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Old risk, new reward for European firms

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 01:44

Several of Europe's largest companies - Siemens, ABInBev and AirFrance/KLM - report results as PMIs show euro zone businesses trudged into the second quarter. David Pollard reports

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What better for the world's biggest brewer than the world's biggest party? AB InBev sells two thirds of all beer in, Brazil, its No 2 market. But carnival this year disappointed. Its early dates dragging on Q1 sales volumes - they're down 10 per cent in Brazil - as did a currency and economy hit by the slump in commodities. For others, that's an advantage - low fuel prices helping Air France KLM post a surprise recovery. If for airlines there are other factors. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "That has to be set against ... rising geopolitical risks, both from terrorism but also from anxiety over the state of the global economy." For Siemens, the challenge is as much still at home. Germany still 'slow' according to CEO Joe Kaeser. PMI readings show private sector growth there at its weakest in nearly a year - and for the euro zone as whole, growth no more than steady. But Siemens still beat forecasts - with a 28 per cent jump in industrial profits - in part thanks to a reemerging Middle Eastern market. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "Iran ... back on the international markets following the cessation of sanctions, and with some significant oil revenues burning a hole in their pocket, are looking to German manufacturing companies." That crucial for Siemens against what it calls 'sluggish' demand in China. Continuing worries there adding to an uncertain cocktail of recent corporate earnings. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "There hasn't suddenly been an epiphany that the world's growth worries have gone away." But on the horizon for AB Inbev and Brazil at least: one Olympic torch - and hopes that the coming sports bonanza in Rio will rekindle an appetite to spend.

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Old risk, new reward for European firms

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 01:44