China In-Focus — Beiersdorf cuts forecast; Alibaba's Lazada eyes European expansion; UBS' David Chin steps down

Follow-ups -eshrag News:

Thu, 2022-04-28 12:22

BEIJING: Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea skincare products and Tesa glue, cut the forecast for full-year sales at its adhesives unit on Thursday due to extensive lockdowns in China and ongoing supply chain issues in the automotive industry.

The Tesa adhesives unit, which serves the electronics and automotive markets and accounts for about a fifth of Beiersdorf sales, had been the group’s fastest-growing business in 2021 thanks to growth in the Chinese electronics business.

However, the recent COVID-19 surge in China hurt the unit’s growth in the first quarter, and Beiersdorf said it now expects Tesa to grow sales in the low to mid-single-digit range in 2022, compared to its previous target for mid-single-digit growth.

“I think the second quarter will be a challenging quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Astrid Hermann told a news conference.

“The electronics business in Asia, so much of it is centered around Shanghai. Reading the news, you will see a lot of the electronics business there is impacted. We have to see how we weather that and how we can rebound in the second half,” she said.

Alibaba looks to expand its Southeast Asian arm Lazada to Europe

Alibaba Group plans to expand its Southeast Asian arm, Lazada, to Europe, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the Chinese e-commerce company seeks further overseas growth amid slowing opportunities at home.

The move comes months after Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao, opened a central hub for European sales in Belgium.

Alibaba is already present in Europe through its global e-commerce platform, AliExpress, which mainly targets consumers looking for such goods from Chinese manufacturers as smartphone accessories and clothing.

Lazada plans to target local European vendors, while AliExpress will continue to focus mainly on cross-border sales from China, one of the sources told Reuters. Lazada Thailand CEO James Dong will help spearhead the initiative, that person said.

Alibaba overseas commerce head Jiang Fan visited Singapore in April to discuss the expansion, the same source added.

Lazada and Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment.

The sources did not specify which European countries Lazada intended to expand to. The details were being finalized, they said. They declined to be identified, as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

UBS’s Chin steps down as China head

UBS Group’s China country head David Chin has stepped down from the role but will remain the bank’s head of investment banking for the Asia Pacific, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The bank will appoint Eugene Qian, who heads UBS Securities, the Swiss bank’s majority-owned mainland joint venture, as China’s country head, the source said.

(With inputs from Reuters) 


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