30 that underlying revenue for the third quarter rose 3 percent to 3.5 percent. The worlds second-biggest consumer-goods maker reported 5 percent growth in the first half and second quarter. A gauge of food and beverage stocks was the second-worst performer among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. Nestle SA, the worlds biggest food company, lost 1.7 percent. SABMiller Plc slipped 4.8 percent for its biggest weekly decline since November 2011 amid a strike at its South African beer division. Nokian Renkaat Nokian Renkaat tumbled 9.7 percent, the biggest weekly drop since October 2012. Full-year net sales and operating profit will decline because of the rubles retreat against the euro, the Nordic regions biggest tiremaker said. Hochtief AG, which owns a controlling stake in Leighton Holdings Ltd., lost 4.9 percent for the largest slide since June. Leighton, Australia s biggest builder, allegedly paid bribes to win contracts, the Age newspaper reported. Former chiefs Wal King and David Stewart were aware of the conduct, according to the report. Leighton has been under investigation by the Australian Federal Police since at least February 2012 after the company reported potentially illegal activity at its subsidiary Leighton Offshore Pte.
Windows Phone grabs one in ten smartphone sales in Europe
In the three months to August, Windows Phone accounted for 9.2 percent of sales across the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, proving especially popular in France (12 percent) and the U.K. (10.8 percent), according to figures from analysts at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. These are its highest ever sales numbers and take Microsoft’s platform to within one percentage point of matching sales of Apple’s iconic iPhone on the largest market of all, Germany. Android remains on top of the pile with 70.1 percent of sales to August although its growth rates have tailed off compared to its rivals. “Windows Phone’s latest wave of growth is being driven by Nokia’s expansion into the low and mid-range market with the Lumia 520 and 620 handsets. These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16- to 24-year-olds and 35- to 49-year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone,” said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Android’s growth was being driven by Samsung’s marketing effort, ahead of other firms developing for the platform, Sony, HTC, and LG, in that market share order. “After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find,” he said. What the figures suggest is that there is a natural ceiling for any platform and Android has probably reached that. There is also room for three platforms although with only 2.4 percent of sales that will not include the “fourth way” of BlackBerry. Longer term, Microsoft’s growth on the back of its acquisition of Nokia is likely to be in the mid-market sector. Exactly how Apple and Microsoft will fare is hard to call but it looks possible that Windows Phone will move into second place in Europe in the next two years; Apple’s year-on-year numbers dropped from 16.1 percent to 14.1 percent. This contrasts with the U.S.
are expected to show a slight easing in the expansion for non-manufacturing companies, which have consistently outpaced their European peers. The main disappointment in Europe was Spain, where a rise in business activity during August – the first in more than two years – proved short-lived as firms slipped back into decline. Still, the data pointed to a broadening recovery across the euro zone, said Nick Matthews, senior European economist at Nomura, though that had yet to be borne out in official data. “The hard data so far for the third quarter has perhaps a bit more on the disappointing side – in particular industrial production …was very weak in July,” said Matthews. “We expect this to bounce back, but this suggests we could see a slightly slower pace of growth in the third quarter relative to the second quarter.” PMI compiler Markit said its surveys suggested the euro zone economy grew around 0.2 percent from July through September, a touch below the 0.3 percent registered in the second quarter. Nomura’s Matthews said they suggested a slightly stronger rate of growth for the final months of the year. STILL NOT ON SOLID GROUND Markit’s Eurozone Services PMI rose to 52.2 in September from August’s 50.7, little changed from a preliminary reading of 52.1. Readings above 50 signify growth. Businesses in No.1 economy Germany reported rising new orders and staffing levels, while France’s private sector grew for the first time in a year and a half. The upbeat mood was further bolstered by news that euro zone retail sales jumped 0.7 percent in August, month-on-month, hitting the top end of forecasts. Draghi said on Wednesday the euro zone economy still faced downside risks [ID:nL6N0HS2YP].