Business News in Brief: Redundancies hit Intel Group, Pandora and Haldor Topsøe

It’s better news for Maersk, Vestas and William Demant Holding though

Multinational company Intel Group intends to close its office in Aalborg at the expense of 200 jobs by the end of the year. The office’s primary focus is the development of advanced technology for mobile phones. Most of the employees are engineers or work in IT. Intel previously decided to close the office in Novi Knowledge Park, Aalborg East in 2016, but then reversed its decision a month later.

Jewellery company Pandora is laying off 397 employees – around 1.5 percent of its workforce of around 27,000. However, just 15 people will lose their jobs in Denmark, with 218 of the redundancies taking place in Thailand. The announcement followed a lowering of expectations for its 2018 financial year and the confirmation that its chief executive, Anders Colding Friis, is leaving at the end of August. “I want to breathe deeply and relax,” he told media. Following the news its shares took a further tumble to the extent that the company has lost a third of its value this year – the worst performance among the C25.

Danish technology company Haldor Topsøe, which produces catalysts and technologies for the chemical industry, is cutting around 200 employees – mainly due to the US sanctions against Iran and the threat to stop doing business with anyone who trades with the Middle Eastern country.  It is unclear whether Haldor Topsøe, which has 2,300 employees and is headquartered in Copenhagen, intends to lay off any Danish employees.

Heard about the profit?
Hearing aid equipment manufacturer William Demant Holding has announced a pre-tax profit of 1.154 billion kroner for the first six months of 2018 – an improvement of around 150 million on last year. Revenue rose by 9 percent, but when adjusted to factor in falling exchange rates it only equated to 4 percent in Danish kroner. The result exceeded expectations, but William Demant’s managing director Søren Nielsen was adamant the upward curve will continue thanks to a new range of products that will soon be with consumers. William Demant derives 87 percent of its income from making hearing aids, and its brands include Oticon, Bernafon and Sonic Innovations.

Maersk result better than feared
Maersk has lowered 2018 financial year expectations from a profit of 4.0-5.0 to 3.5-4.2 billion dollars amid concerns about high fuel prices and uncertain freight and exchange rates. It made the announcement as it confirmed second quarter revenue of 9.5 billion and an operating profit of 0.9. Nevertheless, its share price rose 4-5 percent on the news. Analysts had apparently expected far worse.

Vestas shares jump at good news
Vestas has enjoyed the largest surge in its share price for two years (around 9 percent) after confirming a massive increase in its order book in the second quarter of 2018 – up from 2,667 to 3,807 MW on the previous year. EBITA rose from 279 to 295 million euros, and the company has announced a 200 million euro share buyback. Nevertheless, it has reduced its 2018 revenue expectation from 10.0-11.0 to 10.0-10.5 billion euros.

Taxi prices now vary more than ever
The price of a taxi in Copenhagen varies far more than it did before the government’s liberalisation of the industry, warns Berlingske Business. Previously, the capital’s taxis used fixed charges, but now they are free to set their own prices.

Record passenger numbers for SAS
SAS has confirmed record passenger numbers of 2.6 million for July – a 2 percent rise on last year. However, while flights to destinations in Scandinavia and Europe increased by 4 percent, their long-haul services experienced a slight dip.