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BUSINESS NEWS20/10/05

18 Oct 05. EADS and Thales have agreed to simplify the shareholder and management structure at TDA through the sale of EADS’ 50 % share in the French armament systems manufacturer, to Thales, thus making Thales 100 % shareholder of the company. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of 2005. TDA specialises in four main areas: land based weapon systems, air launched weapon systems, munitronics (munition electronics) and missile components. As an integral part of Thales’ Land & Joint Systems division, TDA enjoys a strong position in such key growth areas as Local Area Control Systems, smart munitions designed to increase the precision of weapons systems as well as systems to ensure the safety and protection of deployed troops. TDA, based in La Ferté Saint Aubin, France, and in Herstal, Belgium employs 471 people and generated an annual turnover of approximately 90 million Euros in 2004, half from export sales. “The 100 % control of TDA is an essential step in Thales’ development in
Land Systems. It enables Thales to gain strategic independence in order to establish key alliances with European players in this field.” said Bruno Rambaud, Thales Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Land & Joint
Systems Division. The acquisition is in line with Thales’ strategic ambitions in Land activities. With revenues totalling 2.3 billion Euros in Land forces, Thales is the first European supplier of systems and equipment for ground forces and plays a key role in the revolution of combat systems, covering the whole “sensor to shooter” chain.

18 Oct 05. Intel, the world’s biggest semiconductor maker, said on Tuesday that third-quarter revenues were a record $9.96bn, 18 per cent higher than a year earlier. However, it said an inventory build-up by its customers would hit fourth-quarter sales, causing a 3.5 per cent dip in its share price in after-hours trading in New York. The third-quarter revenue figure was 8 per cent up on the second quarter and beat the analyst consensus of $9.92bn gathered by Thomson First Call. Andy Bryant, chief financial officer, said the numbers benefited from an inventory build-up that saw about $100m in sales recorded in the third quarter rather than the fourth quarter. After a period of tightness in supply, he said it was only natural that Intel’s customers would want to be able to respond to any upside in the fourth quarter by expanding their inventories. fourth-quarter revenues were expected to be between $10.2bn and $10.8bn, below analysts’ expectations that were at the top end of that range. Intel shares were
down on the news at $22.89. Third-quarter earnings per share rose from 30 cents a year ago to 32 cents, below analysts’ forecasts of 33 cents. Intel said a $140m charge to third-quarter cost of sales had reduced earnings per share by around 2 cents. This was part of a $300m settlement with MicroUnity to resolve a patent infringement case. (Source: FT)
14 Oct 05. General Electric weathered $377m of reinsurance losses from Gulf coast hurricanes to deliver robust third-quarter earnings thanks, in part, to continued strong profits in financial services. The US conglomerate increased net earnings 15 per cent to $4.7bn – in line with recent guidance – and saw revenue climb 9 per cent to $41.9bn. It also met its target for eight per cent organic revenue growth – seen as a key underlying indicator because of heavy acquisition activity – for the third quarter in a row. All six of its recently-redefined business units recorded double-digit profits growth, with commercial finance showing the largest gain of $316m and NBC Universal showing the weakest performance. “Despite a volatile environment, our fundamentals remain very strong,” said Jeff Immelt, chairman and chief executive. “Our businesses are generating solid top and bottom line growth. ”Sales growth of eight per cent in GE’s diverse industrial businesses were less impressive when the positive effects of the 2004 Summer Olympics broadc

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