Global family business news from all around the world in the quarter ending on May 2017, from Samsung‘s record profit jump to the world’s largest Zara store.
01 South Korea – Samsung records highest profit jump in 3 years
Samsung recorded its biggest profit increase in three years, up nearly 50% year-on-year, earning $7.9 billion on total revenue of $44.6 billion. The huge profits were largely attributed to its components division, which produces parts like semiconductors, memory chips, and screens for rival makers including Apple, Dell, and LG. Despite the Galaxy Note 7 recall, its smartphone division also booked a 12% profit increase.
02 Germany – BMW records best ever March sales
German auto manufacturer BMW posted its best ever March sales at 254,862 units, marking a 5.9% year-on-year increase. Driven by increases in sales of the group’s premium brands, the March numbers continues the company’s recent growth in which it recorded the best-ever first quarter, cracking the half million sales mark for the first time early this year.
03 Italy – Ferrero appoints the first non-family CEO in its history
Italian candy giant Ferrero International named its first non-family CEO in 20 years, with former family chief executive Giovanni Ferrero becoming Executive Chairman, while Lapo Civiletti, manager at the group for more than 10 years, has been appointed CEO. The move comes as Ferrero looks to expand its reach, with Giovanni Ferrero overseeing M&A’s and global expansion while Civiletti manages the European market.
04 Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s richest man to expand Canadian investments
Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man and chairman of Cheung Kong Property Holdings, is planning to buy Reliance Home Comfort for $2.82 billion. The Toronto-based producer of home furnaces and air conditioning systems is the latest addition to the Li family’s holdings in Canada, which include Husky Energy Inc., a Calgary-based oil and gas firm, and several others.
05 Japan – Uniqlo operator records 80% profit growth
Japan’s Fast Retailing Co, the holding company of fast fashion brand Uniqlo, reported an 80% jump in second quarter operating profit, driven by improved profit margins overseas and a weaker yen. The main drivers of growth came from new store openings in China and Southeast Asia, while its U.S. business posted a loss, but ultimately the weaker Japanese yen helped the brand boost net profit by 106.7%.
06 Spain – Zara opens its largest store ever
Spanish fast fashion retailer Zara opened its largest store ever in Madrid’s financial district, the Paseo de la Castellana. The 65,000 square feet store will surpass the current largest Zara outlet located on Fifth Avenue in New York, and will feature state of the art mobile payment services and interactive fitting rooms. This comes as Zara’s holding company Inditex closed last year with a 12% increase in net sales.
07 United States – Ikea considering opening standalone restaurants
Swedish family-run furniture retailer Ikea is reportedly considering the possibility of opening standalone restaurants across American cities. Ikea Food’s managing director Michael La Cour was quoted as saying that Ikea Food had annual sales of about $1.8 billion and serves about 650 million diners per year, and with Ikea cafes already operating in London and Paris, American Ikea restaurants may one day become reality.
08 Australia – Adult ban in Legoland stirs controversy
Danish toy conglomerate Lego has come under fire from adult fans, who claim that Australia’s first Legoland Discovery Centre discriminates against them by banning adults without children from entering. Several unaccompanied adults have said they were turned away at the door of the park, and fans have threatened to lodge human rights complaints over the matter.