Aug 02 - 08, 2004

 

LG POSTS RECORD SECOND QUARTER SALES

Global and regional digital leader LG Electronics has announced record sales of US $ 5.178 billion, a 25.2 percent increase over 2003, and net profits of US $ 4.244 billion for the second quarter of 2004.
The company generated operating profits of US $ 3.392 billion and US $4.244 billion in net profits, compared to the corresponding period last year. This stellar performance is attributed to strong sales in the company's strategic businesses such as digital TVs, PDPs, and mobile handsets as well as premium home appliances.
Sales from LG's Telecommunications Equipment & Handsets division grew 73.1 percent over 2003 to US $ 1.830 billion and raked in operating profits of US $1.202 billion. Mobile handset sales grew 86.7 percent, year on year, to 1.651 billion, with unit growth rising 89 percent over 2003 to 9.94 million 

 

 

sets. In Korea, CDMA unit sales increased 34 percent year on year, while in overseas markets, CDMA unit sales increased 49 percent. GSM unit sales jumped 262 percent, over 2003, due to sales expansion in North America and the successful launch of WCDMA handsets. In addition, Wireless in Local Loop (WLL) mobile and fixed telephone connections and system terminals led the strong growth in exports among system equipment business.

Sales from the Digital Display & Media division increased 9.9 percent to US $ 1.838 billion, compared to 2003 and its operating profits reached US $ 8.590 Billion. Sales of digital TVs were up by 42 percent this year and those of PDP modules increased by more than 200 percent as compared to 2003.

CITIGROUP ANNOUNCES RS.1.74 BILLION 7-YEAR TERM LOAN TO MOBILINK

Citibank N.A Pakistan (a member of Citigroup) announced a Rs. 1.74 billion 7-year term loan facility to Mobilink. This facility is structured under a Risk-Sharing Agreement between Citigroup and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government development agency. Under the Citigroup-OPIC Risk Sharing Agreement up to US$ 100 million shall be provided for private sector investment in Pakistan.

Keeping pace with the phenomenal growth in the cellular industry in recent years, Mobilink has also rapidly increased its capacity to cater to this latest demand in the country. The loan facility will be used to partially meet Mobilink's expansion plans, thereby allowing Mobilink to maintain its dominant position in the industry.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK'S PLS DEPOSITS

The following profit rates have been offered by American Express Bank on different categories of PLS Deposits maintained during January to June 2004.

 

 

TYPE OF DEPOSIT

SAVINGS—PLS

RATE %

Upto 49,999

0.10

50,000 to 99,999

0.20

100,000 to 199,999

0.25

200,000 to 299,999

0.35

300,000 to 499,999

0.50

500,000 & above

0.75

The Rate of returns also offered by the bank for other PLS Deposits maintained during January to June 2004.

1 Month

(upto) 2.50

3 Months

(upto) 2.25

6 Months

(upto) 2.90

1 Year

(upto) 2.70

Saving-Rupee Plus

(upto) 1.25

ROMANIA-PAKISTAN FRIENDSHIP

H.E. Dr. Emil Ghitulescu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania has said that friendship between Romania and Pakistan is time-tested, and sustained cooperation in Economic, Cultural & Education fields between the two countries reflects their strong urge for mutual growth and development. He said this while delivering a lecture on "Pakistan-Romanian Friendship through decades" at Preston University, Islamabad Campus. He explained that before the Romanian Revolution (December 1989) there was a Socialist form of government and the economy concentrated in the hands of the State. After Revolution in 1989, the country adopted democracy, Romania is a member of NATO, and it is seeking membership of the European Union (January 2007), he said.

 

 

PAKTEL ANNOUNCES VALUE-ADDED PREPAID PACKAGES

Pakistan's cellular market has witnessed rapid growth in the past few years. Paktel, Pakistan's pioneer cellular company has grown to be a trusted name in the market and has always stayed one step ahead of the competition with value-added schemes such as their latest offer of including 50% free air time on its prepaid packages.

