ROUNDUP 2: US Federal Reserve approves Bitcoin fund - price above 47,000 dollars

WASHINGTON - The digital currency Bitcoin has taken a step towards the investment mainstream in the USA. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) paved the way for exchange-traded Bitcoin funds (ETFs) on Wednesday. This step had been expected. The day before, a fake notice on the SEC's hacked account at Elon Musk's online service X (formerly Twitter) had briefly anticipated the approval.

Mercedes-Benz loses ground in the fourth quarter - annual sales stable

STUTTGART - A decline in sales in the fourth quarter has spoiled the annual balance sheet of car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. The Group sold a total of 2.04 million cars in its automotive division last year, as it announced on Thursday. This was roughly the same as a year earlier. The Stuttgart-based company sold 514,000 cars in the fourth quarter of 2023, a drop of four percent. Supply bottlenecks for 48-volt batteries in particular, but also the model changeover for the important E-Class, had recently had a negative impact. In terms of sales, Mercedes continues to lag behind arch-rival BMW, which sold 2.56 million cars of its brands last year, an increase of 6.5 percent. VW subsidiary Audi, in third place, delivered 1.9 million cars, 17 percent more than in the previous year.

ROUNDUP: Südzucker with growth thanks to sugar prices - forecast confirmed

MANNHEIM - The Südzucker Group can continue to build on its strong sugar business. In the third quarter (end of November), group sales rose by almost nine percent year-on-year to EUR 2.70 billion, as the SDax company announced in Mannheim on Thursday. The operating result climbed by almost 22 percent to 268 million euros. Südzucker had already announced in mid-December that the previous year's figure of EUR 220 million should be significantly exceeded thanks to the good run in sugar prices. The share price rose slightly on Thursday.

Hardly in a shopping mood: About You lowers sales forecast - cost side improved

HAMBURG - Weak consumer sentiment is weighing on the growth of online fashion retailer About You. The management has lowered its sales forecast for the current financial year, as the company announced in Hamburg on Thursday. However, About You is getting its costs under control: the forecast for the operating result was confirmed and the third quarter was also better than expected. The share price rose sharply by 23 percent, also pulling up other sector stocks such as Zalando.

ROUNDUP: Commercial kitchen equipment supplier Rational earns more than expected - share price rises

LANDSBERG - Commercial kitchen equipment supplier Rational performed better than expected last year thanks to a strong final quarter. The company posted record figures for sales and operating profit. Growth came primarily from America and Asia, which benefited from a recovery in Chinese business. Easing cost pressure led to a disproportionately high improvement in earnings. This boosted the share, which is listed in the mid-cap MDax segment, on Thursday.

SAP reaches agreement with US authorities on payment of a good 220 million dollars

WASHINGTON - The software company SAP is settling a dispute with US authorities in exchange for a payment of more than 220 million dollars. The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the settlement on Wednesday evening (CET) in Washington. The authorities had been investigating allegations that SAP had bribed government officials in business dealings in South Africa and Indonesia. SAP's share price did not react to the news.

China: car industry sees less growth after record - Russia main export country

PEKING - The car and commercial vehicle industry in China expects sales growth in the new year to be less buoyant than recently. Manufacturers are likely to sell around three percent more vehicles to dealers in 2024 than in the previous year, as the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced in Beijing on Thursday. Last year, according to CAAM data, so-called wholesale sales rose by 12% to 30 million passenger cars and commercial vehicles - a record figure. One reason for this was exports to Russia. Due to the war of aggression in Ukraine, the majority of Western and Japanese car manufacturers have withdrawn from business in Russia.

VW subsidiary Audi significantly increases sales

INGOLSTADT - The Volkswagen Group subsidiary Audi sold 1.9 million cars last year, increasing deliveries by 17 percent. Good growth was recorded in Europe, the USA and China, said Head of Sales Hildegard Wortmann on Thursday. The share of all-electric vehicles in total sales was only nine percent - the fourth e-model series is due to be launched in March.


Further news

-ROUNDUP: Train drivers' strike continues - train services severely disrupted

-SEC approves Bitcoin ETFs

-Commerzbank and Global Payments establish joint venture

-ECJ: Dyson cannot claim damages from EU Commission

-Rossmann posts record year - Store network to be further expanded

-Energy industry calls for relief for electricity customers

-Daimler Truck: New CFO comes from Siemens

-Scholz hopes for swift agreement in rail wage dispute

-Eon focuses on electromobility and opens large test center

-ROUNDUP: Fewer shareholders: Is the upward trend already over?

-Bag manufacturer Bree files for insolvency for the second time since 2019

-Dispute over price comparison: Google faces defeat before ECJ

-Slump of almost 90 percent: investors avoid offices in Frankfurt

-Millions in fines for France's canning industry due to coatings

-Burda CEO Weiss has to leave unexpectedly

-Ikea wants to lower prices for 1200 more products

-Merz: Federal Transport Minister must mediate in rail wage dispute

-Farmers' president: Scholz open to dialog with farmers

-Brandenburg's Minister President Woidke considers cuts for farmers to be wrong

-Krombacher keeps beer sales almost stable

-ROUNDUP/RKI: Indications of a decline in Covid-19 activity

-ROUNDUP: Verdi sees itself on the upswing - Harsh criticism of the traffic lights

-Verdi against store closures at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof

-Furniture manufacturers are doing less business

-Deutsche Bahn's most modern ICE maintenance plant launches

-Sancho transfer to BVB perfect - loan until the end of the season°

Customer tip:

ROUNDUP: You can read a summary in the company overview. There are several reports on this topic on the dpa-AFX news service.