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Huawei leads Asian domination of UN patent applications in 2018

GENEVA, March 19 — Chinese telecoms giant Huawei led the pack with Asia accounting for more than half of the international patent applications at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) last year, Wipo said today. Huawei, which has…


VW beats forecasts in 2018 still marked by diesel fallout

WOLFSBURG, Germany: Mammoth German carmaker Volkswagen reported Thursday growing profits and revenues in 2018, beating analysts’ forecasts despite enormous charges linked to its “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal and headwinds from tough new pollution tests.

The Wolfsburg-based group said it boosted its bottom line 6.0% year-on-year to 12.15 billion euros (US$13.7 billion;RM55.97 billion), higher than expectations from analysts surveyed by Factset.

Selling 10.8 million vehicles around the world from its 12 brands brought in 235.8 billion euros (RM1 trillion), with revenues posting slower growth than profits at 2.7%.

And operating, or underlying profit added just 1.0%, to 13.9 billion.

“We performed very well in spite of strong headwinds,“ chief executive Herbert Diess said in a statement.

One major burden was the WLTP emissions tests, introduced since VW’s 2015 admission that it manipulated millions of cars worldwide to appear less polluting.

The new process’ introduction in September cost VW almost one billion euros by slowing production, a spokesman told AFP, with the effect visible in a fourth-quarter operating result 4.2% lower year-on-year, at 3 billion euros.

Meanwhile the group notched up 3.2 billion euros in special items to cover costs relating to “dieselgate”, the same as the previous year.

A sizeable chunk of the costs came in Germany as VW paid a group-wide fine of 1.0 billion euros, while high-end subsidiary Audi had to forfeit 800 million euros.

Since 2015, legal costs, fines, buybacks, and refits to affected cars have cost VW 29 billion euros, the group said.

Looking ahead, VW said it had expanded its plans for a vast array of electric models over the coming decade to 70 rather than 50, aiming to sell 22 million battery-powered cars by 2028.

It hopes the offensive will help it meet strict new carbon dioxide emissions requirements in the European Union.

“The share of electric vehicles in the group fleet is to rise to at least 40 percent by 2030” with Korea’s LG, Samsung and SK Innovation and China’s CATL providing the vital battery cells to power the drive.

“Volkswagen is also taking a close look at possible participation in battery cell manufacturing facilities in Europe,“ it added.

On a closer time horizon, VW aims for “slightly” higher unit sales this year than in 2018, with revenues “as much as 5%” higher and an operating profit margin of between 6.5 and 7.5% – up from 5.9% last year. — AFP


KNM subsidiary bags US$4.86m Bahrain contract

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — KNM Group Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary FBM-KNM FZCO has won a US$4.86 million (RM19.8 million) contract to supply carbon steel pressure vessels from TTSJV WLL for the BMP Modernisation Programme-Bahrain. In a filing with…


China's Huawei opens its gates in widening PR assault

DONGGUAN, March 6 — Chinese telecom giant Huawei gave foreign media a peek into its state-of-the-art facilities today as the normally secretive company steps up a counter-offensive against US warnings that it could be used by Beijing for espionage…


Samsung to launch US retail stores in smartphone push

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 16 — Samsung announced today it will open three US retail stores to promote its Galaxy line of smartphones as the South Korean giant sets to launch an updated flagship handset. The move ramps up Samsung’s efforts to compete on…


Power bank buying guide

FEB 12 — Whether it's for emergencies or for travel, a power bank has become an essential item. Here's a handy guide to help choose the right power bank for you. With millions of Malaysians owning smartphones, a power bank has now become a…


Samsung reaches settlement over 'exploding' washing machines

SEOUL, Feb 12 — Samsung Electronics has reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit over 2.8 million "exploding" washing machines recalled in the US, the South Korean company said today. The faulty appliances were recalled in 2016 after reports…


The giant Chinese companies shaping the world’s industries

PARIS, Feb 9 — It was fear of being dominated by a Chinese behemoth that sparked an attempt by large French and German rail companies to join forces to create an European industrial champion. The merger by Alstom and Siemens was vetoed by the EU…


Once red-hot smartphone market sees cooler trend

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 3 — The smartphone market is down but not out, with high prices and other factors combining to chill what had previously been a red-hot sector. Fresh surveys show global sales had their worst contraction ever in 2018, and the…


Samsung Electronics 4Q profits slump along with global demand

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, reported a slump in fourth-quarter net profits on Thursday, blaming a drop in demand for its key products. Net profits in the October-December period were 8.46 trillion won (US$7.6 billion), it said, down 31 per cent year-on-year. The firm is the flagship subsidiary of […]