Panasonic revenue

TOKYO: Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said on Wednesday that its net profit soared 57 per cent from a year ago, mainly thanks to a tax accounting change as the electronics giant continues to reshape its business. The Osaka-based firm’s earnings for the three months to June surged to 59.52 billion yen, while operating profit edged down seven per cent to 76.56 billion yen. Sales were almost flat at 1.86 trillion yen from a year ago. The upbeat net profit was also supported by Panasonic’s lesser-known auto parts unit.

GM to invest $1bn

NEW DELHI: General Motors Co (GM) will invest $1 billion in the next few years to turn operations in India into a new global auto manufacturing and export hub aimed at boosting sales in fast-growing emerging markets, top executives said on Wednesday. The investment is part of GM’s plan to invest $5 billion over several years to develop a global family of Chevrolet vehicles with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), the state-owned Chinese automaker that is GM’s primary partner in China. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said at a briefing in New Delhi that the investment in India was expected to create 12,000 jobs at the company and its suppliers in Asia’s third-largest economy. GM will also launch 10 new domestically manufactured vehicles in India over the next five years in a push to double its market share in the country by 2020, Stefan Jacoby, GM’s chief of international operations, told a news conference.

SIA profit doubles

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Wednesday its first quarter net profit more than doubled from a year earlier as fuel expenses fell due to lower oil prices. Net profit for the three months to June came in at 91.2 million Singapore dollars ($67 million), up 162 per cent from 34.8 million Singapore dollars in the same period last year, the airline said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange. Revenue rose 1.4 per cent to 3.73 billion Singapore dollars, but the carrier warned of challenges ahead due to tougher competition. Fuel costs, which account for more than a third of expenses, fell 8.8 per cent, but the savings were partially offset by hedging losses and a strong US dollar against the local currency. SIA said 58.5 per cent of its fuel needs in the quarter were hedged at a weighted average price of $110 per barrel.