A day with some pretty bad business news…
- UBS, the giant Swiss bank, agreed to pay $780 million in fines and tax-related payments and to shut down tax shelters in a settlement announced today by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice. The SEC alleged that UBS sent advisers, carrying encrypted computers, to the United States several times per year for several weeks. The advisers attended art shows, yachting events and sporting events sponsored by UBS to talk with potential clients. More.
- Puma AG said that fourth-quarter profits slid 79% as writedowns on the value of inventories offset higher sales of its shoes, shirts and other equipment. Sales rose 11.3% to $561.3 million ($710.0 million) from ?504.5 million ($638.2 million) a year earlier, boosted in part by year-end discounting in the U.S. and Europe, key markets for the company, as well as in Asia. On a currency adjusted basis, consolidated sales rose 7.3%.
Puma said sales in the Americas were up 6.6% for the quarter, reaching 171.1 million.($216.5
Operating profit declined by 29.0% from to 37.2 million ($47 million), or from 10.4% to 6.6% as a percentage of sales. Measures that had been implemented to tackle the effects of the global economic slow-down and the difficult consumer environment had an impact of $25 million ($40.6 million) on fourth quarter EBIT.More
- Reeds Nautical Online Almanac Ltd has announced that it is unable to go on trading. A statement on the company website states: “Reeds Nautical Online Almanac Ltd regret that owing to the worsening economic conditions we are unable to continue trading.
We sincerely apologise to all those who have purchased the product over the past few months as we will be unable to continue to deliver the online edition of the Almanac.” Cathy Mclean/BYM News.
- Attendance at the Miami International Boat Show was down 26 per cent to 96,736 visitors this year compared to 130,496 in 2008. While the halls around the convention center were noticeably quieter than last year, the mood among exhibitors was more upbeat than many had predicted going into the show. More.
- According to a story in the Fond du Lac Reporter, Mercury Marine confirmed on Friday that 85 permanent job reductions have taken place and a two week temporary shutdown is taking place for portions of the plant beginning Monday.
The job reductions were hourly and salaried workers from sales, marketing and manufacturing areas of the operation, said Ray Atchinson, Mercury vice president of human resources.
- Marine equipment manufacturer Lewmar today announced up to 95 job cuts in a major company re-structure in response to tough global trading conditions. The majority of the job loses will come from its UK manufacturing base in Havant with some additional redundancies in USA, Australia, France and The Netherlands. More.
- Correction: Yachts & Yachting is not getting rid of all permanent staff and just going to employ on a contract basis, due to advertising slump. In fact they are going to a bigger monthly format and according to them, "as a result of this major change in magazine frequency, we did not need a full-time editor or picture editor for Yachts & Yachting magazine and moved over to the same arrangement we have used for years with our other titles with a freelance editorial team. The rest of the production and sales staff remain in place and the editor, who preferred to live on the South Coast nearer to all the sailing action anyway, is happy with the new arrangement and continues to edit the monthly magazine. These changes all took place in September last year as part of a long term business plan." Sorry for any confusion on our end.
Thanks to BYM News, IBI News, SportsOne Source, and the Washington Post.