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BUSINESS NEWS

09 Oct 08. Two of Europe’s biggest aerospace and defence companies voiced concern yesterday about the impact of the credit crunch on their small to mid-sized suppliers. Louis Gallois, chief executive of EADS, Airbus’s parent, and Denis Ranque, his counterpart at Thales, said they were monitoring the health of their supply chains. “If I have one concern, that is it,” said Mr Ranque, who was speaking to reporters in Laupheim, Germany, where the French defence electronics company finalised its takeover of the Airbus factory being sold by the aircraft maker as part of its cost-cutting programme. Thales has sent out a survey to suppliers to establish “which ones might be affected”, said Mr Ranque. He said he was confident Thales would ride out the financial crisis and said the company was on target to hit its sales and profit targets for this year.
Earlier, in Paris, Mr Gallois told the Financial Times that even though Airbus had seen no impact from the current turmoil, the state of suppliers was a matter of concern. “You see that we are helping Latécoère,” Mr Gallois said, referring to the group’s move last week to step in to aid the French components supplier in overcoming liquidity difficulties. Another Thales executive suggested that industrial groups could be forced to acquire certain suppliers in order to guarantee complex and crucial development programmes. (Source: FT.com)

02 Oct 08. Further to the announcement of 20 August 2008, Cobham plc has completed the purchase of the trade and net assets of GMS Inc. (‘GMS’) for US$26m in cash on a debt and cash free basis. GMS, which employs 50 people and is based in Carlsbad, California, will become part of the Cobham Avionics and Surveillance (‘CAS’) Division and will operate under Cobham’s existing US Special Security Agreements.

01 Oct 08. Siemens yesterday announced that its wide-ranging overhaul would cost the company €3bn ($4.2bn), with the biggest part being booked in the fiscal quarter that ended yesterday. The main chunk of those costs stem from a programme to cut overhead costs by €1.2bn and the sale of a majority stake in SEN, its ailing telephone unit for business clients. Peter Löscher, chief executive of Europe’s biggest engineering group, reiterated Siemens’ aim to generate an operating result of €8bn to €8.5bn in the next fiscal year starting today. General Electric, Siemens’ main rival, had warned on profits last week after the credit crunch had taken its toll on the US company’s finance arm. Daniel Schäefer, Frankfurt. (Source: FT.com)

09 Oct 08. IBM on Wednesday moved to shore up its sliding share price by announcing better-than-expected third-quarter profits and reaffirming its forecast for the full year. The surprise move, which came a week before the company’s scheduled earnings release, sent shares in the world’s second-biggest IT company up 3.8 per cent in after-hours trading. IBM had closed at a two-year low of $90.55, down 5 per cent on the day. Shares in the company had fallen 5 per cent on Tuesday after a Barclays Capital analyst lowered his estimates due to the weakening economy and IBM’s “large exposure to financial services”. IBM on Wednesday said that it had made a net profit of $2.8bn, or $2.05 per share, in the third quarter, up 20 per cent from a year earlier and better than many Wall Street analysts had expected. Sales were $25.3bn, an improvement of 5 per cent over last time, although part of that improvement was due to currency movements. IBM said it expected full-year earnings of $8.75 per share, in line with previous estimates. “We remain confident in our full-year outlook,” Samuel Palmisano, chief executive, said. (Source: FT.com)

02 Oct 08. The Boeing Company is combining Alteon, a wholly owned subsidiary, and existing training groups within Boeing Commercial Airplanes to form a new, unified training organization. The new training organization retains the Alteon name as a business unit within Boeing Commercial

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