China's economy grows 2.3% in 2020
Hong Kong (CNN Business)China just reported its strongest quarterly growth in nearly three decades.
The world’s second largest economy grew 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier, according to government statistics released Friday. That’s the best quarterly growth since 1992, when China started publishing such figures.
The surge is mainly because of a low base effect, as China had shut down large swaths of its economy in early 2020 to contain the coronavirus outbreak. On a quarterly basis, the Chinese economy grew only 0.6% in the January-to-March period, according to the government. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the economy had expanded 6.5%.
Still, the growth figures indicate that China’s economic recovery continues to gather steam.
The world’s second largest economy has performed well relative to the rest of the globe. China was the only major economy to record growth in 2020, expanding 2.3% as many countries struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese authorities called last year’s performance “better than we had expected.”
Earlier this week, customs statistics showed the country’s imports jumped more than 38% last month in US dollar terms compared to a year earlier, a sign that demand within China is picking up. Exports grew by nearly 31%.
Daimler Preliminary Q1 Results Significantly Above Market View
German automaker Daimler AG (DDAIF.PK) reported that its preliminary results for the first-quarter of 2021 significantly above market expectations, driven by higher vehicle prices and strong demand for its Mercedes-Benz cars, particularly in China.
Group earnings before interest and tax was 5.75 billion euros for the first quarter compared to analysts’ consensus estimate of 4.96 billion euros.
Quarterly adjusted earnings before interest and tax was 4.97 billion euros compared to analysts’ consensus estimate of 3.99 billion euros.
“Favourable sales momentum at Mercedes-Benz Cars driven by all major regions, especially China, strongly supported the product mix and pricing in the first quarter 2021,” Daimler said in a statement.
Earnings before interest and tax at the Mercedes cars & vans unit was 4.08 billion euros, compared to consensus estimates of 3.54 billion euros.
Daimler will release full quarterly results on April 23.
L’Oreal Q1 Sales Up 5.4%
Cosmetics and beauty products giant L’Oreal Co. (LRLCY.PK) reported that its sales for the first-quarter rose 5.4% to 7.61 billion euros from last year.
Like-for-like, based on a comparable scope of consolidation and constant exchange rates, L’Oréal group sales growth for the quarter were 10.2%. Sales growth at constant exchange rates was 11.5%. E-commerce sales growth was 47.2%.
Sales at Western Europe zone was down 2.4% like-for-like basis and down 0.1% on reported basis. Sales were again impacted by the closure of perfumeries, department stores and hair salons in several countries and the restrictions aiming to limit social interaction.
Sales at Eastern Europe zone was up 10.7% on Like-for-like basis and down 2.2% on reported basis, in spite of the pandemic, which continues to mostly affect Central European countries.
Sales at North America zone was up 6.3% on like-for-like basis and down 1.8% reported basis. The quarter started under pandemic restrictions, followed by record snowstorms disrupting the supply chain. In March, business was boosted by economic stimulus checks and the start of the vaccination program, giving consumers the confidence to return to brick-and-mortar stores.
Sales at Asia Pacific zone was up 23.8% on like-for-like basis and 19.1% on reported basis.
L’Oréal China achieved very strong growth at 37.9% like-for-like sales, with all Divisions gaining market share.
Sales at Africa, Middle East zone was up 12.7% on like-for-like basis and down 1.5% on reported basis.
The company said it is confident in its ability to outperform the market and achieve a year of growth in both sales and profits.
Fyre Festival Attendees Win $2M Class-Action Settlement For Event Flop
The US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York has approved a $2 million class-action settlement for ticket-holders to the ill-fated Fyre Festival.
The disastrous April 2017 event, which promised blissful luxury and delivered tents and cheese sandwiches, was the subject of two films and widely ridiculed. The event was co-created by promoter Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. Promoted by such influencers as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, the festival, set on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma, failed on almost every level.
In March 2018, McFarland pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and a second count to defraud a ticket vendor. He was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit US$26 million. He is still imprisoned.
Two documentaries detailing the monumental disaster, Fyre Fraud on Hulu and Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, captured the post-event outrage.
The class-action settlement was reached between the festival’s organizers and 277 ticket holders. Each ticket holder will receive roughly $7,200, according to reports, but it is unclear who is paying the settlements. The final total has yet to be approved by the court.
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HeidelbergCement Q1 Preliminary Results Significantly Above Market View
HeidelbergCement (HDELY.PK) said that its preliminary results for the first quarter of 2021 significantly above market expectations.
The preliminary result from current operations before depreciation and amortisation (RCOBD) was 538 million euros in the quarter, compared to 405 million euros in the previous year. The capital market expects 436 million euros for RCOBD.
The result from current operations (RCO) was 223 million euros, compared to 59 million euros in the prior year. The capital market expects 92 million euros for RCO.
Quarterly revenue was 3.958 billion euros compared to 3.930 billion euros in the prior year. The capital market expects the company will report revenue of 3.873 billion euros.