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BUSINESS NEWS

14 Dec 07. GKN felt the force of investors’ concerns over UK companies’ exposure to a slowing US economy as its shares were marked down by nearly 10 per cent following a mildly cautious trading update. The group said on Thursday that vehicle production in North America was forecast to be “fractionally lower than expected” but added that shortfalls had been offset by slightly higher production in western Europe, China and India. However, the shares dropped 27¼p to an 11-month low of 285½p on concerns over the group’s exposure to the US economy. GKN’s main business is automotive components, where it has been shielded from the worst impacts of global overcapacity by its proprietary technology in such areas as constant velocity joints. It has, meanwhile, increased its exposure to emerging markets. But it said the softening dollar had been partially offset by the strengthening euro and other currencies. Overall, GKN predicted the impact for the second half would be less than a £5m ($10, €7) hit in the six months up to June 30. (Source: FT.com)

11 Dec 07. Saab is examining if there is any interest among other companies in acquiring Saab Space AB. If any of the feelers that have been put out leads to a deal this will take place during the first quarter of 2008. Saab is constantly evaluating acquisition and disposal of companies and business units. At present the possibility of selling Saab Space AB is being considered; at the right price, to the right buyer. The reason is that Saab Space is not part of Saab’s core business. With the industry undergoing consolidation at present, the timing may be right for a sale. Contact has been made with a number of possible buyers. Any sale will take place in the first quarter of 2008. “There is no need to speculate about our future, putting feelers out like this happens all the time and it is by no means sure that it will lead to a deal. We need to run our business as successfully as usual,” comments Bengt Mörtberg, CEO of Saab Space.

12 Dec 07. DAHER, part of the European integrated equipment and services suppliers DAHER CIE, has acquired LCN Ltd , precision engineers and fabricators. Under the terms of the acquisition DAHER has purchased 100% of the company from its present owners. The acquisition will secure the jobs of the 30 people who work at the company. “This acquisition enhances one of our core skills in the UK, the design and manufacture of special-to-type plastic and wood containers for the aerospace and defence sectors. LCN’s experience in metallic containers and fittings will enable us together to provide a comprehensive range of logistic equipment,” said Chris Melrose, Chairman of DAHER in the UK. “We have worked with LCN for a number of years as they have provided us with manufacturing engineering support plus the fabrication and machining of numerous complex items such as WIP trolleys, stillages and transportation fixtures” he added. Colin Sparkes, Managing Director of LCN, commented “We are delighted to be becoming part of the DAHER group. Not only are our two manufacturing skill sets complimentary but also the pool of knowledge we offer and the customer base we share will give us a strong presence.” LCN has a well developed customer base across the defence and aerospace sectors including the UK MoD and many of the major primes including Thales, MBDA, BAE Systems and UK AEA. With its base in Poole, Dorset, DAHER LCN Ltd, as the company will be called, will augment DAHER’s presence in the South West of the UK and work in partnership with the company’s recently opened facility at Pucklechurch, North West of Bristol.

13 Dec 07. Advanced Micro Devices, the second largest maker of PC microprocessors, on Thursday admitted to an “ugly” 2007, which saw all of its businesses lose money and the botched launch of a key microprocessor that halved its PC server market share. But Hector Ruiz, chief executive, sought to reassure worried investors on Thursday, p

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