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Puma sales hit from China backlash and freight delays

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By Emma Thomasson

BERLIN (Reuters) -German sportswear company Puma expects a consumer backlash against Western brands in China and congestion at ports to hit its sales though it gave an upbeat outlook for 2021 following a strong first quarter.

Brands including Puma and rivals Nike and Adidas faced online attacks in China last month over statements about their sourcing of cotton from Xinjiang after reports of human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims.

“We can still see that trend is continuing. There is less activity in the Western brand stores than there would have been if tension wasn’t there,” Puma Chief Executive Bjorn Gulden told reporters.

Before the backlash, Puma’s sales in greater China had been growing strongly, rising 40% in the first quarter.

Western governments and rights groups have accused authorities in the western region of Xinjiang of detaining and torturing Uyghurs in camps. Beijing denies the accusations.

Puma has previously said it has no direct or indirect business relationship with any manufacturer in Xinjiang.

Overall, Puma reported a 26% rise in first-quarter sales to 1.549 billion euros ($1.9 billion) after adjustments for currency fluctuations, while net profit jumped to 109 million euros, both beating average analyst estimates.

Puma’s shares, up two-thirds in the last year, were down 2.9% at 0940 GMT.

It expects full-year sales to increase by a “mid-teens” percentage and significantly better profitability than last year.

Puma is benefiting from people doing more sport as they try to lose weight after coronavirus lockdowns, a trend it hopes will get another boost after the Tokyo Olympics and the European soccer championships, Gulden said.

However, Puma faces problems getting products made in Asia to key markets due to container shortages and port congestion, especially in North America, following COVID-19 outbreaks among dockworkers and safety restrictions.

While the situation has improved somewhat in the last month or so, Gulden said Puma was still seeing delays of two to three weeks on many shipments, while the cost of freight had doubled and prices were locked in for the next 12 months.

Nike last month reported quarterly sales below estimates due to shipping issues and the pandemic-related slump at stores, forecasting “low-to-mid-teens” full-year revenue growth.

Puma said the pandemic would continue to weigh on its business throughout 2021 with about 30% of stores selling its products in Europe and Latin America still closed and new restrictions expected in India, Canada and Turkey.

($1 = 0.8284 euros)

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Maria Sheahan, Louise Heavens and David Clarke)

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COVID-19 booster shots could rake in billions for some vaccine makers – Global News

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Billions more in profits are at stake for some vaccine makers as the U.S. moves toward dispensing COVID-19 booster shots to shore up Americans’ protection against the virus.

How much the manufacturers stand to gain depends on how big the rollout proves to be.

Read more:
NACI backs 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised

Exactly who should get a booster was a contentious decision as advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent two days this week poring over the evidence. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed most of their choices: People 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have chronic health problems such as diabetes should be offered one once they’re six months past their last Pfizer dose. Those 18 and older with health problems can decide for themselves if they want a booster.

Still, the crisis is constantly evolving, and some top U.S. health officials expect boosters will be more broadly authorized in the coming weeks or months. And that, plus continued growth in initial vaccinations, could mean a huge gain in sales and profits for Pfizer and Moderna in particular.


Click to play video: 'U.S. FDA, CDC support Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for people high-risk or aged 65+'



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U.S. FDA, CDC support Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for people high-risk or aged 65+


U.S. FDA, CDC support Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for people high-risk or aged 65+

“The opportunity quite frankly is reflective of the billions of people around the world who would need a vaccination and a boost,” Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said.

Wall Street is taking notice. The average forecast among analysts for Moderna’s 2022 revenue has jumped 35% since President Joe Biden laid out his booster plan in mid-August.

Most of the vaccinations so far in the U.S. have come from Pfizer, which developed its shot with Germany’s BioNTech, and Moderna. They have inoculated about 99 million and 68 million people, respectively. Johnson & Johnson is third with about 14 million people.


Click to play video: 'Immunocompromised offered vaccine booster shot. Who is eligible?'



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Immunocompromised offered vaccine booster shot. Who is eligible?


Immunocompromised offered vaccine booster shot. Who is eligible? – Sep 14, 2021

No one knows yet how many people will get the extra shots. But Morningstar analyst Karen Andersen expects boosters alone to bring in about $26 billion in global sales next year for Pfizer and BioNTech and around $14 billion for Moderna if they are endorsed for nearly all Americans.

Those companies also may gain business from people who got other vaccines initially. In Britain, which plans to offer boosters to everyone over 50 and other vulnerable people, an expert panel has recommended that Pfizer’s shot be the primary choice, with Moderna as the alternative.

Andersen expects Moderna, which has no other products on the market, to generate a roughly $13 billion profit next year from all COVID-19 vaccine sales if boosters are broadly authorized.


