Connect with us

World

Volvo Cars feels margin pressure from US-China tariff war

Published

on

Volvo Cars, owned by China’s Geely, reported higher full-year revenue on Thursday, but said its profit margins had slipped and were expected to remain under pressure this year.

Carmakers have faced rising costs and pricing pressure in some markets due to a trade war between Washington and Beijing in 2018 as well as slower demand from Europe and from China, the biggest autos market.

“For 2019, we see another year of volume growth as we continue to benefit from our strong product program and increased capacity. But we have to be realistic and acknowledge that margins will remain under continued pressure,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.

Suppliers and automakers have issued new warnings and results misses this year, with Daimler this week reporting a fall in fourth-quarter operating profit.

Volvo said its operating profit increased by 0.9 percent to 14.2 billion Swedish crowns ($1.5 billion) although its margin fell to 5.6 percent from 6.7 percent. This was despite its 2018 revenue rising by 21 percent to 252.7 billion Swedish crowns.

Volvo has been on a growth path under Geely’s umbrella, with five straight years of record sales, aided by its steady push into premium automobiles, pitted it against Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and its fellow German rival BMW.

The Swedish-based firm postponed plans for a listing last year, citing the adverse impact of the tariff war and an industry downturn, while also taking on the costs of retooling its factories in an effort to limit the negative tariff impact.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Thursday, Samuelsson said the slowdown in the Chinese market had not blindsighted the company.

“After many years of constant growth in China (there is) finally some reduction – I think that shouldn’t really be a surprise to anybody,” he said.

“In the European market and the U.S. market we don’t see any clear signs of a downturn so far. We really see that this year will be another year of growth because we have the best profit program ever and of course we have the capacity with new factories. Strategically for us it’s very important to use that and then improve our market share.”

However, Samuelsson added that an IPO was not a part of this year’s growth strategy for Volvo Cars.

“We said it’s an option, and it’s up to our owner, but we decided right now the climate in the market (is) not suitable for an IPO, so we put that on ice – it’s not going to happen this year and we have no plans for that,” he told CNBC.

CNBC’s Chloe Taylor contributed to this report.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Facebook user engagement grew through first half of 2019, tools say

Published

on

Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.

Chesnot | Getty Images

Even though Facebook often finds itself in hot water in Washington and the media, users don’t seem to care.

Despite Facebook’s numerous scandals, privacy lapses and service outages, user engagement has been on an upswing through the first half of 2019, according to the company’s own tools provided to advertisers.

The rise in engagement is good news ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, which comes after tense congressional hearings over the Facebook’s proposal to implement a digital cryptocurrency called Libra.

Specifically, Facebook has seen an increase in the median number of comments, likes and ads clicked by users on the service from January to July, according to Audience Insights, a Facebook tool that is used by advertisers to gather data about specific demographics they can target with ads.

In the U.S., monthly median engagement levels between Jan. 3 and July 18 increased as follows:

  • Posted comments rose from 6 to 8.
  • Posts liked rose from 9 to 13.
  • Ads clicked rose from 13 to 17.

Across the globe, the monthly median increase was similar:

  • Posted comments rose from 4 to 5.
  • Likes rose from 9 to 13.
  • Ads clicked rose went from 8 to 11.

The data is based on a rolling measurement of activity over the previous 30 days.

“Facebook’s data, algorithms and use of machine learning have continued to improve,” said Daniel Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research, which focuses on digital technology. “This means that users are seeing more and more relevant content, and this of course leads to more engagement on the platform.”

Facebook claims 2.7 billion monthly users across its suite of services, including 1.56 billion daily Facebook users, but the company has seen its user growth begin to slow or stall in key markets, including the U.S. and Europe.

A key growth area for Facebook is the company’s Stories features, which are full-screen photos and videos users can post on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. The company in April said its Stories features each have more than 500 million daily users.

“The growth of users has slowed, so keeping the customers it has engaged longer is key to being able to keep the paying customers — the advertisers — engaged, too,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer of investment firm Bokeh Capital.

“The company has a way of making even tough situations good when it comes to Wall Street,” Newman said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see that trend continue.”

WATCH: Here’s how to see which apps have access to your Facebook data — and cut them off

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Release tanker and crew immediately, Britain tells Iran

Published

on

In this undated photo issued Friday July 19, 2019, by Stena Bulk, showing the British oil tanker Stena Impero at unknown location, which is believed to have been captured by Iran.

