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Food Waste in the UK: Government and retailers must do more

MarketLine

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of food waste in the UK and a number of initiatives developed in an attempt to reduce this. Several retailers in the UK have pledged to drive down food waste from stores, while numerous campaigns have aimed to educate individuals and cut the amount of food waste from households. UK charity, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has been at the forefront of campaigns. In 2007, WRAP launched its ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign backed by the government. Results from some… Read more

LiDAR self-driving technology. A case of calculated theft?

MarketLine

Google and Uber started off as friends with Google parent Alphabet investing $258m in Uber in 2013. They then became competitors, as Uber started experimenting with its fleet of self-driving cars in 2016. Finally, in 2017, both companies ended as adversaries in court, engaging in a bitter legal fight to control the future of transportation. The suit details the lengths Waymo goes to in order to protect its trade secrets, including purchasing LiDAR components from numerous vendors and completing assembly in-house to prevent any single vendor from knowing everything about… Read more

Pokemon Go: what? Nintendo is evolving!

MarketLine

Pokemon Go, a smartphone game built on augmented reality using Google Maps, has become a global craze following its staggered release across several countries. Despite technical difficulties and bizarre news stories regarding usage, downloads are estimated in the millions and the fad shows no signs of abating. Nintendo seemed to prosper from the interest, with investors driving share prices up until Friday when it suffered its biggest drop since the 1990s. The decline was prompted by a statement released by Nintendo following the game’s launch in Japan, stating that it… Read more

Big retail takes control of Russian food market

MarketLine

The Russian food market is amongst the largest and most populated globally. As the population of 146 million people continues to grow, they are also buying more food. There are a lot of opportunities for further development, especially in the convenience segment, as the grocery retail market is significantly less saturated than in Western Europe. Changes in tastes and technology have opened up the sector to new suppliers and new ideas. However, after almost a decade of double digit growth, this over $300bn market has seen a significant deceleration recently… Read more

WWE Inc: the NXT big thing?

MarketLine

WWE is the largest wrestling promotion globally, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its recent financial performance has seen revenue and net income grow, with growth across most segments. In physical figures however the company’s TV ratings and live event attendance is down, with its key demographic of older males alienated by the company’s ham-fisted approach to mainstream appeal. One way the company has won back some wayward fans is the NXT brand, available exclusively on the WWE network. The successor to the Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory,… Read more

Gas and Electricity in Great Britain – Competitive market illusion

MarketLine

A nationalized energy industry had operated in the United Kingdom for more than 40 years but it was gradually reformed with the introduction of market liberalization in the 1980s. Market liberalization was followed by a large-scale industry privatization fully completed in 1998. The competition injected in the industry through these reforms has been concentrated on generation and supply of gas and electricity. However, evidence from the Office of Gas and Electricity market (Ofgem), the body responsible for the regulation of the system, shows that the market is far from competitive…. Read more

Will the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) erode Embraer’s market share?

MarketLine

In the 1990s, Embraer and Bombardier identified a gap in the production of an aircraft sized for efficient operation in the regional jet market in Europe, Asia, Africa and, particularly, in the United States. Regional American airlines were increasingly demanding an aircraft designed specifically to serve markets that can be optimized with 37 to 110 seat capacity equipment. The production of Embraer Regional Jet-145 (ERJ-145) launched the company into the lucrative regional jets market in 1996, only two years after privatization. Prior to 1996, Bombardier was the sole player in… Read more

Greece – Another Case of Expansionary Austerity Failure

MarketLine

The public austerity program forced upon the Greek population by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (Troika) has depressed the economy instead of leading to an economic expansion, under the mantra of “expansionary austerity” policies. Five years of austerity involved drastic reductions in public expenditure, public sector redundancies and tax increases in the context of the worst global contraction of more than 60 years. As the Greek Prime Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, explained in a recent article published on the Project Syndicate website, the hard-line… Read more

Rare earths: rising prices, hidden costs

MarketLine

Will our search for environmentally-friendly energy end up damaging the environment? It could be so. An article in the Guardian this week (03 February 2014, bit.ly/1bUgEVa) describes the threat of pollution from mining rare earth metals, among whose applications are the powerful magnets used in wind turbines and electric car motors. They are also vital raw materials in other high-tech manufactured products from catalysts to optical fibers. Rare earth metals are not actually all that rare, but finding ore bodies with high enough concentrations to mine them economically is difficult…. Read more

The rise of fashion power houses in the fragrance industry

MarketLine

Fashion houses have successfully diversified their product lines by introducing fragrances. Strong brand reputation and a loyal consumer base means companies have a ready-made consumer base; and are able to leverage their brand identity to give them a head-start in this fiercely competitive market. Moreover many fragrance manufacturers are seeking growth in emerging markets such as China and India due to weak consumer spending during economic downturn most notably in Western Europe markets. The strong brand reputation and loyal consumer base means fashion power houses, such as Dior, have a… Read more

Turkey: An uncertain investment opportunity

MarketLine

There is an old Chinese curse that says: ‘may you live in interesting times.’ Some would argue that the whole world is experiencing such times as a result of the financial crisis and political upheaval across the Middle East in particular. Yet no country is in the midst of a political and financial watershed like Turkey. Once known as the sick-man of Europe, Turkey has experienced a decade of unprecedented economic growth that has paved the road for greater ambitions. It currently boasts a youthful population with a well trained… Read more

Can BT Sport challenge Sky’s dominance?

