Thursday, March 16, 2017 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Transat AT blames higher fuel prices, weak dollar for Q1 losses Posted by Tags: Air Transat, Profit Report MONTREAL — Transat AT Inc. says fluctuations in the Canadian dollar and higher fuel costs have hampered its attempts to return to sustainable profits.The Montreal-based travel company says it had a $32.1 million net loss in its first quarter ended Jan. 31, nearly half of the $61.2 million net loss in the same period a year earlier.It says that was mostly because of a favourable swing in the value of derivatives used to offset the impact of higher fuel prices.However, Transat’s adjusted net loss grew from $30.4 million to $36 million as costs rose due to rising fuel prices and the weaker loonie.Revenue dropped by $36.4 million to $689.3 million as the company cut the number of Sun destination packages.Transat’s net loss equalled 87 cents per share and its adjusted loss was 98 cents per share.
No related posts. By Carlos A, Sandi | AFPBy Latin American standards of turbulence and strife, Costa Rica stands apart as a breath of fresh air and bastion of human rights.But now it’s under fire for a new media law criticized as a gut punch to freedom of the press at a time when corruption scandals here sprout like mushrooms.In enacting the law, this small Central American country with no army and a Nobel Peace laureate to its credit – former President Oscar Arias – seems to be emulating bigger Latin American neighbors with populist leaders that often tangle with or otherwise crack down on the press. These include Argentina, Venezuela and Ecuador.Costa Rica is tiptoeing into this arena – the president already sounds apologetic over the new law – but the legislation is indeed right there on the books and in force since last week.It is framed as being part of a drive against cybercrime and says reporters can go to jail for “improperly” obtaining information of a confidential nature.One of the most reviled articles is No. 288, which allows for jail terms of up to 10 years for anyone who publishes “secret political information.”It punishes people who “unduly” obtain information on defense or foreign affairs issues, or which affects the country’s fight against drug trafficking or organized crime.The criticism has been scathing. The bill was introduced in 2009 and approved in June, even though the congressional Human Rights Commission was then examining an alternative law proposed by news executives.The citizens’ ombudsman’s office says it is going to court to challenge the law as unconstitutional.“It is a law that is going to curb freedom of expression and information, and which is not only going to affect the news media,” said José Rodolfo Ibarra, president of the Costa Rican Journalists Association.Critics say the law is especially offensive given Costa Rica’s tradition as a defender of human rights and freedom of expression.Media executives say it is the press that has exposed countless cases of corruption, including three involving former presidents – two of whom went to prison.“In recent decades, the main allegations against corrupt people, both public and private figures, came from the news media,” said Ignacio Santos, director of the TV news program Telenoticias on Channel 7.“It is a law that is going to have very serious impact on the development of the investigative journalism done in this country,” added Roxana Zúñiga, director of Noticias Repretel on Channel 6.Faced with the onslaught of criticism, President Laura Chinchilla issued a statement promising to tone down the law and not go hard on journalists.But Ibarra of the journalists’ association said that conciliatory spin was too late, as the law was already approved and in a big rush. Reporters Without Borders said she should simply have scrapped the law.“Legislation that is so opposed to the guarantees offered in our constitution in the areas of freedom of expression and information should have led to a presidential veto,” the association said.Costa Rica has ample company as a country now criticized over its treatment of the press.The Inter-American Press Association said last year that freedom of the press in Latin America faces threats from government attempts at control in Venezuela and Ecuador.It said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is at outright “war” with the press and has the ultimate goal of controlling digital media.In Argentina, media giant Clarín says President Cristina Kirchner is now trying to silence an opposition press by forcing the media group to sell off some radio and TV licenses or see them auctioned off. Facebook Comments
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways (BA), has denounced the government’s newly introduced Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax as a disgrace. The APD will have a huge adverse effect on developing countries’ economies as well as Britain’s, Mr Walsh said in a Fly.co.uk report.The tax currently raises £2.3 billion for the Treasury every year, but Walsh says that the APD is set to generate £3.8 billion by 2015 with a 65 per cent increase. He warned that rising passenger numbers couldn’t meet the rate of increase of the tax, noting that the levy on individual passengers would need to rise to keep pace. The airline chief cited developing countries such as the Caribbean as being negatively impacted – 12 per cent fall in arrivals to the region from the UK has been witnessed ever since the APD raised the cost of a family-of-four holiday from £120 to £200. Other islands have seen a 25 per cent decline in arrivals from Britain. Mr Walsh said the obsession with aviation taxes will harm carriers and their goodwill, as UK carriers have been relatively more hurt by the APD than carriers in Europe who weren’t burdened with a similar tax.The proposed per-plane tax from the coalition government, he added, could suffocate BA’s efforts to develop in the Caribbean under the increasing levies.
