Congolese Doctor Wins Europe’s Top Human Rights Prize

Denis Mukwege, a doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has won this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for helping thousands of gang rape victims in the country.

The award was instituted by the European Parliament, and the laureate for 2014 was selected by EP President Martin Schulz and the political group leaders.

Announcing Europe’s top human rights prize Tuesday, Schulz said: “The Conference of Presidents decided unanimously to award Dr Denis Mukwege from Democratic Republic of Congo the Sakharov Prize for his fight for protection especially of women.”

Ukraine protest group Euromaidan and Azerbaijani activist Leyla Yunus were strong contenders for the coveted award.

Schulz said it wasn’t a decision against Euromaidan and paid tribute to the other finalists, saying the representatives of Euromaidan will be invited to join the award ceremony in November and that the Parliament will immediately send a delegation with representatives from all political groups to Azerbaijan to meet and to support Leyla Yunus in her fight for democracy and freedom in her country.

The 59-year-old gynecologist founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in 1998, when a war took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he still treats victims of sexual violence who have sustained serious injuries.

The war in DR Congo is officially over, but the armed conflict still continues in the eastern part of the country and so do attacks against civilians, including gang rapes. Despite traveling regularly abroad to advocate women’s rights and managing Panzi Hospital, Mukwege continues to see patients and perform surgery two days a week. He was nominated by the S&D and ALDE political groups and European Parliament member Barbara Lochbihler.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was set up in 1988 to honor individuals and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Last year the prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzaï, the Pakistani campaigner for girls’ education, who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback:

Business News

Heineken Reports Lower Q3 Profit

Dutch brewer Heineken N.V. (HKHHF.PK,HINKY.PK) Wednesday said its third-quarter profit declined from last year, amid lower revenues and drop in volumes. Sales growth in emerging markets was offset by lower sales in Europe hurt by poor weather during t…

Peugeot Q3 Revenues Up On Asian Strength

French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroën (PEUGF.PK) reported Wednesday higher revenues in its third quarter, on improved performance in China and Europe. Looking ahead for 2014, the company projects higher-than-expected automotive demand in Europe and weaker-than-expected demand in Latin America and Russia.

The company, which has been making hefty losses for some time now, maintained its goal of returning to breakeven in 2017, and also maintained margin growth forecast for 2018 onwards.

In the third quarter, the company’s revenues totaled 12.296 billion euros, a 1.6 percent increase from the prior year period.

Automotive Division revenues, excluding Chinese joint ventures contribution, edged back 0.8 percent to 7.971 billion euros.

Pro forma Automotive Division revenues, including share in Chinese Jvs, amounted to 9.085 billion euros, up 2.7 percent, reflecting the very strong increase in revenues in China.

In the quarter, Faurecia revenues went up 6.5 percent, while Banque PSA Finance’s revenues declined 2 percent.

Worldwide unit sales in the quarter increased 5.4 percent year-over-year to 643,598 units.

European unit sales grew 7 percent as the market expanded by 5.8 percent over the period, with certain countries experiencing strong growth, while French market was almost stable. The company’s market share in Europe held steady at 11.8 percent by the end of September.

Unit sales in Asia climbed 44.4 percent with strong growth in China. In Latin America and Eurasia, unit sales declined 38.2 percent and 62.4 percent, respectively, hurt by a sharp decline in demand.

In the Middle East and Africa and the India-Pacific region, unit sales dropped 11.3 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. According to the firm, these markets represent future opportunities.

The company said it pursued its Back in the Race action plans, which focus on rationalising fixed costs and adjusting the line-up, with the goal of returning to breakeven in 2017.

Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board, said, “All levers are now activated and first results are visible. Nonetheless, the road back to a full recovery is still long and we should remain collectively focused on execution.”

Looking ahead for fiscal 2014, Peugeot now expects to see automotive demand increase by around 4 percent to 5 percent in Europe and by approximately 10 percent in China, but demand will decline some 10 percent in Latin America and around 15 percent in Russia.

Previously, the company had projected demand to increase around 3 percent in Europe and around 10 percent in China, but decline by some 7 percent in Latin America and around 10 percent in Russia.

Peugeot continues to target an operating margin of 2 percent in 2018 in the Automotive Division, with the objective of reaching 5 percent over the period of the next medium-term plan, covering 2019-2023.

The company also projects recurring positive operating free cash flow by 2016 at the latest, and an aggregate 2 billion euros in operating free cash flow over the 2016-2018 period.

