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FROST & SULLIVAN RECOGNIZES A. O. SMITH FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION

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A. O. Smith Corporation, the parent company of A. O. Smith India Water Heating Private Limited, a global leader in applying innovative technology and energy-efficient solutions to water heating products marketed worldwide, has bagged the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award. This is the second time A. O. Smith has received the award in four years.

Based on its recent analysis of the North American water heater market, Frost & Sullivan presented A. O. Smith Corporation with the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award for its distinctive commitment to delivering innovation in product design and efficiency.

Commenting on the achievement, David Warren, Vice-President (International), A. O. Smith Water Products, said, “It is an honour for A. O. Smith to be recognised by Frost & Sullivan for our dedication to innovation twice within four years. The recognition reinforces A. O. Smith’s promise to deliver innovative technology and energy efficient water heating products not only in America but across the globe.”

Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jorge Moreno said “The Company scored highest on services, availability of spare parts, product range and features, and energy efficiency, which were classified as the most critical success factors for contractors and end-users alike. Also, the A. O. Smith brand is highly recognized, which tends to play an important part in the purchasing decisions of end-users and therefore the installers and contractors as well.”

Tamal Chaudhuri, National Sales & Marketing Manager, A. O. Smith India Water Heating Private Limited commented, “Overall, A. O. Smith’s vision and sound understanding of the industry have enabled it to introduce new products that are more efficient and with original design features. This is especially true in case of our India Operations. A. O. Smith products available in India are a result of extensive research conducted to identify what the Indian consumers need. The products have been tailored to answer the differentiated India market and conditions. In recognition of these factors the company is the deserving recipient of the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award. We have always strived to apply innovative technology to make our products not only energy efficient but superior in performance.” The award lauds innovation shown by launching a broad line of emerging products and technologies.

A. O. Smith is the first US water heater business to enter the India market and is supplying premium quality residential and commercial water heaters to the markets. The company conducted comprehensive research before entering the market including consumer focus groups and qualitative studies.

The result was the premium eco-friendly top quality electrical water heaters. Dual glass coated heating elements in the water heaters reduce electricity bills, increase the life of the heating element and heat water faster, thus proving to be a product that offers value for money and efficiently conserves energy.

Adding further, Tamal Chaudhuri said, “No other water heater company in the world has the resources that A. O. Smith brings to the Indian market. We offer a portfolio of the best-known and most widely respected water heater brands in the world. Our facility under construction at Harohalli, Bengaluru, will manufacture water heating products specially customized for India market and ecological conditions. We would like to emphasise that India is a priority.”

Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

A. O. Smith will help educate and influence consumers, retailers, architects and contractors that the implementation of high-efficiency products will reduce life-time operating costs and energy costs.

From manufacturing to installation, A. O. Smith is dedicated to bringing innovative products and services to the market. The company’s vision and understanding of the industry have enabled it to introduce new products that are more efficient, less costly to produce, and offer original design features.


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Lupin Limited announces alliance with Natco Pharma

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Alliance to commercialize generic equivalent of FOSRENOL® Tablets

Lupin Ltd. and Natco announced today an alliance to jointly commercialize generic equivalents of Shire plc’s FOSRENOL® (lanthanum carbonate) tablets. Shire had filed a lawsuit against Natco for infringement of two patents for FOSRENOL® in response to an ANDA (Abbreviated New Drug Application) filing by Natco seeking US FDA approval to market and sell generic versions of Shire’s 500 mg, 750 mg, and 1 g of the FOSRENOL® tablets.

Natco and Lupin believe that they are amongst one of the first-to-files which would likely lead to 180 days exclusivity. FOSRENOL® had sales of USD 108 Million as of December – 2008 (IMS).

Commenting on the development, Mr. Nilesh Gupta, Group President and Executive Director to the Board, Lupin Limited said, “The alliance creates synergies that will enable portfolio expansion and contribute to consolidating our presence in the US markets. Lupin’s proven IP management capabilities, marketing reach and expertise coupled with Natco’s solid development and manufacturing abilities make for a great combination.”

Mr. Rajeev Nannapaneni, Chief Operating Officer, Natco Pharma
said, “Our alliance brings together a strong philosophy of working together to maximize opportunities in an increasingly competitive generic business. We are very happy to be associated with Lupin given their intellectual property management competencies and market strengths in the U.S.”


Written by sreelakshmi

10 April, 2009 at 6:37 am

D&B Business Optimism Index for Q2 2009 declines by only 2% (q-o-q) as against a 31% drop in Q1 2009 (q-o-q)

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The Dun & Bradstreet Composite Business Optimism Index for Q2 2009 fell to a new low of 93.8, after touching 95.7 in Q1 2009. As compared to the previous quarter, the Composite Optimism Index declined by around 2%. However, the pace of contraction is lower as compared to the previous quarter; in Q1 2009 the Composite Optimism Index fell by 31% (q-o-q). On a y-o-y basis, the BOI for Q2 2009 recorded a decrease of 39% as against a decline of 43% in Q1 2009. Based on the responses received, it was observed that five out of the six optimism indices – namely, volume of sales, net profits, selling prices, new orders, and employee levels have registered a decline as compared to the previous quarter. Only one out of the six optimism indices – inventory levels – increased by seven percentage point as compared to the previous quarter. 

“While the BOI shows marginal improvement, sentiment continues to be dampened. Less than expected growth in GDP numbers is likely to have dented corporate confidence. Decline in industrial production for two consecutive months (Dec & Jan) and in exports for five months in a row (Oct-Jan) remains a cause for concern. However, 52% of BOI survey respondents expecting an increase in New Orders is a positive sign.”, said Kaushal Sampat, Chief Operating Officer, Dun & Bradstreet – India.”Going forward, the outcome of the forthcoming parliamentary elections and stability of the ensuing Government will play a key role in determining business expectations over the next quarter. The rapidly evolving dynamics of the global economy over the coming months will continue to have an impact on domestic business sentiment” he added.

Demand conditions are expected to remain subdued during Q2 2009. While about 50% of the respondents anticipate an increase in sales volume, as many as 27% of the respondents expect the sales volume to decline in Q2 2009. The resultant Optimism for Volume of Sales remained unchanged at 23% (this is the lowest value since Q1 2002) compared to the previous quarter. However, the resultant Optimism for Volume of Sales has declined by as much as 40 percentage points as compared to Q2 2008.

Profit expectations of the Indian corporate sector continued to taper further with as many as 28% of the respondents anticipating a fall in their net profits in the forthcoming quarter. Approximately 46% of the respondents expect an increase in profits during Q2 2009, while as many as 26% expect no change in profits. The resultant Optimism for Net Profits declined by around 5 percentage points compared to the previous quarter and stands at 18% (a 27 quarter low).

With moderating demand conditions, lowering input costs and the extension of excise duty cuts beyond 31-Mar-09, as many as 78% of the respondents expect the selling prices of their products to decline or remain unchanged in Q2 2009. While about 22% of the respondents expect selling prices of their products to increase, about 26% expect to witness a decline in their selling prices during Q2 2009. The resultant Optimism for Selling Prices stands at -4%, the lowest value registered since Q1 2002.

Approximately 52% of the respondents expect their order book position to improve (an increase of 4 percentage points from the previous quarter), while around 27% anticipate a decrease in the number of new orders during Q2 2009. The resultant Optimism for New Orders stands at 25% (a 27 quarter low) marginally lower compared to 26% in the previous quarter.

While about 34% of the respondents expect their level of stock to increase, around 48% expect to witness no change in their inventory levels during the Apr-Jun 09 quarter. Approximately 18% expect their level of stock to decline during Q2 2009 as compared to 22% during the previous quarter. The resultant Optimism for Inventory Levels stands at 16% an increase of around 7 percentage points as compared to Q1 2009.

The majority of respondents anticipate no change in the size of the workforce employed during Q2 2009. Approximately 65% of the respondents intend to keep the number of employees unchanged. While 24% of the respondents expect an increase in the number of employees, 11% expect a decline. The resultant Optimism for Employees stands at 13% for the Apr-Jun 09 quarter, a decrease of around 8 percentage points as compared to the previous quarter.

For more information see boi-q2-apr09-final

Nandini Piramal joins Piramal Healthcare as the Executive Director

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Piramal Healthcare Limited has announced the appointment of Ms. Nandini Piramal on the Board of the company as the Executive Director. Nandini Piramal has been associated with the business for last four years looking after the operations in Canada. Nandini Piramal is the daughter of the promoters Mr. Ajay Piramal and Dr. Swati Piramal.

Prior to her induction on the Board of Piramal Group, Nandini Piramal was the GM – Strategic Marketing of Piramal Healthcare, during which she was closely associated with the business of the company’s overseas subsidiaries and gained deep insight into the Group’s Pharma Solutions business. She played a key role in implementation of Operational Excellence Projects at the company’s overseas locations in UK and Canada. She was also actively involved in due diligence of acquisition and joint venture targets.

Ms. Piramal is a graduate in BA (Hons.) from Hertford College, Oxford University and is an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In her role as a Business Analyst with a leading management consulting firm she worked on projects in Growth Strategy, Supply Chain Management and Information Technology Strategy of various corporate clients.


iSOFT wins major projects in Spain worth US$3.85 million

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iSOFT, an IBA Health Group company, today announced that it has won contracts totalling A$5.79 million (US$3.85 million) with two regional healthcare services in Spain.

In a deal worth A$5.08 million (US$3.38 million), which will be booked over the life of the contract, iSOFT will develop clinical and patient management systems for one of Spain’s most important autonomous communities (regional governments). The company is part of a consortium providing an integrated healthcare system for 28 hospitals in a project totalling A$23.1 million (US$15.38 million) over two years. The consortium is upgrading current systems and infrastructure to provide a common platform for all administrative, clinical and patient management functions and so improve the quality of healthcare services for 8 million patients. The system is designed for up to 82,000 healthcare professionals.

iSOFT’s contract, which includes patient administration, theatres, electronic prescriptions and data warehousing systems and integration services, covers the initial two years of the project. There is potential for ongoing development, maintenance and support.

Gary Cohen, IBA’s Executive Chairman and CEO, said: “This is a major project of significant importance in Spain, especially as other autonomous communities are planning similarly joined-up, regional healthcare systems. The project also provides a foundation for further developments such as electronic health records.”

Meanwhile, iSOFT has won a contract worth U$479,628 to develop an e-prescription solution for the Navarra Healthcare Service in northern Spain.

Under the initial one-year contract, iSOFT will provide an e-prescription solution to eliminate paper prescriptions and so save time and costs and avoid dispensing mistakes. It will also give doctors prescribing rules and lists of recommended drugs and automate invoicing and payments for pharmacists.

iSOFT is working in partnership with Madrid-based information and technology services company IECISA.

The solution will be piloted at the Mendillorri and Mutilva health centres, the Navarra Hospital and 17 pharmacies this year, before being rolled out to 56 health centres and all 500 pharmacies throughout the region in 2010.

iSOFT’s contract is for the initial pilot project and is its first with the Navarra Healthcare Service. It follows the completion of an e-prescription project for the Balearic Island Healthcare Service in December 2008. iSOFT’s solution is now used by 55 health centres and 411 pharmacies in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

Guillermo Ramas, managing director of iSOFT Spain, Portugal and Latin America, said: “The e-prescription project in the Balearic Islands is a huge success and now serves as a model for other healthcare services in Spain. The 600,000 people in the Navarra region stand to benefit from this investment since the solution will help save money by reducing administrative workloads and eliminating duplicate prescriptions, improve accuracy and so avoids mistakes, and give doctors more time for patients.”

Take advantage of the opportunities the British Midlands offers Indian companies

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The British Midlands is a UK government-funded organisation, that comprises two of the nine UK-based regional development agencies East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) and Advantage West Midlands (AWM) who work together to offer support to all international businesses looking to invest in the British Midlands region. The British Midlands region, which is the largest commercial centre outside London, has always been a favoured investment destination for Indian engineering, manufacturing and automotive companies. India is among the top ten countries to have invested into the UK in the last couple of years. At present there are over 50 Indian-owned companies in the British Midlands region and this is expected to double in the next few years.

The benefits of investing in British Midlands

  • UK’s primary manufacturing region with a GDP of $ 176 billion which is 15% of GDP is the British Midlands
  • Proximity to the city of London
  • 25% cheaper than London with same quality of skill sets and standard of living
  • Strategic location for access to Europe’s 400 million inhabitants
  • Property rates – 28% less than that of London
  • Excellent linkages – air, water, road and rail transportation – 180 plus flights to Europe, US and Middle East
  • Excellent Research facilities with 17 world class universities
  • Largest freight hub outside London in UK
  • Largest concentration of Indian population in the region in UK

The region has expertise in the following sectors which enables it to be the primary manufacturing region in the UK:

Engineering Cluster in The British Midlands

The Engineering Sector in The British Midlands is part of the Transportation technologies cluster. This broad cluster includes many sub-clusters such as Automotive and Performance Engineering, Railways and Aerospace.

Credentials in Automotive and Performance Engineering Cluster

About 900 automotive companies (1/3rd of UK) are in The British Midlands. 51% of all UK car production takes place in The British Midlands. 25% of all motorsport companies in UK are based in the British Midlands, including engine manufacturers, race and rally preparation companies, and race car construction teams. 40% of all Formula One engines are made in the British Midlands. The region’s racing circuits include Silverstone (the UK’s premier motorsport venue and home to Formula 1), Donington Park, Mallory Park, Rockingham Motor Speedway and Santa Pod Raceway (the UK’s leading drag racing venue) and the British Midlands has established an international reputation in motorsport engineering and technology.

Europe’s largest road distribution centre, Magna Park, is located here, along with three dedicated rail freight terminals providing intermodal road and rail transportation and customs facilities.

Mile-long trains can travel from Eurohub in Corby direct to Paris.

Credentials in Railways

Over 1000 companies are directly involved in the rail industry. Derbyshire is the focal point for the UK rail industry. It is uniquely placed to offer virtually all of the skills needed to design, build and run a modern transportation network. University of Birmingham has a dedicated Railway Research Centre, involved in industry-wide research to improve the safety and efficiency of rail travel.

