Coca-Cola will invest $4 billion more in China from 2012 to 2014, the Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday, citing the companys chairman and chief executive. Muhtar Kent told Xinhua in an interview that the investment will mainly be used to expand the companys products and packaging, to expand its infrastructure and distribution system, and to invest in cold drink equipment. The investment plan comes on top of a previously announced investment of $2 billion during 2009-2011, which turned out to be $3 billion upon completion, Xinhua said. On the possibility of listing on the international board of Shanghai Stock Exchange which is still under discussion, the Coca-Cola CEO said that if the opportunity arose, it would be interested. It will be a mutually beneficial action if we are listed, Kent told Xinhua, adding that it would be a good thing not just for the reasons of capitalization but also for reasons of being a stronger part of the Chinese community.
Foster board says $10-bn SABMiller bid too low
Fosters Group rejected a hostile A$9.5 billion ($10 billion) bid by SABMiller as too low, with analysts predicting that the suitor will need to raise its offer for Australias biggest brewer. SABMiller, the worlds second-largest beermaker by volume, took its A$4.90-a-share bid directly to investors on Wednesday after failing to engage the board of Fosters in talks following its initial June 21 approach. The London-based maker of Miller Lite and Grolsch may have to raise the offer price by 6% to A$5.20 a share to win over investors. Buying Melbourne-based Fosters would give SABMiller access to about half of the Australian beer market and brands including Victoria Bitter. It would be the biggest acquisition ever by the brewer, which sells beers including Peroni and Castle lager.
Lenovo net nearly doubles on emerging markets
Lenovo, Chinas biggest maker of personal computers, reported first-quarter profit almost doubled, beating analysts estimates, after it boosted sales in emerging markets and increased shipments to businesses. Net income climbed to $108.8 million in the three months ended June 30, or 1.08 cents a share, from $54.9 million, or 0.54 cents, a year earlier, Lenovo said on Thursday in a statement. Profit exceeded the $84 million average of seven analysts estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 15% to $5.92 billion. The maker of Thinkpad laptops increased sales in China, India and Brazil, as well as the US, where spending by companies to replace aging computers is helping offset slowing demand from consumers.
China mobile Q2 profit rises 7% on data traffic
China Mobile, the worlds biggest phone carrier by users, posted a 7% gain in second-quarter profit that beat analysts estimates after data traffic rose on demand for smartphone games and videos. Net income rose to 34.4 billion yuan ($5.4 billion) from 32.2 billion yuan a year earlier, according to figures derived from first-half earnings reported to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday. Sales rose 9.3% to 131.9 billion yuan. China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou is using popular titles such as Rovio Entertainments Angry Birds to attract customers, helping the carrier maintain its lead over China Unicom (Hong Kong) in subscribers.
Holcim net falls 13% due to strong Swiss franc
Holcim, the worlds second-largest cement maker, fell the most in two years in Zurich trading after reporting profit declined more than analysts expected due to the strong Swiss franc. Second-quarter net profit fell 13% to 347 million Swiss francs ($437 million) from the year earlier, missing the 373.3 million-franc average estimate of seven analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Sales dropped 11 percent to 5.49 billion francs, less than the average estimate of 5.56 billion francs. CEO Markus Akermann is fighting rising raw material costs and the appreciation of the franc, which has gained 18% against the dollar this year. Currency effects shaved 916 million francs off sales in the quarter and reduced operating profit by 203 million francs. Thats more than the combined effects on revenue and profit in the previous three quarters.