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WHO calls out rich countries for ‘empty promises’ COVID-19 vaccine donations for poor nations


WHO calls out rich countries for ‘empty promises’ COVID-19 vaccine donations for poor nations – Sep 8, 2021

Potential vaccine profits are harder to estimate for Pfizer, but company executives have said they expect their pre-tax adjusted profit margin from the vaccine to be in the “high 20s” as a percentage of revenue. That would translate to a profit of around $7 billion next year just from boosters, based on Andersen’s sales prediction.

J&J and Europe’s AstraZeneca have said they don’t intend to profit from their COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic.

For Pfizer and Moderna, the boosters could be more profitable than the original doses because they won’t come with the research and development costs the companies incurred to get the vaccines on the market in the first place.

WBB Securities CEO Steve Brozak said the booster shots will represent “almost pure profit” compared with the initial doses.

Drugmakers aren’t the only businesses that could see a windfall from delivering boosters. Drugstore chains CVS Health and Walgreens could bring in more than $800 million each in revenue, according to Jeff Jonas, a portfolio manager with Gabelli Funds.


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Dr. Bogoch weighs in on mandatory vaccines & booster shots


Dr. Bogoch weighs in on mandatory vaccines & booster shots – Aug 23, 2021

Jonas noted that the drugstores may not face competition from mass vaccination clinics this time around, and the chains are diligent about collecting customer contact information. That makes it easy to invite people back for boosters.

Drugmakers are also developing COVID-19 shots that target certain variants of the virus, and say people might need annual shots like the ones they receive for the flu. All of that could make the vaccines a major recurring source of revenue.

The COVID-19 vaccines have already done much better than their predecessors.

Pfizer said in July it expects revenue from its COVID-19 vaccine to reach $33.5 billion this year, an estimate that could change depending on the impact of boosters or the possible expansion of shots to elementary school children.

That would be more than five times the $5.8 billion racked up last year by the world’s most lucrative vaccine _ Pfizer’s Prevnar13, which protects against pneumococcal disease.

Read more:
U.S. backs Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots. Should Canada do the same?

It also would dwarf the $19.8 billion brought in last year by AbbVie’s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira, widely regarded as the world’s top-selling drug.

This bodes well for future vaccine development, noted Erik Gordon, a business professor at the University of Michigan.

Vaccines normally are nowhere near as profitable as treatments, Gordon said. But the success of the COVID-19 shots could draw more drugmakers and venture capitalists into the field.

“The vaccine business is more attractive, which, for those of us who are going to need vaccines, is good,” Gordon said.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Vaccination wallet cards will no longer be accepted as transition period ends for B.C.'s COVID vaccine cards – CBC.ca

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Starting Monday, British Columbians wanting to access restaurants and other recreational spaces will not be able to use their original proof of vaccination and will have to use the province’s vaccine card in digital or paper form.

Residents were able to use their original proof of vaccination, such as the wallet card given out at vaccination clinics, to access non-essential spaces until Sunday as part of a transition period to the province’s vaccine card program.

Currently, residents need to show proof of one dose of COVID-19 vaccine using the vaccine card. From Oct. 13, proof of two doses will be required to access non-essential spaces.

Some of the venues that require the vaccine card include:

  • Indoor ticketed sporting events.
  • Indoor concerts.
  • Indoor theatre/dance/symphony events.
  • Restaurants (indoor and patio dining).
  • Night clubs.
  • Casinos.
  • Movie theatres.
  • Fitness centres/gyms (excluding youth recreational sport).
  • Businesses offering indoor high-intensity group exercise activities.
  • Organized indoor events (e.g., weddings, parties, conferences, meetings, workshops) with 50 or more people.
  • Discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities.
  • Student housing on college and university campuses.

Cards are available through the provincial Health Gateway website. Once you’ve loaded the site, you need to enter your:

The vaccine card is a one-page file with your name, confirmed vaccination status and a QR code that will be scanned upon entry. You can take a screenshot of the card on your phone or print a paper copy. 

Adults aged 19 and over will also need to show a government-issued piece of photo ID.

The province says the introduction of the vaccine card on Sept. 13 led to an uptick in vaccine bookings, and Premier John Horgan called it a step toward reopening with “confidence.”

Exemptions

There are some exemptions to using B.C.’s vaccine card as proof of vaccination.

People from other Canadian provinces or territories must show an officially recognized vaccine record from their province or territory along with valid government photo ID.

International visitors must show proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada along with their passport.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces can use their National Defence Canada COVID-19 vaccine record or card with their National Defence ID card. 

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Evergrande EV Unit Ends Proposed Shanghai Star Board Listing – Bloomberg Markets and Finance

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