By Andria KadesEight years after Cyprus’ last construction bubble burst, the rate at which properties and projects are springing up across the country are quickly changing the industry which was stagnant for so many years.In Limassol, high-rise after high-rise buildings are popping up with dozens more in the pipeline. The city is also gearing up for the first integrated casino resort set to open in 2021.Head of the Limassol branch of the construction workers association Yiannis Markides told the Sunday Mail that already there was a shortage of specialist construction workers in the industry.“There is a need for people in the workforce,” he said.“For a lot of the tall towers and the casino, works haven’t started yet. There is a lot of development coming in the future.”According to the interior ministry, the government issued building permits for 25 high-rise buildings in the first three months of the year and 60 more are pending, most of them in Limassol.Markides said when construction begins for the dozens of tall buildings, then the gap in the market will really start to become obvious.At the moment, demand is high particularly for certain levels of expertise as many of the projects underway are new to the island and the local workforce.For instance, Markides said formwork workers and iron smiths in particular, are in demand for the initial construction phase when the building ‘skeleton’ is being constructed.“There are many from Greece here carrying out this work. In Cyprus, they don’t have the expertise and experience to do that.”Because the brunt of the construction work has yet to begin, a full picture has yet to emerge.Athanasiou developers and Askanis Group, both told the Sunday Mail they had no issue with a shortage of supply of construction workers. Cybarco, which has taken on the casino project did not wish to comment.Zavos, Garpozis and Evangelou & Frantzis were not immediately available for comment.Pandelis Leptos, who heads the Cyprus land and building developers association and is the director of real estate company Leptos Group, told the Sunday Mail that at the moment, the workers in Cyprus were enough to match the demand.Many of those who worked in construction lost their jobs either after the end of the building boom in 2010-11 or after the full-blown 2013 financial crisis hit the island.“Those people such as a specialised iron worker couldn’t work somewhere else. They couldn’t be a waiter for instance,” Leptos said.Now that there is growth however, many of those who were left unemployed will be able to find work with a whole host of jobs opening up.Additionally, many of those who were left without a job went abroad in a bid to find work. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Emirates were particularly attractive. Now that the local market is expanding, many of these workers will opt to come back to their home country, Leptos estimates.“I myself hired Cypriots who were in the Emirates.”Asked whether there would be a need to bring in non-Cypriot workers from abroad, his assessment was that this might happen but was not the case right now.“We might need more but the EU market is open if we need it.”For Dynacon construction company operating out of Limassol however, the situation is pretty dire for finding skilled workers.In the space of the past six months, many workers have demanded an increase in their salary to the tune of about 10 to 15 per cent.“The growth in Limassol happened very quickly,” and started about a year ago.It’s not just the high-rise buildings, civil engineer for Dynacon, Demetris Christofides told the Sunday Mail.There’s a whole host of projects, offices, and flats that are being constructed and it isbecoming more common for construction workers to demand higher salaries.“There’s a shortage of staff in all specialties. From iron smiths, formwork workers, builders, electricians.”Cyprus’ construction sector output rose last year 25 per cent to €752.9m compared to 2016, which is roughly one third of the all-time high of 2008.Figures showing registered unemployed construction workers are decreasing by the month. In the beginning of 2018, 2,376 workers were registered as unemployed in the industry.By July, the number was 1889.According to Christofides, the shortage of staff is a result of fewer young people joining the industry, former workers having retired but also several former construction workers nowreceive GMI (guaranteed minimum income) and want the money paid to them in cash under the table so they can continue to receive their benefits.The company doesn’t want to do anything off the books and therefore is struggling even more. At the moment, they are trying to get current employees to work more hours where they can or to purchase services from other companies.“It’s going to get worse.”Asked if the possibility of hiring foreign workers was in the air, Christofides said it’s a difficult feat as there are expenses which need to be considered but also the language.There are already employees from Greece but they weren’t headhunted and brought to the island. They came of their own accord looking for work and were hired. This meant the employer’s responsibility for helping workers find accommodation and cover those expenses is not – at the moment at least – an issue. Accommodation costs for workers are a serious issue for Limassol where rents are so high.Other EU-workers that were in Cyprus and worked in construction were largely here because they too came to the island looking for work independently and so had their own expenses covered.Many of them left after the crisis however, Christofides said.Markides cited an example where a company owner wanted a specialised mechanic from Greece because he couldn’t find one in Cyprus.