The Eurozone, movies and big-spending Chinese football clubs star in this week’s round up of the procurement sector.
Economic growth across the Eurozone bloc in 2016, which means, for the first time since 2008, it has grown faster than the US economy. The region’s jobless rate fell to 9.6%, its lowest figure since May 2009, and inflation now is 1.8%, meeting the European Central Bank’s target of “close to, but below, 2%.” France’s service sector has been particularly buoyant and optimistic employers in the Eurozone are hiring staff faster than anytime since February 2008. Even so, the World Bank is projecting 1.5% growth in the Eurozone in 2017.
The predicted box-office take in China this year, according to PwC, surpassing the US. The Chinese market will drive most of the 8% forecast growth in box-office revenues this year, with 15 new cinemas opening in the country everyday. The market may be booming but quotas on foreign films remain. Big Hollywood studios may need to strike co-production deals to circumvent these restrictions.
The number of vehicles sold by Volkswagen in 2016, making it the largest car manufacturer in the world, just ahead of Toyota, which has been No1 since 2012. Sales rose by 3.8% for the group, which also owns the brands Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Skoda. Despite being rocked by a diesel emissions group in September 2015, Volkswagen has performed well, especially in China where it sold 4m vehicles, 12% more than in 2015. There are hundreds of lawsuits still pending against VW in the UK and US, and Christine Hohmann-Dennhart, the head of compliance brought in to clean up the company’s culture less than a year ago, has resigned.
The expected retail price of Roe & Co, the new Irish whiskey being launched by Diageo in March. The drinks giant withdrew from the sector two years ago, selling its Bushmills brand, but is spending £25m to create a new Irish whiskey in a distillery at the Dublin plant where it makes Guinness. Last year, 7.8m cases of Irish whiskey were sold worldwide, 131% more than in 2005. Pernod Ricard owns the biggest selling brand Jameson, which accounts for 67% of global sales.
The amount of ethanol that can be produced from a ton of junk clothes, according to Masaki Takao, the CEO of Japanese recycling firm Jeplan. The company is working on extracting cotton fibre from used clothing and turn it into fuel, and has also found a way to recycle polyester, which is used in 60% of the clothing produced in the world each year. Takao has raised $13m in capital for the project and has even ordered a full-sized replica of the DeLorean used in the movie Back To The Future to publicise the product.
The most expensive bunker on the website of Rising S Co, a company in Dallas, Texas, that sells shelters in which people can live during a nuclear conflict. Sales of the company’s most luxurious shelters have risen 700% in a few months as more Americans start ‘Doomsday prepping’. Gary Lynch, Rising S’s general manager, says: “When a Democrat is president, the right want to buy a bunker. When a Republican is president, the left do.” The $8.3m bunker includes a games room, greenhouse, gun range and bowling alley.
The net profit made by Premier League clubs in the January 2017 transfer window, the first time the top flight of English football has made a profit. Though the clubs collectively spent £215m on new players, they also sold some in lucrative deals with Chinese clubs, which have spent more than £150m in their mid-season break. Brazilian midfielder Oscar left Chelsea for Shanghai SIPG in a £52m deal.