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29 Mar 06. Finmeccanica SpA said 2005 net profit fell 32% from 2004, a year in which it pocketed a big gain from the sale of its shares in chip maker STMicroelectronics NV, but its operating profit jumped. The Italian state-controlled company confirmed preliminary figures showing its earnings before interest and tax rose 58% thanks to strength in its core defense and aerospace business. In recent years, under the helm of Chief Executive Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, the company has focused on making acquisitions in its core business and selling noncore assets. (Source: WSJ)
27 Mar 06. Saab has signed an agreement with Bodycote International plc regarding the transfer of shares in Saab Metech AB and its subsidiaries in Denmark, Finland and Germany. The sale is subject to approval from the Swedish Competition Authority and will entail a capital gain of approximately MSEK 170. “We see Bodycote as a highly suitable buyer for Saab Metech since it has an industrial focus with a firm international foundation. This gives Saab Metech the potential to go on developing positively, while the deal also enables Saab to continue streamlining its operation,” says Kenth-Åke Jönsson, Saab’s Executive Vice President. “For Saab Metech the sale to Bodycote entails significant opportunities for expanding the operation to reach new industrial clients both in Sweden and internationally,” says Hans Åberg, President of Saab Metech AB.

23 Mar 06. The European airplane producer Airbus and the consortium of Polish research and development entities Technology Partners will sign an agreement on cooperation in conducting research of air technologies this spring. According to Doctor Tomasz Kosmider from Technology Partners, at least 200 Polish scientists will participate in projects with Airbus. The airplane manufacturer’s representatives announced that the agreement includes realising research projects in the field of area technology, material technology, ergonomics, environmental protection technologies and others. Airbus’s cooperation with Poland dates back as far as 1997. Then the giant signed an agreement with PZL Swidnik, which provided mechanisms for luggage and passenger doors in airplanes and fire safety equipment. The Technology Partners foundation, supervised by the education ministry, promotes the development of Polish science and technology. (Source: FT.com)

29 Mar 06. Goodrich Corp. says it will gain $117 million in first-quarter income from a pair of tax-related settlements with the Internal Revenue Service.The gain, which will boost first-quarter net income by 92 cents per diluted share, derives from IRS settlements with the company’s Rohr Inc. division and former Coltec Industries Inc. unit.

23 Mar 06. Rheinmetall, the German defence and automotive technologies group, is aiming for a leading role in the consolidation expected on the European defence technologies market. It is interested, in particular, in the German land-based systems industry, but adds that other merger options exist in Europe besides German rivals Diehl and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). It does not see any threat of becoming a takeover candidate itself. Rheinmetall and KMW are reported to view a possible merger of their defence technology operations positively. Through a joint venture, the two companies co-operate in the construction of Puma tanks for the German army, and are already carrying out an order worth around 3bn euros. Rheinmetall aims to increase group turnover from a current 3.5bn euros to 5bn euros by 2010. For the medium term, it is targeting a return on sales of 9 per cent, compared with 7.1 per cent for 2005, and a return on equity of 20 per cent, compared with 16.6 per cent last year. Original article by Matthias Ruch (Source: Abstracted from Financial Times Deutschland/FT.com)

23 Mar 06. Dell Inc. said it agreed to buy closely held Alienware Corp., a maker of high-end personal computers favored by gamers. Terms were not disclosed. But the deal

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