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By Lauren McCarthy
China Exports Rise More Than Expected; Imports Drop Unexpectedly
China’s exports grew more than expected in March and imports logged an unexpected fall largely due to the lockdown and supply chain disruptions, official data revealed on Wednesday.
Exports grew 14.7 percent on a yearly basis in March, the General Administration of Customs said. This was faster than the expected growth of 13.0 percent but slower than the 16.3 percent expansion posted in January to February period.
Meanwhile, imports dropped 0.1 percent from the last year, confounding expectations for an increase of 8.0 percent. Imports had increased 15.5 percent in the first two months of the year.
As a result, the trade surplus came in at $47.38 billion in March, which was well above the expected level of $22.4 billion.
While disruptions from the latest COVID-19 outbreak are partly to blame for the fall in goods trade, shifts on the demand-side played a bigger role, Julian Evans-Pritchard and Sheana Yue, economists at Capital Economics, said.
Economists said export volumes are set to fall further over the coming quarters. Import volumes are also likely to remain soft.
High commodity prices will continue to prop up import values in the near-term, they said. But prices are expected to drop back during the second half of the year as uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine eases.
Ericsson Q1 Profit Down – Quick Facts
Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson (ERIC) reported that its first quarter net income declined to 2.9 billion Swedish kronor from 3.2 billion kronor in the same quarter last year. On a per share basis, net income was 0.88 kronor down from 0.96 kronor in the previous year.
But group organic sales for the first quarter grew by 3% year-over-year, driven by Networks in North America and in Europe and Latin America. Quarterly net sales rose to 55.1 billion kronor from 49.8 billion kronor in the previous year.
Ericsson said it is currently engaging with the Department of Justice regarding the breach notices it issued relating to the Deferred Prosecution Agreement. The resolution of these matters could result in a range of actions by DOJ, and may likely include additional monetary payments, the magnitude of which cannot at this time be reliably estimated.
It was actually improved compliance program that allowed the company to identify the misconduct in Iraq that started at least back in 2011, Ericsson said.
Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll Returns On "Cinnamon Sundays"
Doughnut and coffeehouse chain Krispy Kreme, Inc. announced the return of its popular Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll as an every Sunday exclusive across the United States.
The cinnamon roll, which was introduced last fall, is now available at participating Krispy Kreme shops, online and through delivery on “Cinnamon Sundays”, individually or in a special four pack.
The Cinnamon Roll is light and airy, hand-rolled to perfection and covered in Krispy Kreme’s iconic Original Glaze. Krispy Kreme said it put its spin on the iconic sweet treat in September 2021.
For long, customers have been demanding to add the Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll to the permanent menu.
Dave Skena, Chief Marketing Officer for Krispy Kreme, said, “Our Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll was very well received when we introduced it last year for a limited time. When we get a fan reaction like that, we want to give them what they want. And there’s no cinnamon roll better than ours; hand-cut and covered in our iconic Original Glaze.”
Krispy Kreme, which operates in over 30 countries, recently launched three all-new, hand-decorated egg-shaped, shell-filled Mini ‘Egg’ Doughnuts for the Spring season. The company also announced the return of the fan favorite mini Chick Doughnut.
In early January, the company unveiled four all-new Chocolate Glazed mini doughnuts for the first time.
Publicis Groupe Q1 Organic Growth In Revenue At 10.5%; Confirms 2022 Guidance
Publicis Groupe (PGPEF.PK,PUBGY.PK) reported that its first quarter net revenue was 2.80 billion euros, up 17.1% from 2.39 billion euros, last year. Organic growth was 10.5%, for the quarter.
Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said: “All of our regions performed well. The organic growth of the U.S. at +8% confirms the country’s continued dynamic with a good performance of Epsilon at its core. Europe posted robust recovery at 15% organic growth, fueled by France and the U.K. Meanwhile, in Asia, we also delivered very solid numbers, with 14% organically and double-digit growth once again in China.”
Publicis is confident in its ability to deliver on all of the 2022 targets, with organic growth now at the upper-end of its previous 4 to 5% range. The Groupe confirmed its 2022 guidance of circa 17.5% operating margin rate and circa 1.4 billion euros of free cash flow before change in working capital.
Hays PLC Q3 Group Fees Up 32% YoY – Quick Facts
Hays PLC (HAS.L) reported that its third quarter net fee increased 32% on a like-for-like basis from prior year, despite a 9% tougher prior year quarterly growth comparative. On an actual basis, net fees increased by 29%, for the quarter.
Alistair Cox, Chief Executive, said: “We delivered record quarterly fees, including a Group fee record in March and continued strong performances in all regions. Overall, 19 countries produced quarterly fee records, including our largest country of Germany which saw strong activity levels, the USA, France and Switzerland. In ANZ, fees and activity improved towards the end of the quarter as pandemic impacts eased, while UK&I delivered another excellent quarter, led by Perm as business confidence remained high.”
Looking forward, the Group reiterated the guidance given at half-year results for fiscal 2022 operating profit of 210-215 million pounds, excluding one-off Russia impact.