“He had to bring the mechanic with his family but it was very difficult to find them an affordable place for rent.”Of course, the company owner paid the rent expenses.Smaller companies will also struggle to afford such expenses, particularly if their projects are not on a large scale.On the other hand, Leptos believes that there are many apartments available across the country – particularly in Paphos, Larnaca and Nicosia that can be utilised.The workers could commute, or if the companies wanted them based in Limassol, they wouldn’t be on the coast where rent prices are soaring, but further out of town.“They would take the cost into account for their expenses.”Nonetheless, according to Markides, gaps in the market he says exist will become far more obvious in about two years’ time when construction really gets going.“The government needs to prepare a national strategy over this. We can’t wait until the last minute again.”You May LikeNoteableyHotel Concierge Won’t Tell Guests These Simple Room HacksNoteableyUndocoffeebeans.com for Angelino'sAngelino’s Can Save You Money On Your Keurig K-Cupscoffeebeans.com for Angelino’sUndoseriouslaBaby Walrus Jumps On Ship, Gets So Attached With The Sailors He Refuses To LeaveseriouslaUndo At least 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate’s office in KabulUndoTwo days of music to dance toUndoBale’s China move called off by Real MadridUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Rep. Brett Roberts offered the following statement:“Last night, my colleagues and I voted on a plan that would have slightly reduced Michigan’s income tax. I wasn’t able to support that plan for a number of different reasons.“Just more than a year ago, the Michigan Legislature asked residents for money to fix potholes, roads, and bridges across the state. A good portion of this money comes from Michigan’s general fund. Because our general fund is supported directly by the income tax, it’s possible that the funding previously dedicated for road repairs would be in danger.“Without a list of budget areas that would need to be cut under this plan, I’m not comfortable voting for it. Creating a $1.1 billion shortfall in the state’s budget threatens local schools, fire services, police services, and municipal revenue sharing. These are not services that our communities can go without. Impulsively voting on this measure without knowing its effect on the budget is irresponsible and reckless.“Under this plan, an average, middle-class family would see a savings of about $3 per week. I’d much rather sacrifice a cup of coffee than pay for a costly repair to my car, and I think a lot of Michiganders share that sentiment.“Over the last few weeks, I’ve had an overwhelming number of constituents reach out to me, asking me to vote against this irresponsible change. While I saw the problems with this plan myself, turning my back on my fellow constituents is simply not an option. I’m here to be their voice, and their voices told me to vote ‘no.’“I look forward to hearing more from our neighbors in the district on all issues in the future.”###Representative Brett Roberts, R-Charlotte, is a sixth-generation farmer and lifelong resident of Eaton County. Categories: Roberts News 23Feb Rep. Roberts issues statement on income tax vote
23May Rep. Kahle’s crowdfunding bill gains House approval Legislation expands opportunities for small businessesRep. Bronna Kahle, center, recently welcomed Tecumseh Brewing Co. co-founder Kyle DeWitt, left, and city of Adrian Economic Development Coordinator Chris Miller, right, to speak in support of legislation she sponsored to increase opportunities for small businesses to crowdfund in Michigan.State Rep. Bronna Kahle’s legislation to update Michigan’s investment crowdfunding law, the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption, recently received overwhelming bipartisan approval in the Michigan House of Representatives.Michigan first adopted rules allowing crowdfunding in 2013. Currently, the law only allows Michigan residents to invest in Michigan-based businesses. Kahle’s legislation will expand the program so people can also invest in small businesses primarily doing business in the state and allows Michigan’s law to remain active under new Federal regulations.“Crowdfunding has created numerous opportunities for start-ups by allowing Michigan residents to invest in Michigan-based businesses,” Kahle said. “Expanding these investment options to more businesses will provide opportunities for further economic growth in our state.”Kahle recently welcomed Chris Miller, economic development coordinator for the city of Adrian, and Kyle DeWitt, general manager and co-founder of Tecumseh Brewing Co., to speak in support of the legislation before the House Commerce and Trade Committee. Tecumseh Brewing Co. was the first Michigan business to use crowdfunding to come up with start-up costs.“We didn’t come from money, so we really had to build from the ground up to get the funds we needed,” DeWitt said. “We owe a lot to crowdfunding. It was a great program for us. It allowed us to add 20 jobs to our community and help out with community service projects.”Miller said: “Michigan is one of the leading states in the ‘local capital’ movement that has swept across the country over the last three years. Investment crowdfunding, where all residents can invest in local businesses, is a powerful tool for communities across the state as they work to compete in the global economy. Representative Kahle’s bill to extend Michigan’s 2013 law is critical to continue Michigan’s leadership, and we appreciate Representative Kahle’s sponsorship and support for this important legislation.”House Bill 4305 now moves to the Senate Commerce Committee for consideration.### Categories: Kahle News
