Industry Insights

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Sun rising in the global pharmaceutical business

Demand for generic drugs is expected to soar in the next five years, both in advanced and emerging economies. One Indian drug maker, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, has positioned itself to rise to the occasion with the acquisition of Ranbaxy, another Indian firm which specialises in generics. Sun Pharma will remain the world’s fifth-largest pharmaceutical company, but it will become a contender in the global market, no longer trailing the top four.


Car sales revving up in Europe

Europe’s car market has been on a steady path to recovery, with new industry data showing a seventh straight monthly gain in March. Analysts attribute the rise in sales, based on registrations of new passenger cars, primarily to manufacturers’ incentives and financing deals. Sales were up 10.6% from the same period a year earlier - the largest uptick since a 10.8% increase in March 2010, which was driven largely by “cash-for-clunkers” incentives.


HR matters: Is Europe’s workforce shrinking?

David Fairhurst, Chief People Officer at McDonald’s Europe, warns that unless European employers do more to bring underemployed groups such as young people and older workers into the labour force, the region will suffer negative economic impacts. Some parts of Europe, he said, are already feeling the effects of what he calls a “workforce cliff”, which will become a “serious barrier to economic growth in future”.


The smartphone market: Low end meets high demand

A wave of cheap smartphone brands is crashing on shores from Taiwan to the US, buoyed by rising demand, as sales for more expensive models level off. The demand is coming from a huge swath of price-conscious consumers in both emerging and advanced economies who are buying their first smartphones. Last year, shipments of smartphones priced below $80 more than quintupled, and devices priced under $100 comprised one-sixth of the total.


European CEOs still wary of investing

Europe emerged from the longest recession since the euro’s inception in the second quarter of last year, according to European Union statistics, and analysts forecast earnings at Stoxx 600 companies to climb 9% to 22.92 euros a share in 2014, the most since 2007. And yet, CEOs remain cautious – an attitude being reflected in investments, which are expected to remain flat. Instead, Chief Executive Officers are opting to reward shareholders with higher dividends.


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Ulf Bergström
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Katarina Brixéus
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Marie W. Corell
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Jessica Grönwall
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Per Z Haeggström
(T): +46 8.440.41.83