In Paris, Peugeot shares were gaining 0.22 euros or 2.33 percent, and trading at 9.59 euros.

To receive FREE breaking news email alerts for Peugeot and others in your portfolio

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback:

Business News

ABB Q3 Profit Dips, While Orders Climb; Warns On Short-term View

Swiss engineering firm ABB Ltd (ANN.L,ABB: Quote) reported Wednesday lower profit in its third quarter, as revenues and margins were hurt mainly by lower opening order backlog. Orders, however, climbed from last year, with strong growth in large order…

European Stocks Seen Inching Higher

European stocks are set to open higher on Wednesday, with solid earnings and economic news from the U.S. as well as talk of economic stimulus in Europe likely to underpin sentiment. Investors keenly await U.S. inflation data due out later tonight to d…

Sonic Q4 Profit Up 54%, Meets View; Revenues Beat Estimates

Sonic Corp. (SONC: Quote), the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the U.S., on Tuesday reported a 54 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter from last year, reflecting higher same-store sales and improved margins.
Adjusted earnings per…

Asian Markets Advance On Wall Street Cues, ECB Stimulus Hopes

Asian stock markets are trading notably higher on Wednesday, tracking cues from Wall Street where stocks posted strong gains overnight amid speculation of fresh stimulus from the European Central Bank and an upbeat U.S. home sales report.
The Australi…

Canadian National Railway Q3 Results Miss Estimates

Canadian railroad operator Canadian National Railway Co. (CNI: Quote,CNR.TO: Quote) reported Tuesday a profit for the third quarter that increased 21 percent from last year, reflecting revenue growth amid higher freight volumes and freight rate increases. However, both earnings per share and quarterly revenue missed analysts’ expectations.

Separately, CN’s board approved a fourth-quarter 2013 cash dividend, and a new share repurchase program.

“CN delivered outstanding third-quarter financial results while improving customer service levels and maintaining industry-leading operating efficiencies. Solid execution by our team of railroaders enabled us to accommodate the significantly higher freight volume generated by a record Canadian grain crop, strong energy markets, and new business, particularly in intermodal and automotive,” President and CEO Claude Mongeau said in a statement.

The Montreal, Canada-based company reported net income of C$853 million or C$1.04 per share for the third quarter, higher than C$705 million or C$0.84 per share in the prior-year quarter, which included C$0.02 per share of income tax expense.

On average, 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of C$1.05 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Though the company announces its earnings in Canadian dollars, a large portion of its revenues and expenses are denominated in U.S. dollars. As such, CN’s results for the latest quarter were negatively affected by exchange-rate fluctuations by C$0.03 per share.

Revenues for the quarter grew 16 percent to a record C$3.12 billion from C$2.70 billion in the same quarter last year, but missed fifteen Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimate of C$3.15 billion.

Rail freight revenues grew 16 percent to $2.92 billion from $2.52 billion in the year-ago quarter.

The company noted that quarterly revenues increased for metals and minerals, petroleum and chemicals, forest products, as well as intermodal & automotive and grain and fertilizers, but declined for coal.

Carloadings for the quarter rose 11 percent from the year-ago period to a record 1,475 thousand. Revenue ton-miles, measuring the relative weight and distance of rail freight transported by the company, increased 13 percent from the prior-year period to 58.95 billion.

Rail freight revenue per revenue ton-mile, a measurement of yield defined as revenue earned on the movement of a ton of freight over one mile, grew 2 percent to 4.95 cents from last year. Total rail freight revenue per carload also increased 5 percent to $1,980 from last year.

Operating income increased 19 percent to C$1.29 billion, and operating ratio improved by 100 basis points to 58.8 percent from a year ago.

“The results underscore CN’s commitment to investing ahead of the curve in resources and rail infrastructure and playing our role as a true backbone of the

Separately, the company’s board also approved a fourth-quarter dividend of C$0.25 per common share, payable on December 31 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 10, 2014.

Further, the board approved a new share repurchase program for cancellation of up to 28 million common shares, representing about 3.9 percent of the common shares issued and outstanding.

CFO Luc Jobin said, “Since its privatization, CN has increased its dividends per share by 16 per cent on average every year for 18 consecutive years and has created significant value for shareholders through regular share repurchases since its first buyback program in 2000.”

CNR.TO closed Tuesday’s regular trading session on the Toronto stock exchange at C$75.68, up C$1.69 or 2.28% on a volume of 2.18 million shares.

To receive FREE breaking news email alerts for Canadian National Railway Co and others in your portfolio

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback:

Business News