ROUNDUP 2: Crisis at battery manufacturer Varta worsens - shares plummet

ELLWANGEN - The struggling battery group Varta is once again calling on its backers for help. A slump in demand, cheap offers from competitors in Asia and a cyber attack are setting the company back in its restructuring. The concept from last summer is "no longer adequate" to return to profitable growth by the end of 2026 as planned, Varta announced on Thursday evening in Ellwangen. The Management Board is negotiating a solution with the financiers. The Varta share price plummeted after the news.

ROUNDUP: Thyssenkrupp Steel wants to cut capacity - job cuts

DUISBURG - Germany's largest steel manufacturer Thyssenkrupp Steel wants to significantly reduce its production capacity in Duisburg. The steel division of the industrial group announced in Duisburg on Thursday evening that this would also involve "as yet unquantifiable job cuts". This will also affect downstream processing stages as well as the administrative and service areas.

Thyssenkrupp employees demand exclusion of redundancies

DUISBURG - Employee representatives at Germany's largest steel manufacturer Thyssenkrupp Steel only want to talk about the planned capacity reduction if compulsory redundancies are ruled out beforehand. "Our prerequisite for negotiations on a repositioning of the company is a strict exclusion of compulsory redundancies beyond March 2026," explained Detlef Wetzel, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Steel division, on Friday according to a joint statement by the Steel General Works Council and IG Metall NRW. At the moment, employment is secured until the end of March 2026.

Strikes slow down passenger growth at Frankfurt Airport

FRANKFURT - The strikes at passenger checkpoints and at Lufthansa have once again slowed the upward trend at Frankfurt Airport in March. The airport operator Fraport counted around 4.6 million passengers, 7.8 percent more than a year earlier, as it announced in Frankfurt on Friday. This was 17.6 percent below the level before the coronavirus pandemic in March 2019. Around 300,000 passengers were unable to travel via Frankfurt due to the strikes, it added.

Lufthansa cancels flights to Iran until Saturday due to safety concerns

BERLIN - In view of Iran's threats against Israel, Lufthansa has extended the suspension of planned flights to and from the Iranian capital Tehran. "Due to the current situation, Lufthansa is suspending its flights to and from Tehran until Saturday, April 13, after careful evaluation," a company spokesperson announced early Friday morning. The safety of passengers and crews is always the top priority; Lufthansa does not rely solely on government assessments, but evaluates the current security situation itself and then makes its own decisions, it added.

ROUNDUP: Thai Central Group takes over KaDeWe property

BERLIN - The property of the Berlin luxury department store KaDewe now belongs entirely to the Thai Central Group. The previous owner, the insolvent Signa Prime Selection, and the group have reached an agreement on the complete acquisition, Central announced on Friday. The "Handelsblatt" had previously reported on this.

JPMorgan increases profit surprisingly

NEW YORK - Lower loan loss provisions have brought the major US bank JPMorgan Chase a surprisingly high profit in the first quarter. At a good 13.4 billion US dollars (12.5 billion euros), the surplus was six percent higher than a year earlier, as the largest US bank announced in New York on Friday. JPMorgan thus exceeded the average expectations of analysts. However, the news was received negatively on the financial markets: In pre-market US trading, JPMorgan shares recently lost more than three percent in value, moving further away from their record high of a few weeks ago.

Citigroup earns more than expected

NEW YORK - The major US bank Citigroup has made a better start to the year than expected despite a slump in profits. In the first quarter, the bank achieved a surplus of 3.4 billion US dollars (3.2 billion euros), 27 percent less than a year earlier, as it announced in New York on Friday. At that time, however, the bank had benefited from the sale of its private client business in India. Analysts had expected a sharper decline in profits. However, Citigroup shares fell by three percent in pre-market US trading.


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