Sunday 25 March 2018

In brief

Dublin-based firm Icon reported a 54.7pc rise in pre-tax profit in the first quarter as sales soared.

Icon, which sells tests and provides services to pharmaceutical companies, said pre-tax profit was almost $66.7m in the first quarter.

Sales jumped 11pc to $388.2m in the quarter. Icon currently employs more than 1,000 people in Ireland, across offices in Dublin and Limerick.

US consumers fret

Amercicans grew decidedly less confident about the economy in April, seeing little to suggest growth will pick up in the coming months, the Conference Board said yesterday.

The research firm's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 95.2 in April from 101.4 in March. The April number was the lowest reading since December.

Analysts on average had expected the index to rise to 102.2.

Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said the index gave back all of the March gain "and more".

Apple undervalued?

technology giant Apple remains undervalued and misunderstood, activist investor Carl Icahn tweeted, even as the company posted stellar quarterly results this week.

The billionaire investor said he expects to put out an "in-depth" report within two weeks. Apple beat Wall Street's revenue and profit forecasts on Monday as it sold more iPhones in China than the United States for the first time.

Honda flat

Honda forecast a scant 0.4pc rise in net profit for the year that began on April 1, saying higher quality-related costs and currency losses would offset gains from vehicle sales growth.

The forecasts look especially weak after Japan's third biggest carmaker reported earnings that fell far short of its guidance in the just-ended year.

Earnings were hit after quality problems delayed vehicle development, pushed up costs and hampered sales.

Last year's profit shortfall was due about half to quality-related costs and half to weaker sales in the United States and Japan, Honda Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura told a briefing for reporters.

Irish Independent

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