Categories: Canfield News 11Sep Rep. Canfield announces September office hours State Rep. Edward J. Canfield, D.O. invites residents to join him for September in-district office hours at the following times and locations:Friday, Sept. 15 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Rawson Memorial Library, 6495 Pine St. in Cass City; andFriday, Sept. 29 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Sebewaing Village Hall, 222 N. Center St. in Sebewaing.“Spending time with constituents one-on-one and hearing their concerns directly is very important to me,” Canfield said. “I would encourage anyone who is interested to please join this open meeting and I look forward to better understanding the needs of our district.”No appointment is necessary. For those unable to attend, Rep. Canfield can be reached at (517) 373-0476, via email at EdwardCanfield@house.mi.gov or by visiting www.RepCanfield.com.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares October 2, 2014;Wallace Foundation The Wallace Foundation, in announcing a new initiative to fund up to 25 performing and visual arts organizations to the tune of $40 million over a six-year period (see today’s related newswire, “Wallace’s Powerful New $40M Arts Audience Development Initiative“) also released the latest in its series of publications, Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences. The in-depth report is titled The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences and was written by Bob Harlow, PhD, a social psychologist and statistician. The report is based on audience-building projects funded by the foundation between 2006 and 2012. During that time, 54 arts organizations received Wallace grants for this type of work. The findings from this report will inform the new funding initiative, which will in turn form the basis of yet another layer of research into audience development.This infographic represents nine effective strategies—in a wheel that suggests an ongoing continuum—demonstrated to have a positive impact on expanding and engaging arts audiences.The organizations whose work is highlighted in The Road to Results are:Boston Lyric Opera (Boston)The Clay Studio (Philadelphia)The Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco)Fleisher Art Memorial (Philadelphia)Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston)Minnesota Opera (Minneapolis)Pacific Northwest Ballet (Seattle)San Francisco Girls Chorus (San Francisco)Seattle Opera (Seattle)Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago)The full 91-page report (with a three-page executive summary of the nine practices) may be found here.—Eileen CunniffeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 3, 2015; Shreveport TimesTo protest the closure of a Little Free Library in Shreveport, Louisiana, Kathryn Usher has created a display in her own front yard. Several books are supported in a tent of branches, accompanied by more books stacked below and a sign that reads, “Free Range Books—Take One Leave One.”The local artist constructed the unofficial book-lending structure after Ricky and Teresa Edgerton received notice from the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) that their registered Little Free Library violated a city ordinance. According to the commission’s zoning administrator, libraries are only permitted in commercial zones, and as the Little Free Library is located in the Edgertons’ front yard in a residential neighborhood, its use is not permitted. Thankfully, Usher’s protest and other community efforts have brought the issue to the attention of MPC’s board chair, Lea Desmarteau, who said, “Our current zoning ordinances are antiquated [and] therefore unfortunately lead to these types of situations. However, there is a silver lining. The MPC is in the process of a massive rewrite of these antiquated codes and ordinances.” Such revisions are anticipated by the end of the year, but the book exchange issue will be addressed by the end of the week, ahead of full ordinance updates. The swift response to the Little Free Library’s closure exemplifies the importance of the book exchange to the members of the Shreveport community. While they might appear as simple book exchange stations, Little Free Libraries complement what so many of their larger community library counterparts strive to achieve. The exchange of influential literature adds depth to community engagement, as sharing a favorite book can create personal connections and opportunities for healthy discussion and social dialogue.According to the co-creator of Little Free Libraries, Todd Bol, “We have a need to be part of a physical community, but there are so many things in our daily lives that distract us and end up pulling us apart. This gives neighborhoods an opportunity to work together for something that’s useful to everyone.”