MarketLine Blog

Posts written in November 2014

Matchroom and Sky have the Heavyweight pedigree

MarketLine

Three years ago in October 2011 two young and ambitious fighters in Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew fought in the light-heavyweight Division. The WBO World light-heavyweight Campion Nathan Cleverly was victorious and retained his title but all involved agreed it was a close fight. This spawned a fierce rivalry that had roots leading back from before the first bout. Finally, this Saturday the keenly anticipated rematch is on, Clevely v Bellew II, available on Sky Sports Box Office for £16.95. The pay per view (PPV) price initially met with criticism,… Read more

Royal Mail delivers second class performance

MarketLine

Royal Mail Holdings plc  (RM) has blamed increasing levels of competition in its parcels delivery business for a 20% fall in operating profit for the six months ended 28th September. Although results were better than some analysts had predicted, shares still slumped by over 8% after the news – although they remain much higher than the flotation price of 330p. Part of the fall in operating profit was attributed to the growth of rival firms, squeezing the parcels delivery market and causing revenue from parcels to fall 1%, whilst overall… Read more

Spotify turning users from Premium to Uber

MarketLine

Music streaming subscription service, Spotify, has teamed up with the somewhat controversial mobile taxi app service, Uber. The partnership will get underway from November 21 when the joint service will be launched in 10 cities around the world, including London, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, and Toronto. Both companies hope the service will be launched globally weeks after the initial launch. Providing Uber users subscribe to the Spotify Premium service, they will be able to choose what music they wish to listen to during their journey. Users will be able… Read more

The G20 Summit – The Brisbane Action Plan

MarketLine

As world leaders departed Brisbane on Sunday, the headlines mostly centered on the “Brisbane Action Plan” (and of course President Vladimir Putin’s decision to leave early to get some sleep), the plan’s aim was to use co-ordinated policy approaches across the 20 nations in order to achieve the following key objectives: Lift global GDP and create jobs Boost trade and promote competition Increase investment in infrastructure Build a stronger and more resilient financial system Fight corruption and tax avoidance In addition steps were also announced to combat Ebola and address… Read more

Good business: can clothing supply chains be managed ethically?

MarketLine

In April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed with the loss of 1,129 lives, mainly of apparel manufacturing workers. The proximate cause was that four extra floors had been built without a permit, and that a building designed for shops and offices was being used as a factory. But the collapse was an extreme example of the poor conditions suffered by all too many garment workers in low-wage countries. The cutting and sewing of clothes is labor intensive and difficult to automate, so wages loom large in the… Read more

Epic Shale: Investor exodus from Poland leaves wider questions for fracking

MarketLine

One of Europe’s largest shale gas markets by drilled wells has seen many companies wind up their exploratory operations, leaving Poland’s shale gas ambitions floundering. The companies cite a mix of bureaucratic entanglement and difficult geology as their reasons for exiting the market, with only state owned enterprises (such as PKN Orlen, Lotos and PGNiG) and a few well-funded global companies left prospecting. It is a far cry from former foreign minister Radek Sikorski’s vision of Poland becoming a “second Norway” in 2010. Emboldened by the US’s shale boom and… Read more

The driving force behind Aldi’s success: Phantom Brands

MarketLine

Discount supermarket Aldi reported a 65% jump in pre-tax profits in September 2014. More than 95% of Aldi’s products are own label, but many of its products lack direct reference to the retailer. As discussed in the MarketLine case study, Supermarket private labels: growth following economic downturn; market share for retailer brands has increased rapidly over the years, most notably in the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.  After years of consistent market share increases, private label now has its strongest competitive position ever. Of particular interest is the… Read more

Forest products industry sees growth as construction experiences a resurgence

MarketLine

Globally, the forest products industry has seen a remarkable performance across the last five years, fuelled primarily by the Asia-Pacific region. The global resurgence in construction output, with the West finally starting to see a return to growth, has had a significant impact on forest products as industrial roundwood, sawnwood and wood-based panels are all important in construction. The global forest products industry grew by 11.4% in 2013, to reach a value of $817.8 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% for the period spanning 2009-2013. Growth… Read more

Tumblr pressing play on video improvements won’t worry YouTube

MarketLine

The media networking and blogging site Tumblr have made some upgrades to their native video-player in a bid to boost revenue and keep up with their rivals. There is speculation however that Yahoo! plans to use its acquired blogging site to rival YouTube’s iron grip on the video streaming market. If this is indeed a secret ambition it is surely doomed to failure. Yahoo! bought Tumblr for $1.1bn in 2013, its revenue was $13m, now Yahoo! CEO Marrisa Mayer has announced Tumblr is expected to hit $100m from advertising revenue… Read more