Business Briefs | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 17.02.2003
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Business Briefs

Germany expects tax revenues to plummet in 2003, MobilCom founder in the red, pharmaceuticals giant Bayer hopes for better profits and German engineering group MAN heads into the Chinese market.


German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer is hoping to improve profits this year.

Germany expecting new tax revenue drop in 2003

German Finance Minister Hans Eichel told newspapers he expects a major drop in tax revenues in 2003 compared to a November 2002 forecast due to the enduring economic slump. The government's estimate for sales and income taxes alone has been reduced by 2.19 billion euro ($2.36 billion) compared to the earlier forecast, Eichel said. The German government already slashed its tax revenue estimate in November due to the economic slowdown. At the end of January, Berlin dropped its growth forecast for 2003 to about 1 percent compared to 1.5 percent earlier. The German economy expanded at a rate of only 0.2 percent last year. Germany publicizes tax revenue forecasts twice each year, in May and November, based on the work of a group of experts from the finance ministry, the Bundesbank, as well as regional, and state and local governments.

MobilCom's founder declares bankruptcy

The founder and former chairman of German telephone operator MobilCom, Gerhard Schmid, has declared himself insolvent as a result of the sharp decline in the value of his shares. Schmid said in a statement on Monday that he had filed for insolvency at a court in Flensburg, northern Germany. Company founder Schmid holds 42 percent of the MobilCom, but the price of shares has fallen sharply over the last year in view of the group's financial troubles, which pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy last year. Also involved are Schmid's private assets and property, according to his statement.

Bayer hopes for improved operating profit this year

Bayer still hopes to be able to report an improvement in underlying earnings this year in spite of the difficult economic environment in Germany, the head of the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant said in a newspaper interview published on Monday. "We're now going to harvest what we've sown," Bayer Chairman Werner Wenning told the daily Die Welt. Wenning said Bayer still wants to imporove its operative earnings despite the tight economic environment. Bayer said in November it was forecasting a rise in operating profit this year. The maker of Aspirin is scheduled to publish its 2002 earnings in mid-March.

German truck maker MAN wants Chinese market drive

German engineering group MAN is currently holding preliminary negotiations regarding a possible entry into the Chinese trucks market, the head of MAN's trucks division, Hakan Samuelsson said in an interview with Financial Times Deutschland. MAN is currently holding talks with a number of different players in China, Samuelsson told the German economic weekly on Monday. MAN recently set up a bus-chassis joint venture with Chinese firm Yutong Coach in an attempt to get a foothold in the Chinese trucks market, Samuelsson said.