—Michele BittnerShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesImage Credit: John PisciottaAugust 12, 2015; New England Journal of Medicine and the Wall Street JournalDespite warnings from federal officials and strong support from the medical community, efforts to defund Planned Parenthood on a state-by-state basis continued this past week.The respected New England Journal of Medicine published a strong endorsement of the use of fetal tissue in medical research. R. Alta Charo, J.D., Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin Law School, stressed the importance of fetal tissue in medical research.We have a duty to use fetal tissue for research and therapy…Virtually every person in this country has benefited from research using fetal tissue. Every child who’s been spared the risks and misery of chickenpox, rubella, or polio can thank the Nobel Prize recipients and other scientists who used such tissue in research yielding the vaccines that protect us (and give even the unvaccinated the benefit of herd immunity). This work has been going on for nearly a century, and the vaccines it produced have been in use nearly as long. Any discussion of the ethics of fetal tissue research must begin with its unimpeachable claim to have saved the lives and health of millions of people.In a separate editorial, NEJM stood firmly behind Planned Parenthood:It is shameful that a radical anti-choice group whose goal is the destruction of Planned Parenthood continues to twist the facts to achieve its ends. We thank the women who made the choice to help improve the human condition through their tissue donation; we applaud the people who make this work possible and those who use these materials to advance human health. We are outraged by those who debase these women, this work, and Planned Parenthood by distorting the facts for political ends.Planned Parenthood’s mobilized its Clergy Advocacy Board to counter the attacks on its ethics. The board of religious leaders issued a statement defending the organizations’ practices. “Planned Parenthood offers the opportunity for women to choose to donate fetal tissue for research purposes,” the clergy statement said. “Research using fetal tissue saves hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide every year. The scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam strongly and repeatedly condemn dishonesty and hate.”And the Obama administration took steps to counter state actions defunding PP. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell explained her position at a recent congressional hearing, saying, “What I think is important is that our HHS funding is focused on issues of preventative care for women, things like mammograms and cancer prevention screenings.”According to the Wall Street Journal:The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a unit of (the US Department of Health and Human Services) HHS, has notified Alabama and Louisiana, which have taken action to terminate their Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood, that they may be in conflict with federal law…The agency said that, by restricting providers, women could lose access to critical preventive care, such as cancer screenings.HHS said it provided both states with guidance it released in a June 2011 memo, which says states aren’t permitted to exclude providers from Medicaid solely on the basis of the range of medical services they provide. The memo says states may exclude providers under certain circumstances, such as when providers commit fraud or certain criminal acts.HHS’s challenge did not stop two additional states from moving forward with efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. According to The Hill, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered the state’s health department to end Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood. “It is apparent,” he said, “that after the recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them.”In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert took action to bring the number of states ending PP’s Medicaid funding to five. In his statement announcing his decision, he said:The allegations against Planned Parenthood are deeply troubling. Current Utah state law prohibits the use of state funds to provide abortions by Planned Parenthood or any other organization. The federal government has provided grants to Planned Parenthood, distributed through the Utah Department of Health. These funds are also prohibited from being used to perform abortions. In light of ongoing concerns about the organization, I have instructed state agencies to cease acting as an intermediary for pass-through federal funds to Planned Parenthood.Planned Parenthood is considering its next steps to challenge state actions, and additional states are weighing how they can limit PP. And while the political and legal chess match goes on, the availability of medical care for millions of women hangs in the balance. That is the bottom line, which cannot be forgotten in all the smoke and fire of this dispute.—Marty LevineShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Telefónica Digital has chosen Ericsson to lead the integration and implementation of its next-generation video platform across multiple countries.Telefónica’s Global Video Platform (GVP) will enable its subscribers to access live TV, video-on-demand and premium video services, simultaneously over various networks and devices. The telco will use Ericsson’s portfolio of OSS and BSS software solutions.Several other companies are combining components for the GVP, including IPTV middleware, OTT back-office, Digital Rights Management Systems and content management systems, while Telefónica’s own research and development unit is developing and launching the user interface for GVP.Vivek Dev, director of digital services at Telefónica Digital, said, “We want people to be able to get their content whether they are on IPTV or OTT networks, on mobile or fixed. We chose Ericsson as the primary integrator because of their TV expertise as well as their knowledge in the IT domain.”
