19 Oktober 2021 | Geschäft

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

Exxon negotiating with Texas workers

Exxon Mobil Corp on Sunday told workers at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery their six-month lockout will end if they ratify the company's contract offer or remove the United Steelworkers union (USW) as their representative.

"As we have told the Union, the conditions which would end the lockout remain the same: the company will end the lockout when we have a signed, ratified agreement," Exxon said in a message posted on-line.

"This has not changed, and anything said to the contrary is untrue. Additionally, if employees were to decertify, the company would return employees to work."

Decertification is the process to remove a union from representing employees at a given location. The US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is reviewing a petition signed by at least 30% of the locked-out workers that could lead to a vote to decertify USW Local 13-243 in Beaumont as their representative. No date for a vote has been set.

Workers at the 369 024 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont refinery and adjoining lubricant oil plant, which makes Mobil 1 motor oil, are scheduled to vote on Tuesday on the company's contract offer. -Nampa/Reuters

Netflix's 'Squid Game' worth US$900 mln

"Squid Game," Netflix Inc's biggest original series launch, is estimated to be worth almost US$900 million for the streaming giant, Bloomberg News reported late on Saturday, citing figures from an internal Netflix document.

The nine-episode thriller, in which cash-strapped contestants play childhood games with deadly consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won (US$38.58 million), became an international hit after it launched last month.

In comparison to its estimated net worth, the show cost just US$21.4 million to produce, Bloomberg said.

According to the report, about 132 million had watched at least two minutes of the show in its first 23 days, easily breaking the record set by UK costume drama "Bridgerton," which was streamed by 82 million accounts in its first 28 days.

Netflix had earlier announced the show had amassed 111 million fans, but Bloomberg said those figures were based on slightly older data. -Nampa/Reuters

Philips lowers outlook

Dutch health technology company Philips lowered its outlook on Monday for sales and profit growth in 2021, as a massive recall of respiratory devices and a global shortage of electronic components hit its third-quarter earnings.

Comparable sales in the July-September period fell 7.6% from last year as Philips started the recall of up to four million of its respiratory devices and ventilators, as parts might degrade and become toxic.

Revenue was also lower due to global supply chain problems, as a shortage of electronic components and parts meant it took Philips longer than expected to turn orders into sales.

"Supply chain volatility has intensified globally," Chief Executive Frans van Houten said. "We expect this headwind to continue in the fourth quarter."

As a consequence, the Amsterdam-based company now expects "low single-digit" growth in comparable sales for this year, which is the lower end of its previous guidance, with only a "modest" improvement of its profit margin.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) fell25% in the third quarter to 512 million euros (US$592.7 million), while analysts in a company-compiled poll on average had predicted a drop to 490 million euros. -Nampa/Reuters

Stellantis, LGES to form battery production

Automaker Stellantis NV and battery maker LG Energy Solution entered an agreement to form a joint venture to produce battery cells and modules for North America, the companies said on Monday.

The batteries produced at the new facility will be supplied to Stellantis' electric vehicle plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico, to support Stellantis' goal of having more than 40% of its US sales consist of e-vehicles by 2030.

The plant is targeted to start by the first quarter of 2024 and aims to have an annual production capacity of 40 gigawatt hours.

The location of the plant is under review and will be announced at a later date, and the ground-breaking for the facility is expected in the second quarter of 2022, the companies said in their statement. -Nampa/Reuters

Roche shareholders to maintain stability

The head of Roche's controlling group of shareholders is "very confident" stability can be maintained at the pharmaceuticals company after the next generation of heirs joined the family pool of investors, he told NZZ am Sonntag.

"The new generation has the same values as the older family members," Andre Hoffmann, the great grandson of the company's founder, told the newspaper in an article published on Sunday.

"Our role as the owner family is to enable Roche to focus on creating sustainable values ??over the long term. We are convinced of that," said the 63-year-old, who is spokesman for the pool of family members that controls 45.01% of the Basel company.

A pooling agreement between the descendants of company founder Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche has existed since 1948, and was extended for an indefinite period in 2009. A fifth generation was admitted to the pool in 2019.

Hoffmann, who is also a vice chairman of Roche, said family ownership of large companies did not always work. -Nampa/Reuters

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