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Business Briefs

Bauer eyes Tagesspiegel newspaper, T-Mobile delays its Microsoft mobile and Deutsche Bahn sales plummet.


Off the rails? Deutsche Bahn sales are expected to be down when official figures are published next week

Bauer eyes Tagesspiegel

Hamburg magazine publisher, Bauer has said it wants to buy beleaguered German daily broadsheet, Tagespiegel, according to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In a letter to German finance minister Wolfgang Clement, Bauer chief Manfred Braun said that he believed he could "make the Tagespiegel profitable in the future." The newspaper is suffering from both falling circulation and low advertising revenues. Holtzbrinck had attempted to buy the Berlin broadsheet, Berliner Zeitung, but those plans were shot down by the German Federal Cartel Office.

Deutsche Bahn sales falling

Deutsche Bahn, Germany's rail system, is losing customers on its trains, according to a report in Friday's edition of the Augsberger Zeitung. With official figures expected next Wednesday, DB's rail travel arm lost €130 million ($150 million) in the first quarter of 2003. The concern as a whole chalked up losses of €185 million ($213 million) in the first three months of this year. WestLB admits larger losses

Germany's fifth largest bank, WestLB, suffered higher losses last year than previously stated. The Düsseldorf-based concern and flagship bank among the German states had posted losses of around €1 billion ($1.15 billion), but said on Friday that losses for 2002 now stood at €1.7 billion ($1.9 million).

Karstadt stems losses with advertising

Germany's fifth largest retailer, Karstadtquelle, has stemmed losses after massive advertising campaigns, the company said on Friday. Losses at the company, which includes the department store Karstadt, have been almost halved, to €51.6 million ($59.5 million) Sales were up 1.1 percent to €3.68 billion ($4.24 million) in the first three months of 2003. The firm said it expected to end the year with pre-tax profit of at least €250 million (€288 million). Karstadt made a pre-tax profit of €238 million ($274 million) in 2002. Markets reacted favorably to the news -- Karstadtquelle shares were the day's winner on the DAX, up more than eight percent to €17 ($19) a share at midday Friday.

T-Mobile Delays Microsoft Mobile

Deutsche Telekom's mobile telecommunications arm,

T-Mobile said on Thursday it would delay bringing out a new mobile phone which includes Microsoft Windows technology. DT had announced in February that it would launch the Taiwanese HTC mobile phone this summer, but now says it will delay due to software problems. Industry experts were quick to reckon that the world's biggest software company regarded the project as an opportunity to get a foothold in the global mobile telecommunications market. With 82 million customers T-Mobile is Europe's second largest mobile phone provider after Orange.