The Orange Group has recommended to the board that company executive Bruno Duthoit take the CEO role at Orange Polska, after current boss Maciej Witucki said he is stepping down.Duthoit, who has held several management positions in the Orange Group, including CEO of Orange Moldova and CEO of Orange Armenia, is due to replace Witucki, who is due to leave the role after almost seven years.Orange said that it will at the same time propose Witucki as chairman of the supervisory board of Orange Polska, taking over from Professor Andrzej K. Kozminski, who has announced his intention to resign as chairman.“We acknowledge and understand the decision of Maciej Witucki to step down, after serving nearly seven years as the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Polska. We will propose Bruno Duthoit as the new CEO in Poland as his broad international experience, as well as good knowledge of Poland and its telecom market, make him the best candidate to become Maciej’s successor,” said Benoit Scheen, Orange Group’s Executive Vice President for Operations in Europe (excluding France).
US-based Vimeo is to pump US$10 million (€7.2 million) in new funding into its on-demand service to aid content creators to work with the platform.Vimeo launched its Vimeo One Demand service a year ago and CEO Kerry Trainor described the new investment as a “broad expansion of resources to support creators”.This will include expanding its crowdfunding programme by allowing filmmakers who have raised more than US$10,000 to access extra support, invest further in its film festival initiative, increase title and catalogue acquisitions and offer new grants to distributors and filmmakers.The platform offers original independent films from a variety of creators and currently has 22 million registered users.
Eutelsat reported revenue growth for its core video activities in the three months ending September 30, thanks to added capacity in high-growth markets.Announcing figures for its fiscal first quarter, Eutelsat said that revenues from video applications were up 3.2% to €227.6 million, representing 65.1% of group revenues.The firm said that the increase reflected the entry into service of the Express-AT1 satellite, which was operational for the full quarter, along with additional resources added at 7°/8° West in September 2013 and a good performance from Satmex Video applicationsThese more than offset the impact of the suspension of operations on certain frequencies at 28.5° East in October 2013, Eutelsat said.As of September 30, the total number of channels broadcast by Eutelsat satellites stood at 5,788. Excluding Satmex’s 322channels, the channel count was up 16% year-on-year to 753.“Our core video activity saw a further pick-up in revenue growth reflecting capacity added in the past year serving high-growth markets. Regional trends in data remained mixed, with ongoing tough conditions in EMEA but good momentum in Latin America,” said Eutelsat chairman and CEO Michel de Rosen.“Growth in value-added services remained robust on the back of the continued uptake on KA-SAT. Government services benefited from new contracts and the good performance of Satmex.”Overall, Eutelsat said revenues were up 4.2% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis to €357.6 million.
Google’s new ChromecastUK broadcaster Channel 4 has teamed up with Google to launch its All 4 on-demand service on Chromecast.From November 24, UK viewers will be able to use their Android mobile device or Chrome browser on their computer to cast their favourite Channel 4 content directly to their TV, using a Chromecast dongle. The service will be available from the All 4 iOS app in mid-December.Channel 4 is marketing the pre-Christmas launch of All 4 on the streaming media HDMI device with a new ad campaign featuring Spencer Matthews of scripted reality show Made in Chelsea and Phil Spencer of Channel 4 property show Location, Location, Location.Carl Pfeiffer, head of distribution for Channel 4, said: “We know that Chromecast functionality has been a popular request of All 4 users, so we’re delighted to launch this side of Christmas.”Dan Saunders, head of Chromecast, EMEA, at Google said: “Chromecast makes it easy to cast your favourite Channel 4 shows to your TV right from your phone, tablet or computer.”