MarketLine

On August 1 2013, BT launched its sports TV offering, BT Sport, a flagship service broadcasting out of London’s Olympic Park. By paying vast sums of money to acquire the rights to a wide range of sports including Barclays Premier League football, Serie A football, Bundesliga football, Aviva Premiership Rugby, UFC, and MotoGP, and by poaching well-respected sports presenters like Jake Humphrey and Clare Balding, BT has shown that it is serious about rivaling Sky when it comes to sports broadcasting. Sky’s previous competitors, Setanta and ESPN, ultimately failed to… Read more

Polymer notes announced for UK arrival in 2016. De La Rue to capitalize?

MarketLine

The Bank of England announced on 18th December 2013 that they are planning to change the UK’s paper £5 and £10 bank notes to plastic, polymer bank notes in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The Bank of England took to shopping centers nationwide to gauge public interest on the change to polymer notes. Out of the 13,000 people who participated in the consultation, 87% of respondents were in favor of the change, 6% opposed it and 7% were neutral. There have been a few issues raised by the public, such as… Read more

Ukraine: Anti-government protests intensify

MarketLine

Anti-government protests in Ukraine are intensifying as a tense standoff develops between protesters and riot police. Dissenters have been gathering in Kiev’s Independence Square since the Ukrainian government failed to sign a proposed free trade deal aimed at promoting greater integration with Western Europe in late November. Rumoured interference from Russia has caused many to question the country’s future direction and recent events in the capital’s main square suggest that many are not satisfied with what they see as the continued close links between President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian Premier… Read more

Can Apple’s next big innovation be the ‘one box for TV?’

MarketLine

Apple’s purchase of Israeli technology company PrimeSense for $360 million is perhaps an indication of where-next the technology king is headed. Given that PrimeSense is a global pioneer in ‘gesture technologies’; seen in smart phones and gaming consoles, it may be more than just an indication. The Israeli company has previous success in this market as it provided some of the technology behind Microsoft’s hugely successful, Xbox, motion-sensing device; Kinect. Despite this Apple finds itself in slightly uncharted territory as it plays ‘catch up’ in the TV devices market. The… Read more

The sweet smell of success

MarketLine

Fragrances and perfumes have now evolved into a mainstream business within the cosmetics and personal care industries. The global fragrance industry has experienced moderate growth over the period spanning 2008-2012 with a (CAGR) of 3.7%. According to MarketLine, this industry grew by 4.4% in 2012. Growth in the industry is driven by trends towards urbanization which can enable emerging nations to sustain economic growth, as populations move toward larger cities and take up non-agricultural work, a new class of consumers will contribute to growth; and also increased importance of personal… Read more

Dacia-The budget car company taking the UK by storm

MarketLine

Renault, the French automotive manufacturer, has done well in recent years and has weathered the storm of the on-going recession period better than some of its US or Japanese counterparts, with good revenue growth in both 2010 and 2011 for the group. Despite a marginal drop in overall revenues in 2012, the company produced double digit revenue growth in 2010 and 2011, a sign that its business has continued to push new revenue streams even in periods of difficulty. Renault has been successful, not only in its traditional markets in… Read more

Car sharing industry – beginning of the end?

MarketLine

Zipcar, Inc. operates a car sharing network, providing self-service vehicles, conveniently located in reserved parking spaces, by the hour or by the day. The company offers its solutions to individuals, universities, businesses, and government agencies. It is present in North America and Europe. Zipcar’s way of doing business is particularly appealing to young city dwellers, who do not own their own cars, but walk, bike and use public transportation instead, most of the time. They usually like the cool cars  that Zipcar provides, such as Mini Coopers, or Toyota Prius,… Read more

Consumer packaged coffee: Nestlé

MarketLine

With a market share of 11.3%, Nestlé is the second biggest player in the global consumer packaged coffee market. The company is not satisfied sitting second to Mondelez International (15.7%) and is implementing market segmentation strategies aimed at making it the undisputed market leader. Nestlé’s offering at the lower, instant end of the market revolves around the highly popular Nescafé brand which, according to the company, is the most-consumed coffee in the world. In recent years, the company has grown this brand and launched new products, most noticeably the Nescafé… Read more

Non-life insurance market shows remarkable signs of life

MarketLine

Globally, non-life insurance has shown remarkable resilience, recording continual growth even during the height of the financial crisis which engulfed most of the globe. By 2012, worldwide gross written premiums had increased by around $270bn when compared with 2008, the year the financial difficulties started. The global non-life insurance market grew by 5% in 2012, to reach a value of $1,921.2bn, representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% for the period spanning 2008-2012. Growth was fuelled by the Asia-Pacific region as Western economies struggled as car and house sales… Read more

