Industry Insights

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European carmakers gaining ground

26 April, 2015

Carmakers are one of the best-performing sectors in recovering Europe, posting their best results in a year last month. Data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association show a 10.6% jump in new car registrations (a proxy for sales) across the region in March. While low oil prices and the weaker euro are playing a role, the lift in sales bodes well for other industries, signalling an increase in consumer confidence in Europe.


Unilever: A snapshot of the consumer goods market

22 April, 2015

Sales for British-Dutch multinational Unilever are picking up in the US, China and India, signalling a potential uptick in the consumer goods sector in these regions. The company reported better than expected results for the first quarter, with sales up 2.8%, and an optimistic outlook towards next quarter. Sales in China, which fell sharply last year, are stabilizing, while North America is showing growth potential.


A Mexican tech hub on the rise

19 April, 2015

Guadalajara, capital city of the Mexican state of Jalisco, is fast emerging as a technology hub. While big American firms such as Motorola, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle have had operations there for years, promising start-ups are cropping up, and venture capitalists are taking notice. Unlike their Silicon Valley counterparts, companies in the Valle de Silicio are finding their niche reinventing old industries rather than launching the next phenomenon.


Alcoa’s strategy shift paying off

16 April, 2015

American aluminium producer Alcoa posted a profit in the first quarter, reversing last year’s loss and reaffirming the company’s 2015 forecasts for its major markets. The world's third-largest producer of aluminium after Rio Tinto Alcan and Rusal, Alcoa has shifted its focus from traditional smelting and refining to manufacturing products for automotive, aerospace and other sectors. While restructuring has been costly, the strategy is proving fruitful.


Is the oil industry undergoing metamorphosis?

14 April, 2015

In what is the first major oil industry merger in over a decade, and the third-largest transaction ever in oil and gas, Shell has agreed to buy rival BG Group for $70 billion. Analysts are divided as to whether this is the first in a new wave of oil industry consolidation, fuelled by the drop in oil prices, though there is reason to suggest the biggest players could opt to increase their reserves by acquisition rather than exploration.


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Ulf Bergström
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Katarina Brixéus
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Marie W. Corell
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Per Z Haeggström
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