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Business Briefs

Dresdner Bank CEO resigns; Fears that U.S. could disrupt GPS satellite navigation system; German McDonald's and Burger King show 2002 profit.

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No longer Dresdner Bank CEO: Bernd Fahrholz (photo) cleared his desk on Wednesday.

Dresdner Bank Boss Fahrholz Resigns

Dresdner Bank announced on Wednesday that Bernd Fahrholz had tendered his resignation as chairman of the board of managing directors. Deutsche Bank manager Herbert Walter is expected to take over the top position at Germany's third-biggest bank. Walter was previously head of private and business clients at Deutsche Bank. He was appointed to the Allianz Group's supervisory board on Wednesday. Allianz owns Dresdner Bank.

Fahrholz had been under fire for several months after having failed to provide the returns that Allianz demanded. Dresdner Bank has been in the red since the second quarter of 2001.


U.S. Could Disturb GPS Signals

The German car association AvD warned on Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of navigation systems could be out of control in the event of a war. The U.S. Army could encode GPS (Global Positioning System) signals to reduce their accuracy from around five meters (yards) to more than 100 meters. The AvD said that cheap or customized equipment reliant on the U.S. satellite navigation system would be the worst effected by encoding. GPS, with its 30 active satellites, is used worldwide for navigating cars, ships and airplanes.

A U.S. spokesperson at the European Union said recently that his government was aware of the importance of GPS and took its responsibility toward civilian and commercial users seriously. This applied both in time of war and peace, he added.

Growth at German McDonald's and Burger King


The fast food chain McDonald's recorded a 0.8 percent increase in total revenues -- to €2.3 billion ($2.43 billion) -- in Germany last year it announced on Wednesday in Munich. Taking into account the poor economic climate, Adriaan Hendrikx, the director of McDonald's in Germany, said he was satisfied with the results. He added that the company aimed to open at least 50 more branches this year, to complement the 1,211 it already had in Germany, and to create more jobs. Hendrikx emphasized that McDonald's was already one of Germany's biggest employers with 47,000 employees. The company said it served 715 million guests in 2002.
German Burger King was able to improve its returns by 15 percent in 2002, recording total revenues of €455.7 million, managing director Pascal Le Pellec revealed in Munich on Wednesday. Le Pellec said the fast food company would open 50 more restaurants in 2003, bringing the number up to almost 420, and hire 2,500 full- and part-time employees. By 2005 the company aimed to have 500 restaurants in Germany and to have created 6,500 new jobs. Currently 12,800 employees served 300,000 customers daily, the company said. Two-thirds of Burger King's stores in Germany are franchises.