to increase its stake in a joint venture there to 51%.

      And last year, UBS launched an alliance with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust to create a one-stop shop for asset management products and services.
      — Michelle Toh contributed to this report.

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