Mike FriesLiberty Global fell into the red in the third quarter thanks to trading losses on derivatives. The company recorded a loss of US$249.5 million (€224.8 million), driven by its US$436 million losses on derivatives, compared with a profit of US$133.3 million for the same period last year.The international cable group nevertheless posted solid revenue growth, posting sales of US$5.2 billion for the quarter, up 1.7% on a like-for-like basis. Operating income was US$902.7 million, up from US$545.5 million.Operating cash flow was flat year-on-year, with gains from operational growth offset by the decline in value of the Brexit-impacted UK pound.On the operational front, Liberty Global’s European year-to-date revenue-generating unit additions were up 47% to 622,400, attributed to the success of quad-play and the group’s advanced video services. In Q3 the company added 27,000 customers, a two-year record, but net RGU additions were down on a year-to-year basis by 13% to 256,500.The company had 26 million subscribers in Europe at the end of the quarter.RGU additions were driven by the UK, where Virgin Media recorded its strongest RGU growth in three years, adding 92,000 RGUs, and Germany, where Unitymedia added 89,000 RGUs. The group was pulled down somewhat by its Dutch unit, which lost 11,000 RGUs. However, this was the lowest quarterly rate of loss in two years.Telenet in Belgium and UPC Switzerland turned in muted operational results, hit by lower telephony additions in Belgium and broadband and fixed-line weakness in Switzerland.In terms of its video performance, Liberty Global added 278,000 advanced TV customers in the quarter, taking together the total of Horizon TV, Horizon Lite, TiVo Virgin Media and Yelo Telenet customers. Horizon added 155,000 to its base, including 79,000 in the Netherlands. The Horizon Lite service for legacy set-tops in central and eastern Europe expanded by 53,000. Virgin Media and Telenet added 67,000 and 3,000 next-generation TV customers respectively. Advanced TV platforms now represent 74% of the company’s overall European TV base.Liberty Global Europe turned in revenues of US$4.3 billion, up 0.6%, for the quarter.The group’s Latin American and Caribbean business added a net 27,000 RGUs in the quarter. LiLAC revenue increased by 190% to US$894 million for the quarter, driven by the acquisition of CWC, which nevertheless underperformed relative to expectations.Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said the quarter reflected “the acceleration in operating performance that we anticipated in Europe”, driven by quad-play offers and advanced video and OTT services.“We are confirming our full-year 2016 financial targets for our European business, including better cash flow growth in Q4, but we expect to end up at the lower end of our 4-5% rebased OCF growth range due to the phasing of our new build programme and the impact of certain commercial initiatives in the UK,” said Fries.
Russian service provider Rostelecom has launched new sports channel Eurosport Gold as part of its programming line-up.The channel is the result of a collaboration between Rostelecom and Media Alliance, which distributes the Discovery and Eurosport channel portfolio in Russia.The channel’s content is based on that of Eurosport 2. Eurosport Gold will be the only channel in Russia that airs all the matches of the US and Canada’s National Hockey League (NHL), according to Rostelelecom. It will also air Italian football, Australian Open and Wimbledon tennis and other sports including figure skating and snooker.The channel will be available as part of the service provider’s Optimum, Advanced and Maximum packages, with an HD version aired in the Ideal HD pack.Media Alliance CEO Grigory Lavrov said that the launch of the channel was “an important step in strengthening our fruitful and long-term cooperation with Rostelecom”.Rostelecom content director Andrei Golovanov said that it was of symbolic note that the launch of Eurosport Gold coincided with the 35th anniversary of the ‘super series’ hockey matches between the USSR and Canada than introduced Russian audiences to top NHL players for the first time. A number of top Russian players now play in the NHL.
Dragan SolakUnited Group, combining SBB, Telemach Slovenia, Telemach Bosnia-Herzegovina and satellite broadcaster Total TV, is one of the latest examples of pay TV consolidation in CEE. Chairman Dragan Solak talked about his plans with DTVE.Why was the decision taken to combine the existing operating companies SBB, Telemach and others into United Group?Companies from United Group were already operating under a joint business strategy and coordinated management, but formal consolidation was necessary to increase efficiency, minimise bureaucracy and form a unified shareholding structure.What plans do you have to create unified services and offerings across the group and to what extent will decisions be left to local managers?We do plan to create unified services, especially in regard to technology, but we like to be local as well so differences exist and will continue to be there, based on the specificities of each market. Local management already takes part in creating new and redefining existing services at the group level and also gives final touch to services on their respective territories.What are the major similarities and differences in what consumers are looking for across the territories in which United Group operates?We consider our territories as one market in both cultural and social aspects, since all of the local content offers are popular across the region. The rest of our business is telecommunications and that is pretty similar across the whole world. All in all we find it very easy to implement our ideas within the region with very few local specifics, if any.Are you looking to consolidate more smaller operators in the markets in which you are active in the future under the United Group umbrella or would you look to a partnership/wholesale model too?Our first choice is always to consolidate and we have been doing it successfully for a very long time.To what extent has the pay TV and triple-play business been hit by the economic downturn and ongoing economic uncertainty in the region?We have found our industry to be particularly defensive, capable of being very flexible and resilient even in the worst of economic climates. Our services are addressing the basic and core needs of our clients and combined with the right price and quality they prove to be very sticky. The group’s financials reported double-digit growth over the last five years and we plan to continue at the same pace.What new services are you planning to develop for subscribers in each territory over the next year?United Group already provides state of the art services similar to any top tier operator anywhere in Europe. Our video product is fully integrated over all available platforms – digital cable, VOD, TV Everywhere etc. – and networks while internet and telephony are leading services in their respective markets. Obviously our search for better and enhanced customer experience never stops. We will introduce VOD and time shifting services to Bosnia soon, which would be the last step in a technologically unified offer to all our subscribers in the region.Where does the D3 Go brand and OTT fit into your plans and how do you plan to develop this service? Are you looking primarily to use OTT to target subscribers outside the reach of your fixed network? Will it also be part of a multiscreen/multi-device offering for established pay TV subscribers?D3 Go is right in the centre of our plans for the future. We find the technology very useful for expanding our service footprint as well as for offering more comfort and flexibility in watching video to our existing clients. We are in the process of developing an OTT service targeting our countrymen across the globe, which they will be able to enjoy in a specially designed channels line-up.To what extent are customers in the region looking to a single operator to provide multi-play services and how have you addressed this market?The customer affection for triple and quadruple play offers seems to grow every year and definitely looks to be the predominant model for the future. United Group has developed a quite sophisticated offer of bundled services that spreads not only across the countries, but also features unique advantages for individuals and companies who live/work/operate within more than just one country.
