** HEADLINES **
- Suez Annual Profit Rises 48 Percent on Asset Sales, Higher Power Prices
- Fortis Says It Started Cutting Jobs Among Top Managers to Boost Earnings
- German Industrial Production May Have Increased in January, Survey Shows
- Bank of England Will Probably Keep Rate at 4.5 Percent for a Seventh Month
- Swedish Inflation Probably Moderated in February on Imports, Survey Shows
- Gold Falls to 3-Week Low on Prospect of Higher Interest Rates in the U.S.
** IN PLAY TODAY **
- Earnings of note: EON, Aegon, Suez and Carrefour, PPR
- Suez SA said full-year profit rose 48 percent, boosted by asset sales and
rising electricity and natural gas prices in Europe. Net income rose to 2.51
billion euros from about 1.7 billion euros in the year-earlier period, the
company said. Sales rose 9 percent to 41.5 billion euros, Suez said on Feb. 1.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are expected to
rise more than 7 percent this year because of cost reductions, the company said.
- PPR SA, the French retailer that owns Gucci Group, said profit rose 11 percent
last year as its luxury division benefited from increased demand from Asia.
Net income rose to 539 million euros from 485 million euros a year earlier. The
median estimate was 557.9 million euros, according to a Bloomberg survey of
eight analysts. Earnings per share rose 11.6 percent to 4.53 euros. Sales rose
4.2 percent to 17.8 billion euros.
- Aegon NV said fourth-quarter profit rose 2 percent, helped by
improved earnings in the U.S. Net income rose to 687 million euros, or 41
cents a share, from 672 million euros, or 42 cents, a year
earlier. Profit beat the 562 million-euro median forecast
of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
- Carrefour SA said annual profit increased 1.2 percent as the
company cut prices to gain customers and added more stores.
Net income rose to 1.81 billion euros from
1.79 billion euros a year earlier, the Paris-based company said
in an e-mailed statement today. The median estimate was 1.77
billion euros, according to a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts.
- Deutsche Bank said it needs to adjust preliminary 2005 results. An increase
in legal provisions will cut previously announced net profit by 250 million