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BW Businessworld

Trouble Possible

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Sports goods major Adidas is running into a few problems in India. Its former India head, Subhinder Singh Prem, has slapped a legal suit on the German giant for "defamation and unfair termination" of his services. On 1 May, Adidas, which owns the Reebok brand, had disclosed certain "commercial irregularities" in its India operations. The statement comes about a month after Prem, chief operating officer Vishnu Bhagat and six others exited Adidas India. Adidas says it expects a pre-tax impact of up to `125 million (Rs 871 crore) for the period when Prem headed its Indian arm, and this could make a significant dent on its global numbers. Adidas also says it will slash the number of its 900-plus Reebok stores in India by one-third as part of the restructuring.

Growth Pangs

The widely tracked HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) survey shows India's manufacturing growth needs to pick up pace. Though the PMI for manufacturing moved slightly upwards from 54.7 in March to 54.9 in April, the sub-index for output has declined, indicating production has not been up to the mark.













FAST MOVER: HUL posts growth in quarterly profits (BW Archive)



Mixed Results

Consumer goods behemoth Hindustan Unilever has posted a surprising 24 per cent growth in net profit of Rs 687 crore for the March quarter, against Rs 552 crore last year. And the growth is powered mainly by a 10 per cent jump in volumes. Meanwhile, telecom major Bharti Airtel has posted a more-than-expected 28 per cent fall in its quarterly profits, owing to high interest and tax costs.


Going Solo

Italian carmaker Fiat is ending its six-year distribution tie-up with Tata Motors. The alliance did not seem to have helped Fiat much as its falling sales suggest. Fiat, which sells hatchback Grande Punto and sedan Linea, has 0.6 per cent share of India's car market. Last fiscal year, its sales had dipped 24 per cent from a year ago.


Bullish All The Way

A Nielsen survey shows India is the most optimistic market in terms of consumer confidence. This is the ninth quarter in a row that India has claimed the title. But the survey says consumers here are still cautious when it comes to spending spare cash.


In Mutual Interest

Market regulator Sebi is set to review mutual fund rules to revive the industry. Sebi has, reportedly, created a panel to review rules for mutual funds that have been continuously losing assets and investor accounts since a ban on entry load in August 2009.


Food For Thought

US-based Abbott Laboratories has joined hands with Indian biotech major Biocon to develop nutrition products. Abbott is tying up with Biocon's contract research arm Syngene. This is Abbott's second attempt at expanding its nutrition-product portfolio here.












FOR SALE: Nokia plans to sell its luxury phone brand Vertu (Bloomberg)

Direct Consequences

Thanks to rising consumer spending, the size of the direct selling business in India is likely to reach Rs 10,843 crore by 2014-15, from an estimated Rs 5,229 in 2010-11, according to a report by Indian Direct Selling Association and industry body PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Last fiscal year, the industry grew at a healthy clip of 27 per cent.


A Heavy Price

Finnish cellphone major Nokia is said to be in talks to sell its UK luxury arm Vertu, which makes some of the world's most expensive cellphones. Vertu phones sport crystal displays and sapphire keys, costing more than $320,000 apiece. Hope this move will help Nokia stem its falling sales.


Still Down

General Motors says its first quarter profits fell to $1 billion from $3.2 billion a year ago, courtesy its struggles outside of the US market, mainly in Europe.


No Nexus With India

Samsung has finally confirmed it will not launch the much-hyped Galaxy Nexus smartphone, produced in partnership with Google, in the Indian market. The announcement came on Twitter. The phone was unveiled in October 2011.


(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 14-05-2012)