Tight cost control and strong growth in Germany, Austria and Italy helped European pay-TV group Sky (L:SKYB) to absorb a sharp rise in the cost of soccer rights, supporting earnings as it waits to be bought by Rupert Murdoch.
Sky, which also broadcasts in its core markets of Britain and Ireland, reported full-year adjusted operating profit in line with forecasts, down 6 percent due to the higher cost of English Premier League rights and investment in the business.
The solid financial performance made up for some weak operational numbers, with Sky adding just 35,000 new customers in Britain and Ireland in its fourth quarter, down from the 93,000 customers it added in the same period a year ago.
Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn on Wednesday announced plans to build a $10 billion LCD display panel screen plant in Wisconsin, a deal President Donald Trump asserted would not have happened without his efforts.
The company said it plans to invest $10 billion over four years to build a 20-million square foot plant that could eventually employ up to 13,000.
Trump praised Foxconn chairman Terry Gou at a White House event, asserting: “If I didn’t get elected, he definitely wouldn’t be spending $10 billion … This is a great day for America.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said at the White House his state will award $3 billion in incentives and sign a memorandum of understanding on the investment on Thursday.
He told reporters at the White House the state legislature will need to approve the $3 billion incentives package. About half is for capital costs and nearly half for workforce development. There are also some sales tax exemption incentives.
Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (TW:2317), said in a statement that the investment “signifies the start of a series of investments by Foxconn in American manufacturing in the coming years.”
By David Shepardson
European stocks opened mixed on Thursday, as investors were still digesting the Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision amid a fresh batch of corporate earnings.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.42%, France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.45%, while Germany’s DAX 30 slipped 0.22%.
At the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, the Fed left interest rates unchanged at 1.25% in a widely expected move.
The central bank also said it planned to start shrinking its balance sheet “relatively soon” and noted weakness in U.S. inflation, sparking doubts over the possibility of a third rate hike this year.
Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) raised its 2017 sales forecast on Thursday after cost cutting and higher margin new models at its namesake brand helped it to beat quarterly profit expectations.
Europe’s largest automaker said it now expected revenue to beat last year’s record 217 billion euros ($254 billion) by more than 4 percent, compared with up to 4 percent previously.
Earnings before interest and tax jumped to 4.55 billion euros ($5.34 billion) in the second quarter from 1.90 billion a year earlier, beating the average forecast of 4.49 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.
By Andreas Cremer