Stena Bulk | AP

Britain called on Iran on Monday to release a British-flagged tanker and its crew immediately, describing the seizure of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz as illegal.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards rappelled from helicopters and seized the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday in apparent retaliation for the British capture of an Iranian tanker two weeks earlier.

“The ship was seized under false and illegal pretenses and the Iranians should release it and its crew immediately,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman told reporters.

“We do not seek confrontation with Iran but it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to seize a ship going about legitimate business through internationally recognized shipping lanes.”

May was chairing a meeting of Britain’s COBR emergency response committee and foreign minister Jeremy Hunt is expected to make a statement to parliament later on Monday to face criticism that British naval vessels should have escorted the ship.

The spokesman said emergency committee meeting was discussing ways of strengthening reassurance and monitoring for commercial shipping.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Millennials at risk of fraud over Instagram pet pictures: Santander

Published

on

A woman takes a selfie with a dog in San Jose on June 11, 2017.

Ezequiel Becerra | AFP | Getty Images

Millennials posting photos of their pets on social media platforms such as Instagram are putting themselves at risk of fraud and financial scams, according to a new survey.

Spanish bank Santander, in a survey, criticized celebrities for setting a bad example by oversharing online, claiming they were putting “impressionable young followers” at risk.

In June, Santander U.K. and OnePoll surveyed 2,000 British adults who use Instagram, publishing their findings on Monday.

Almost 90% of people under the age of 25 admitted to posting personal information — such as their age or pet’s name — on social media.

Meanwhile, one in 10 people in the same age range have shared the name of a pet on Instagram and used that name as a password, according to Santander.

The lender noted that more than a quarter of the Instagram accounts followed by under 25s belonged to celebrities, with its research showing that 40% of young adults were influenced by celebrity posts. A third of 18 to 24 year olds said they had used an actual celebrity Instagram post as inspiration for their own social media content.

Celebrity oversharing was setting a “particularly dangerous” trend, Santander warned. Publishing too much information could enable fraudsters to build up profiles of victims, which could be used to apply for financial products in their name, manipulate a victim into sharing more personal details, or transfer their money into another account.

The bank claimed it had uncovered “a selection of celebrities who are guilty of oversharing on Instagram.”

Some celebrities are renowned for posting photos of their pets, with many even opening separate accounts dedicated to them.

Lady Gaga’s French bulldog has its own verified account with 233,000 followers, while singer Taylor Swift – who has 119 million followers – regularly posts pictures of her pet cats.

Santander also criticized famous Instagram users for sharing their date of birth online.

British musician Ed Sheeran, who has more than 30 million Instagram followers, posted pictures on the social media site on his 28th birthday in February.

The research also found half of 18 to 24 year olds used the same password for multiple websites, with only 12% of under 25s regularly updating their login details for websites where they had shared personal details. A further 78% said they did not know how to protect themselves from identity theft.

Chris Ainsley, head of fraud strategy at Santander, said in a press release on Monday that oversharing can open people up to being targeted by criminals.

“Make sure you get the balance right and don’t give fraudsters an easy ride. Check your privacy settings are on, stay vigilant and consider what you’re giving away before hitting post,” he said.

How to reduce fraud risks online

Santander shared four tips to avoid dangerous oversharing on social media, which were collated by social media expert Jodie Cook.

  1. Keep your date of birth to yourself
    Cook advised Instagrammers to try not to share ages or dates of birth when posting pictures of birthday celebrations.
  2. Don’t overshare pet names
    “Posting pets pics and tagging their names might get the likes rolling in, but given how commonly they’re used for security questions, you might be oversharing just enough detail for fraudsters to take advantage,” Cook said in a press release Monday.
  3. Be mindful of family details
    When posting on social media, users should avoid giving away details like their middle name or their mother’s maiden name, as these are some of the most commonly used security questions.
  4. Childhood memories can land you in trouble
    “Whilst it may be tempting to reminisce about childhood memories online, avoid disclosing where you were born,” Cook said, noting that this information could be used to access your bank accounts.
  5. Keep sensitive documents out of sight
    It might seem obvious to keep bank cards and passports off of Instagram, but Cook urged social media users to check their pictures before posting. “Remember, out of sight, out of mind and out of trouble,” she said.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending