Carlsberg says 2012 profits will stall
DANISH brewer Carlsberg warned operating profits would stall this year, hurt by falling beer markets in northern and western Europe while its biggest market, Russia, would only show a slow recovery.
The world's fourth biggest brewer, which counts Carlsberg and Tuborg lager among its brands, said its 2012 results would be dented by the eurozone crisis hitting beer drinkers and also by a low single-digit percentage rise in its input costs.
Fourth-quarter operating profit rose in line with forecasts to 1.83bn Danish Krone (€246m) from 1.13bn Danish Krone a year earlier, but Carlsberg said 2012 underlying operating profits would be flat.
Deering joins KBC as executive director
KBC Bank Ireland has appointed Dara Deering as executive director and head of retail banking. Ms Deering joins KBC Bank Ireland from EBS. She was responsible for mortgages and retail deposits as well as for EBS brand positioning and market strategy. She is chair of the Irish Mortgage Council and executive vice-president (Ireland) of the European Mortgage Federation.
Japan's economy in line for downgrade
STANDARD & Poor's warned it could lower Japan's sovereign rating if the economy expands less than expected or if public debt continues to grow, as the country's unpopular government struggles to win support for higher taxes. The ratings agency affirmed its AA- rating on Japan with a negative outlook, but also warned that higher taxes would not solve the structural problems that push up Japan's welfare spending and increasingly pressure state coffers. Japan's debt burden is the heaviest among industrialised economies, and it may not be able to postpone drastic spending cuts and aggressive tax hikes much longer as Europe's debt crisis threatens the global economy.
Thai GDP down 9pc in Q4 due to floods
THAILAND'S economy contracted sharply in the last three months of 2011 after some of the worst flooding on record disrupted manufacturing. Gross domestic product declined by 9pc in the three months to December compared to a year earlier, the National Economic and Social Development Board said.