ShareTweet bogsideDERRY POLICE WARN DRUG DEALERS: WE ARE COMING TO GET YOUR AFTER THREE ARRESTS OVER £3OOK SEIZUREDISTRICT JUDGE BARNEY MCELHOLMdistrict support teamdurrown parkKULAR COURTPSNITACTICAL SUPPORT GROUPwilliam street “The message is clear to drug dealers: “We are coming to get you.”DERRY POLICE WARN DRUG DEALERS: WE ARE COMING TO GET YOUR AFTER THREE ARRESTS OVER £3OOK SEIZURE was last modified: December 13th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: Following an application by a defence solicitor, District Judge Barney McElholm imposed a reporting restriction that banned publication of their names.Both were remanded in custody to appear in court via video link from Maghaberry prison next month.Following their court appearance, the PSNI in Derry gave more details of the operation that led to their arrest, court appearance and remand in custody.They say the investigation into the seizure is ongoing and a third person has been arrested under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. The drugs seized by police on Sunday during searches in the Bogside and Williams Street areaTWO men have been remanded in custody after a suspicious vehicle led police to a haul of up to £3oo,ooo worth of drugs at the weekend.The men aged – 25 and 29 – were charged at Derry Magistrates’ Court today with a number of offences, including possession of Class A and Class B drugs and possession of Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply.The 29-year-old faced an additional charge of possession of property in relation to the seizure of £4,000 in cash. A PSNI spokesperson said: “On Sunday evening members of Derry City & Strabane District Support Team (DST who were proactively patrolling City observed a vehicle acting suspiciously.“After stopping the vehicle DST carried out a search of the two men in the car.“Drugs were found which were believed to be cocaine.“This led police to carry out a number of house searches in the Bogside supported by our colleagues from the Tactical Support Group.”Two homes were searched in Durrow Park area of the Bogside and Kular Court in the William Street area.“Following very effective house searches by TSG, suspected cocaine of a conservative street value estimate of £200,000-£3oo,ooo were recovered along with other illegal drugs.“As a result of this excellent work two men in there 20’s were charged to court in the City. This morning District Judge McElholm remanded both in custody.“The DST investigation is still going on with a further arrest made and more to follow.“This signifant haul was destined for the people of our City and wider and has now been taken off the streets.
Entitled ‘iklectic’, a phonetic representation of the word eclectic, the exhibition willshowcase a mix of works, employing various media, including drawing, painting, sculpture,photography, installation and video works.Organised and funded entirely by the students own efforts, this exhibition forms a majorelement of the HND final year coursework and is important for the professional developmentof the students as they enter the world of employment as artists or seek to further their studiesat university.The students involved employ a diversity of approaches encompassing an eclectic mix ofstyles to interest and challenge a wide spectrum of artistic taste.The exhibition will open with a reception on Tuesday 6th February at 7.pm in thePlayhouse, Magazine Street, Derry and will run until Saturday, February 10 AN ‘IKLECTIC’ LOOK AT ARTS BY NORTH WEST REGIONAL COLLEGE STUDENTS was last modified: January 25th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: AN ‘IKLECTIC’ LOOK AT ARTS BY NORTH WEST REGIONAL COLLEGE STUDENTSDerryERIN HUTCEHONMAGAZINE STREETTHE PLAYHOUSE TEN students studying the Higher National Diploma in Fine Art at North West RegionalCollege will showcase their work in an exhibition at the Playhouse from February 6-10.The students involved are all in the final year of their studies at the city’s Strand RoadCampus. ShareTweet