India’s Tata, Thyssenkrupp announce merger of European steel operations

Tata and ThyssenKrupp will finalize the deal in 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2017
0

India’s Tata, Thyssenkrupp announce merger of European steel operations

BERLIN: Industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp and Indian group Tata have agreed to merge their steel operations in Europe, aiming to take second place in the market behind ArcelorMittal, the two companies said in a statement Wednesday.
The two conglomerates, which will finalize the deal in 2018, expect annual synergies of between €400 million and €600 million and are likely to get rid of 4,000 jobs in production and administration.
The new company, to be named Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel, would be headquartered in or near Amsterdam, Thyssenkrupp said in a statement on Wednesday after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
“Under the planned joint venture, we are giving the European steel activities of Thyssenkrupp and Tata a lasting future,” Thyssenkrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger said. “We are tackling the structural challenges of the European steel industry and creating a strong No.2.”
The MoU will be followed by negotiations about the details of the transactions as well as due diligence – a detailed look at each other’s accounts – before a joint venture contract can be signed at the beginning of 2018, Thyssenkrupp said.
The signing of the joint deal will require the approval of Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board and Tata Steel’s board of directors as well as that of the European Commission.


Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

Updated 17 June 2019
0

Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

  • Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called ‘attritional fare wars’

FRANKFURT: Germany’s Lufthansa sent shockwaves through the European airline sector on Monday as it cut its full-year profit forecast, with lower prices and higher fuel costs compounding the effect of losses at its budget subsidiary Eurowings.
The warning follows gloomy comments last month from Irish budget airline Ryanair, which vies with Lufthansa for top spot in Europe in terms of passengers carried. Air France-KLM also reported a widening quarterly loss last month.
In a statement issued late on Sunday, Lufthansa forecast annual EBIT of between €2 billion and €2.4 billion, down from the previously targeted €2.4 billion to €3 billion.
“Yields in the European short-haul market, in particular in the group’s home markets, Germany and Austria, are affected by sustained overcapacities caused by carriers willing to accept significant losses to expand their market share,” it said.
European airlines are locked in a battle for supremacy, with a surfeit of seats holding down revenues and higher fuel costs adding to the pressure. A number of smaller airlines have collapsed over the past two years.
Lufthansa cited falling revenue from its Eurowings budget business as a key reason for the profit warning.
“The group expects the European market to remain challenging at least for the remainder of 2019,” it said.
It also pointed to high jet fuel costs, which it said could exceed last year’s figure by €550 million, despite a recent fall in crude oil prices.
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called “attritional fare wars” and said four or five European airlines were likely to emerge as the winners in the sector.
“No signs that anyone is prepared to reduce capacity, therefore we would anticipate the wave of consolidation in European short haul is not over,” said analyst Neil Wilson, analyst at London-based broker market.com.
Earlier this month global airlines slashed a widely watched industry profit forecast by 21 percent as an expanding trade war and higher oil prices compound worries about an overdue industry slowdown.
Lufthansa’s problems are centered on its European business, with a more positive outlook for its long-haul operations, especially on transatlantic and Asian routes.
Eurowings management is due to implement turnaround measures to be presented shortly, Lufthansa said, adding that efforts to reduce costs had so far been slower than expected.
Lufthansa’s adjusted margin for earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was forecast between 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent, down from 6.5 percent to 8 percent previously, it said in a statement.
Lufthansa also said it would make a €340 million provision for in its first-half accounts, relating to a tax matter in Germany originating in the years between 2001 and 2005.