Now for the first time in the cellular history of Pakistan, Paktel has launched attractive discount packages on its prepaid brand 'Tango". Amees Ahmad, Brand Manager Tango, gave the particulars of the offer, "Now our valued customers using 'Tango' can enjoy 50% free airtime on cards worth Rs. 600 and Rs. 900 and that is not all, these cards now carry a validity of one year. This special deal is our way of assuring our 'Tango' customers that they shall continue to receive the best network coverage at the most economical tariffs in the market. With 'Tango' every customer is unique and deserves the best." He continued, "This exciting deal lets a customer load as many cards as required therefore increasing the benefits."

TRADERS AND INDUSTRIALISTS IN FUNCTION OF ICCI

Addressing a gathering of traders and industrialists in Melody Market at Islamabad, Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) reiterated his resolve that the integrity of the Chamber would be maintained at all costs with the full and unhindered participation of the business community. He pointed out that the present management of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has unearthed several cases of corruption, mismanagement and misadministration and necessary steps to investigate and improve the state of affairs are being taken.

The forthcoming elections for the management of ICCI would be strictly above board and meet all the legal requirements, Mr. Malik emphasized.

The Chairman of the Traders Association of Melody Market, Mr. Salahuddin eulogized the services of Mr. Malik and his colleagues in ICCI and reassured that the traders' community of Melody Market would give them full support to improve the performance of ICCI.

HUMAYUN TO LEAD DELEGATION IN PAK-KENYA JMC

The Minister for Commerce, Mr. Humayun Akhtar Khan, will be visiting Kenya to attend the 3rd Session of Kenya-Pak Joint Ministerial Commission. Mr. Tariq Ikram, Minister of State and Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau, together with a trade delegation from FPCCI and Government officials from different Ministries will be accompanying the Federal Minister.

Pakistan-Kenya enjoy friendly and cooperative relations. The visit of a large Pakistan business delegation to Kenya will not only help in giving a boost to our bilateral trade relations but would also lead to greater understanding between the two governments and their entrepreneurs.

ENGRO ANNOUNCE FIRST HALF 2004 RESULTS

The Board of Directors of Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited met on July 28, 2004 to review the first half 2004 business results of the company. The salient features of the results are as follows.

PAKISTAN FERTILIZER MARKET

The market demand for Urea during the first half 2004 was 1.96 million tons, an increase of 8% over the same period last year. The indigenous production at 2.06 million tons was down 4% over the first half of 2003. The product was in ample supply throughout the period and the domestic price of urea on average was 40% or Rs. 288 per 50/kg bag below the international price.

Sales of phosphates, the other high volume fertilizer declined by 15% to 0.17 million tons due to soaring international prices that impacted farmer affordability. The Government in the budget announcement provided welcome relief to farmers by reducing the GST and withholding tax, the full impact of which will flow through in the balance of the year.

COMPANY OPERATING PERFORMANCE

The Company's sale of urea during the first half of 2004 was 372.000 tons, representing an increase of 5% over last year. The volume increase trailed industry growth rate due to product limitation and restricted Engro market share to 19% versus 20% in 2003. Engro urea production during the period was 380,000 tons compared to 482,000 tons achieved in the same period last year, which was on all time record without any plant shutdown. The lower production in 2004 is attributable to plant outage on account of planned annual maintenance turnaround and subsequent operating issues that have been effectively resolved.

The Company's sale of imported phosphoric fertilizers, DAP and Zorawar declined by 10% to 30,000 tans, while sale of Engro manufactured NPK, re-launched as 'Engro Zarkhez' as part of new product branding strategy increased by 22% to 44,000 tons for the half year of 2004, over 36,000 tons sold last year.

The net profit for the first half of 2004 is Rs 483 million which compares with Rs 534 million recorded for the same period last year. The decline in earnings is mainly attributable to lost urea production.

