CHECKOUT COUNTER: Decline of a fashion giant
1. Horlicks on the block
Nestlé, Kraft Heinz and Unilever are expected to bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s Horlicks health nutrition business, which could fetch more than US$4bn. GlaxoSmithKline has started a strategic review of Horlicks — a malt-based drink — and some of the company’s smaller products, after buying Novartis out of its consumer health-care venture for $13bn, Reuters says. Nestlé already owns Milo.
2. Decline of a fashion giant
First-quarter profit at Swedish fashion retailer H&M slumped 61% to $154m, sending its share to a 13-year low, on weak demand in its main H&M brand stores as more shoppers moved online. The company said it would be forced to implement further discounting after it experienced a larger than expected 7% increase in inventories.
3. Floating luxury
French shipbuilder STX has handed the world’s biggest cruise liner, the Symphony of the Seas, to the US giant Royal Caribbean International, ahead of the ship’s maiden voyage — a seven-night Mediterranean jaunt on April 7. Symphony was built to accommodate 9,000 passengers and crew, and took three years to build at a cost of €1.1bn. The ship features the tallest slide at sea: it stands 10 storeys high, has a 100ft drop, and is dubbed the Ultimate Abyss.
4. Grab the popcorn
According to Citi Research, Netflix will grow to 262m subscriptions within a decade. Citi estimates that Netflix will spend $14.7bn in 2018, $16.5bn in 2019 and $17.5bn in 2020 to acquire and develop new shows and movies. Analysts Mark May and Hao Yan say that by 2028 Netflix should record $17.2bn in positive free cash flow.