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  • Deutsche Bank and Mastercard to deepen cooperation on payments

    Deutsche Bank and Mastercard to deepen cooperation on payments

    Deutsche Bank and Mastercard said on Wednesday they would deepen their collaboration as the German lender aims for a greater share of the payments business. The partnership will seek to jointly develop digital payment solutions for companies, they said. McKinsey and Capgemini are projecting growth in digital payments revenues and transactions, and Deutsche Bank hopes that the segment will provide it with additional income as it further cuts costs.

  • Expedia Misses Estimates in Sign of Lingering Covid Effects

    Expedia Misses Estimates in Sign of Lingering Covid Effects

    (Bloomberg) -- Expedia Group Inc. reported another steep drop in revenue in the fourth quarter, missing analysts’ estimates amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and new pandemic-related restrictions that weighed on travel in the last few months of 2020.Revenue fell 67% to $920 million, marking the fourth consecutive year-over-year decline. Analysts had projected sales of $1.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gross bookings were $7.6 billion, also down 67% compared with a year earlier, the Seattle-based online travel giant said in a statement Thursday, barely an improvement from the previous quarter’s 68% decline.Before 2020, Expedia, which provides everything from airline tickets to hotel rooms, rental cars and cruises, had gone eight years without a revenue decline. But the travel industry was one of the worst hit as a result of the coronavirus and the global lockdowns, forcing Expedia and its peers to endure steep losses and eliminate thousands of jobs. While the summer months seemed to offer a brief respite and saw people beginning to take tentative steps back into travel, the fall and winter saw a resurgence of infections, prompting a new wave of lockdowns and travel restrictions.“The fourth quarter brought signs of hope in the form of vaccine approvals, but rising cases across the globe and rolling shutdowns of various travel markets made an impact,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Kern said in the statement. As a result, the fourth quarter didn’t “show any real sequential progress other than some signs of modest improvement around the holidays that carried into the early part of 2021.”On a call to discuss earnings with analysts Thursday, Kern said there are some signals of stronger demand in 2021, such as an increase in January gross bookings. He said their decline was in the high 40% range, compared with the 67% drop in the fourth quarter. This growth was generally limited to domestic travel.Kern was ultimately conservative in his outlook, telling investors to “expect things to be bumpy for a while.”There are early indications that the market could improve later this year. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, said Thursday that an increasing supply of vaccines will allow for a “much more of a mass vaccination approach” in the U.S. by April.Analysts at Deutsche Bank wrote in a note to investors before the results were published that the first half of the year “is going to be tougher than we previously expected given the scale of rising case counts globally,” but vaccines should help with demand in the second half.Expedia’s home-rental unit Vrbo, which competes with Airbnb Inc., has weathered the pandemic relatively better than its parent. While flights and business travel ground to a halt and hotels shuttered, demand increased for regional vacations and work-from-home getaways.People have been booking on Vrbo further out, reversing a pandemic trend of last minute decisions and signaling consumer confidence, Chief Financial Officer Eric Hart said. “We know there’s pent-up demand, people want to travel, and I think people are confident they’re going to be able to travel, at least domestically,” Hart said.Expedia doesn’t break out Vrbo’s earnings and doesn’t plan to, Kern said when asked by an analyst.Also this year, Expedia should start to benefit from painful restructuring measures it took last year, including eliminating 3,000 jobs. The cost-cutting effort may help the company moving into the second half, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Martino.By next year, the company will be hiring at least 25% of staff from under-represented backgrounds at every level, Kern said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Friday. Expedia is aiming for “complete gender balance,” by 2025. In the U.K., where Expedia reports gender data, women made up only 36.2% of top-paid employees in 2019.Expedia reported an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $160 million, while analysts were expecting a loss of $56.3 million. The adjusted loss per share was $2.64, beating the average analyst estimate of a loss of $2.06.The shares fell about 1% Friday morning in New York to $148.17. The stock has gained 11% this year.(Updates with CEO comments from interview)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Deutsche Bank Ditches Debt Sale for German Opioid-Maker

    Deutsche Bank Ditches Debt Sale for German Opioid-Maker

    (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG has scrapped its plan to sell hundreds of millions of euros of debt for German pharmaceutical company Gruenenthal GmbH due to a lack of interest from investors, according to people familiar with the matter.The loan was intended to replace some of the company’s existing financing. The family-owned business, which makes painkillers including opioid drugs such as Tramadol, had unsecured term loans and Schuldschein worth 935 million euros ($1.13 billion) due to mature this year, Bloomberg data show.Deutsche Bank had approached potential investors to gauge interest for the financing but failed to attract sufficient demand to sell the deal, the people said. Fund managers are cautious about taking exposure to a company that makes opioid products due to the risk these products carry of addiction and abuse, they added.Gruenenthal has agreed instead to extend a 535 million-euro term loan facility with its bank lenders, it said in a statement on Friday. The debt extension was agreed following its acquisition of the European rights of Crestor, a treatment to lower cholesterol, in February, the company said.A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank declined to comment. A company spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.The bank’s plan to sell the debt came amid growing pressure on European fund managers from their end investors to show they are responsible lenders.Companies’ environmental impact is a key focus, as seen in the European Central Bank’s plans announced yesterday to decarbonize its balance sheet, but fund managers of leveraged loan portfolios are also focused on social and governance concerns.Investors acknowledge that pain medication has important social benefits, but some are wary of the sector as a whole having seen litigation and bankruptcy cases among drugmakers in the U.S. such as Mallinckrodt Plc.Gruenenthal on Feb. 2 removed some of its Palexia painkiller from the market after several batches of the medication were found to be contaminated with bacteria.The affected batches hold solutions with 20mg and 4mg of the drug, dosages meant for children. Gruenenthal generated 284.6 million euros in revenue with Palexia in 2019, or 20% of its total sales.(Adds details of new debt agreement in fourth paragraph, Palexia recall in ninth)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.