Would you ride a levitating elevator? Thyssenkrupp hopes so

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevators observes the viewing platform of Thyssenkrupp's elevator test tower in Rottweil, Germany. (Reuters)
Updated 07 October 2017
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Would you ride a levitating elevator? Thyssenkrupp hopes so

ROTTWEIL, Germany: Thyssenkrupp is attracting strong demand for its next-generation elevators, which operate without steel cables or ropes, it said on Friday.
Based on magnetic-levitation technology developed for high-speed trains, the MULTI elevator moves from shaft to shaft with multiple cars in each, offering the potential to revolutionise the way people move within high-rise buildings.
The German group is banking on MULTI as well as internet-connected elevators as it strives to become a technology conglomerate and shift away from its core steelmaking business, which it plans to merge with Tata Steel.
“Demand is gigantic,” Andreas Schierenbeck, chief executive of Thyssenkrupp Elevator, told Reuters.
The company plans a gradual introduction of the MULTI, he said, aiming for two or three more initial customers to follow the first order announced for a high-rise building in Berlin.
“Demand is currently much higher than what we have in mind,” Schierenbeck said in Rottweil, where Thyssenkrupp operates its MULTI test tower, adding that a much broader customer base would be targeted once the product is established on the market.
Thyssenkrupp Elevator lifted adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by 8 percent to €860 million ($1 billion) in the financial year to Sept. 30 last year, accounting for 59 percent of the group total.
Competing with Otis, Mitsubishi Electric, Kone and Schindler, the elevators business is Thyssenkrupp's most profitable division with an adjusted EBIT margin of 11.5 percent.
Schierenbeck said the margin would grow to 12-12.2 percent for the year to Sept. 30, 2017, for which Thyssenkrupp will report results on Nov. 23. He also said it had targeted adjusted EBIT of €1 billion before 2020 and a margin of 15 percent at a later stage.
Demand in the US was good and stable, Schierenbeck said, adding that China was difficult because of “enormous” pricing pressure amid fierce competition in a shrinking market.
“We're also a little worried about Spain due to the current political situation,” Schierenbeck said, referring to the crisis sparked by Catalonia's independence referendum, which was ruled illegal by Spain's constitutional court.
Thyssenkrupp Elevator makes 30 percent of its revenue in Europe, its second-biggest sales contributor behind the Americas, but does not provide a more detailed breakdown.
— Reuters


India cuts sales tax across sectors to ease pain of traders and consumers

Updated 21 July 2018
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India cuts sales tax across sectors to ease pain of traders and consumers

MUMBAI: India slashed the sales tax rate on over 50 products on Saturday in a move aimed at appealing to traders and the middle classes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government eyes next year’s elections.
Modi is seeking a second term in 2019 amid voter frustration over the abrupt implementation of a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) a year ago that has hit businesses and general public hard.
The GST council, headed by interim finance minister Piyush Goyal, agreed to lower the indirect tax slab on products such as paints, leather goods, bamboo flooring, stoves, televisions and washing machines from the highest rate of 28 percent to mostly 18 percent.
“The exercise was to ensure simplification and rationalization of GST and extend relief to the common man,” Goyal told a news conference in New Delhi on Saturday evening.
The tax rate on ethanol blended with petrol, footwear costing up to 1,000 rupees and fertilizer grade phosphoric acid has been cut to from 12 to 5 percent, Goyal said.
The council cut taxes on sanitary pads and fortified baby milk to zero, Goyal said.
In a boost to mobile phone manufacturing and electric vehicles, the tax rate on lithium ion batteries was cut from 28 percent to 18 percent.
“The decision taken today will increase compliance and the revenue impact on total tax collections will be marginal,” said Goyal.
The revised tax rates will be applicable from July 27.
Revenue collections from GST are a crucial pillar of government’s plan to cut its fiscal deficit in the current year. India’s GST collection for the fiscal 2017/18 was 98 percent of the budgeted target.
“The broad level reductions in rates could lead to lower tax collections,” said M S Mani, partner at consulting firm Deloitte India.
However, the tax cut will lead to higher sales which could offset revenue losses, Mani added.
($1 = 68.7300 Indian rupees)