Engro Vopak Terminal Limited, our joint venture in the bulk chemical terminal business posted an after tax profit of Rs 165 million compared to Rs 138 million for the same period last year. The company paid an interim dividend of 15% during the second quarter, which is the same as last year. Engro's share of the dividend amounted to Rs 67.5 million. Engro Asahi Polymer & Chemical Company Ltd., our joint venture in the PVC business posted an after tax profit of Rs. 160 million compared to Rs 8 million for the same period last year on account of improved margins. Innovative Engineering & Automation Limited, our 51% owned subsidiary paid Rs 10 million as Engro's share of dividend.

Based on the half-year results our Board of Directors is pleased to declare an interim dividend of Rs 2.50 per share, which is the same as for the corresponding period last year.

NEAR TERM OUTLOOK

The Company expects urea demand to record modest growth during the second half of 2004 that is also likely to see urea imports of about quarter of a million tons to meet the requirement for the Rabi season. Over the last several years, Pakistan's self-sufficiency in domestically produced urea has benefited the farmers by way of lower prices, but this scenario is likely to change on account of planned imports and the continued surge of urea price in the international market. At current prices the impaired urea will cost Rs 900 or twice as much as the locally produced product. This will have major ramifications on farm economics and the prices of agricultural produce. It is critical that the government takes notice of this emerging trend to attract major investments in fertilizer plants and ensure supply of urea to farmers at prices below international level to boost agricultural production.

The company will continue to maintain its current focus at improving the operation of its urea plant to achieve both volume growth and cost efficiencies and minimize the impact of cost pressures.

EMIRATES LATEST ORDER MAKES IT ONE OF THE BIGGEST 777 OPERATORS

Emirates has placed firm orders of four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with nine options. The 13 aircraft have a list price value of US$2.96 billion.

The contract was signed by Emirates' Chairman H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Boeing's President and CEO Alan Mulally at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK recently. Maurice Flanagan, Emirates' Vice Chairman & Group President, Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline and Ghaith Al Ghaith, Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide were present on the occasion.

The four aircraft on firm order will be delivered during 2006. They will be configured in First, Business and Economy cabins with 12, 42 and 310 seats respectively. The remaining nine are covered by purchase rights that extend through 2012.

Sheikh Ahmed said: "The 777 has proved to be an excellent aircraft for Emirates, and is extremely popular with our passengers, cargo customers and crew. The new Extended Range version will provide the reliability and the extra capacity for passengers and cargo which we will need. The low operating costs, renowned passenger approval, and the revenue capability from both cargo and passengers are the main reasons we selected the 777-300ER."

Emirates currently operates 21 Boeing 777-300s and 777-200s. Next year, delivery will start of a separate group of 26 777-300Rs from leasing companies as announced at the Paris Air show last year. At that point, Emirates will operate the 777-200, 777-200ER, 777-300, and the 777-300ER. By late 2007, Emirates will have a total of 51 Boeing 777s, giving it one of the world's largest 777 fleets, with a list price of US$ 10 billion.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said: "When Emirates receives the 777-300ER, it will become one of three airlines in the world operating four members of the 777 family. That's further evidence of its commitment to be one of the world's premier airlines. We're honoured to be its partner."

The 777-300ER has a range of 8,900 kms with a full passenger and cargo load, against a 6,700-km range for the 777-300. The aircraft's cargo capacity is a substantial 20,000 kgs with a full passenger load.

Emirates will use the 777-300ER to further its expansion plans and to increase frequency on major trunk routes. The airline currently serves 77 destinations in 54 countries.

Boeing's 777 family is one of the world's most advanced and the 777 is the only airplane to receive ETOPS (extended-range, twin-engine operations) certification upon first entering service.

 

 

In addition to its Boeing fleet, Emirates also operates the latest Airbus aircraft with a fleet of 29 A330-200s, eight A340-300s, five A340-500s and one A310 in service. On order are five more A340-500s, 20 A340-600s and 45 of the super-jumbo A380-800s which will give Emirates one of the largest Airbus fleets in the world.

Emirates aircraft orders were announced at the Dubai Air Show 2001, the Paris Air Show last year and Farnborough Air Show this year. The aircraft on firm order will bring Emirates, fleet to 169 by 2021.s