Primary aluminum producer Rio Tinto Alcan struggles amid triple threat

MarketLine

In summer 2007, Rio Tinto outbid rival American aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. to acquire Alcan Inc., Canada’s largest aluminum producer, for $38.1bn in a friendly takeover deal. The high price was paid with the belief aluminium prices would continue to rise, and China would eventually open up to foreign aluminium imports. However the acquisition soon turned sour. Sealed less than a month before the financial crisis came to the fore, aluminum prices plummeted from a 35 year high, falling 36.9% by 2009 from 2007’s peak. Relying on China as a… Read more

The rise, fall and rise of Bitcoin

MarketLine

The digital currency Bitcoin has experienced a surge in value in recent weeks, increasing rapidly since October to exceed a value of $900 for one unit on the Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. The value of Bitcoin fell to $125 after the closure of the Silk Road (a website where users could buy and sell illegal items using Bitcoin) by the FBI on October 2nd 2013, but has since rallied well to briefly reach $900 on November 19th, before falling to below $500. One of the reasons linked to this sudden… Read more

Will Microsoft’s ‘all-in-one’ strategy with Xbox One pay off?

MarketLine

Having seen the North American release of Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) on November 15, 2013, the world is now braced for the imminent release of Microsoft’s competitor console – the Xbox One (XB1) – which is set for release in 13 key global markets on November 22, 2013. Crucially, Microsoft is positioning its console as an ‘all-in-one’ multimedia entertainment hub, whereas Sony is currently focused on the gaming aspect of its new console. Interestingly, the opposite of this was true last generation, as Sony positioned its PlayStation 3 (PS3) as… Read more

The rise of e-commerce in fashion in supermarkets

MarketLine

The increasing popularity of online retail has resulted in an increase in online purchases making it an attractive means for retailers to drive top line growth. Asda has boosted its presence in the online marketplace with its website direct.asda.com which offers a wide range of products including its own clothing brand, George. Asda sells over one million products across ‘Asda Direct’ and ‘George.com’, it can utilize the opportunity to market its presence across the globe through Internet services and increase its customer base. Furthermore, enhancement of the internet service could… Read more

Islamic finance presents opportunities for US banks

MarketLine

Islamic, or more accurately Sharia-compliant, finance is a huge potential market for specialist providers and global banking giants alike. Estimates place the global Muslim population at 1.6 billion, equivalent to approximately 23% of the world total, this offers an excellent potential client base but the range of available Islamic finance products and services is largely under-developed. Some countries with majority Muslim populations, such as Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have relatively advanced offerings, and although there are signs that the market in Europe is finally taking off in earnest, North America’s… Read more

Fashion in supermarkets not supermarket fashion

MarketLine

The UK apparel retail industry has experienced fluctuating levels of low growth in recent years which may potentially make it less attractive to new entrants. During a time of financial crisis and low disposable income, consumers are less likely to buy expensive designer wear. According to British national newspaper, the Telegraph, two-thirds of people reported living on less disposable income than last year (2012), and are trying to stretch out a low monthly expenditure budget of £192 ($304). Supermarkets have been able to establish themselves during the economic downturn by… Read more

IMAX revenues and profits fall in Q3 2013 but future opportunities remain

MarketLine

IMAX Corporation (IMAX) has announced its Q3 2013 results and, on the surface, it does not look good: Q3 2013 revenues are down by 35.9% over the same quarter of last year, and net income is down by a substantial 89.2%. This will be of great concern for IMAX and its shareholders, but it would be wrong to write the company off at this stage. On a year-to-date basis, the company’s slide in revenue and profit is not as severe. Revenues for the first three quarters of 2013 are down… Read more

Luxottica fares well despite uncertain global economy

MarketLine

Despite the cooling of the overall global luxury market, the outlook for sunglasses and eyewear, especially in emerging and developing markets, including South America and Asia, looks bright. Growth opportunities in emerging markets are based on the greater purchasing power of the upper-middle class, the proliferation of luxury stores and the increased availability and rising consumer recognition of premium and luxury brands. The concentration of global wealth in emerging markets has created increased demand for luxury items and accessories, driving consumption in the premium segment. This is great news for… Read more

Banking regulator for 28-nation EU by November 2014?

MarketLine

Back in September 2012, the European Commission (EC) proposed a European Union (EU) banking regulator, which has come to be known as the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), to oversee the 28-nation bloc’s banking sector. This week, the establishment of such a body moved a step closer. Lithuania’s Finance Minister (Lithuania currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency) Rimantas Sadzius announced yesterday that he was “very glad to note the adoption of this very important single supervisory mechanism package.” Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for internal market and services,  was even more enthused… Read more

Savory snacks market comfort eats its way to growth despite difficult economic conditions

MarketLine

Despite the residual effects of the 2008 financial crisis still being felt in many nations around the world, particularly in Europe, consumer demand for savory snacks has continued to show growth, not only in developing countries but also developed nations. The global savory snacks market grew by 5.3% in 2012, to reach a value of $89.6 4illion, representing a compound annual growth rate of 5.0% for the period spanning 2008-2012. The Americas proved to have the largest share of the market, with 44.7% of the total value in 2012, Asia-Pacific… Read more