Credentials in Aerospace

There are more than 600 aerospace companies located here. The British Midlands is home to nearly 27% of all suppliers to the UK aerospace industry and contributes over 43% of the value of the country’s supplies. The region’s long association with the aerospace industry began with the development of the jet engine, RADAR and the Spitfire Credentials in Research & Development Credentials. Motor Industry Research Association, Europe’s leading independent automotive research, design and development centre houses test facilities in the region.

It has 26 test laboratories and 50 m of test tracks, used by over 800 companies worldwide. It has conducted research for MG (Lola Le Mans cars), Rob Beere Racing, T-Cars formula, Peugeot Rally and Prodrive’s Subaru team.

Coventry is a magnet for companies carrying out R&D for the automotive industry – Lotus, Corus and Lear have all established major bases here. The Ford College in Loughborough is a ground-breaking initiative which is benchmarking standards of professionalism for the auto dealerships industry. The Motorsport Industry Association has over 220 members, who do over $ 960 m of motorsport business worldwide. QinetiQ, the largest research and development organization in Western Europe, has 8,000 scientists in the region. Toyota has established its own Training Centre on a 1.2 acre site within the grounds of Nottingham Trent University.

Loughborough University and Warwick University offer leading edge research, development and test facilities specific to the motorsports industry. The British Midlands is internationally acknowledged as a world centre of automotive technology innovation. Its expertise extends across design, fabrication, engine technology, transmission, electronic systems, components and chassis. The Rolls Royce University Technology Centre in Birmingham carries out ground-breaking research and development work on titanium based materials for the aerospace industry. The Rolls Royce University Technology Centre in Nottingham researches advanced aero engine technologies. Research at Warwick Manufacturing Group has led to numerous breakthroughs and innovations for the aerospace industry. Warwick is a partner in ENHANCE (Enhanced Aeronautical Concurrent Engineering) which aims to reduce the time-to-market and cost of development of aeronautical products.

Apart from this, the region has 17 universities that produce 7,000 engineering and technology graduates annually.

For more details visit: www.thebritishmidlands.com

Written by sreelakshmi

16 March, 2009 at 5:46 pm

iSOFT reports First Half Year Revenue Up by 168%

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iSOFT, an IBA Health Group Company (ASX: IBA), Australia’s largest listed health information technology company announced its release of first-half yearly results ending on 31 December, 2008. iSOFT follows the financial year from July to June.

For the half year ended 31 December 2008, the total revenue of iSOFT on a standalone basis, stood at A$275.4 (US$176.7) million, up by 168% from the first half yearly revenue of A$102.8 (US$66) million. The company’s net profit for the first six months increased to A$10.3 (US$6.6) million, compared to a loss of A$1.1 (US$0.7) million in the previous corresponding period. Underlying EBITDA was A$67.5 (US$43.3) million, up 161% from A$25.8 (US$16.6) million.

Executive Chairman and CEO of iSOFT, Gary Cohen said: “We have achieved profitable revenue growth in the first half, driven by solid recurring revenues across all our geographies. We are continuing to benefit from global investment in health IT by governments worldwide, and the computerisation of healthcare records”.

“We have been able to sustain continual all round business growth considering both financials as well as human resource factors”, said Mr. S Govind, Managing Director, iSOFT. “iSOFT’s business proposition arises from our experience and deep understanding of the healthcare vertical which generally faces minimal impact while other industries might be affected by the turbulent economies”.

iSOFT Financial Highlights: H1-09 VS H1-08:


H1-09

Million A$

H1-08

Million A$

% Change

Revenue

275.4

102.8

168%

Reported EBITDA

67.5

25.8

161%

Underlying EBITDA

68.5

33.7

103%

Reported EBIT

41.9

12.6

232%

Reported NPAT

10.3

(1.1)

N/A

Underlying NPAT (after minorities)

25.8

12.9

100%

Earnings per share (basic) in cts

1.20

(0.20)

N/A

Underlying EPS

3.17

2.07

53%

Cash at end of period

44.1

55.7

(21)%

Net cash from operating activities

(12.9)

8.2

N/A

iSOFT Financial Highlights – 12 Months YTD


H1 09 + H2 08

Million A$

H1 09

Million A$

Revenue 533.5 275.4
Reported EBITDA 138.0 67.5
EBITDA Margin 26% 25%
Underlying EBITDA 140.4 68.5
Depreciation (8.7) (4.5)
Amortisation (40.2) (21.1)
Impairment (2) (5.1) –
Reported EBIT 83.9 41.9
Finance cost (46.2) (26.6)
Income tax (11.6) (4.9)
Reported NPAT 26.1 10.3
Underlying NPAT (after minorities) 56.4 25.8
Earnings per share (basic) in cts 3.35 1.20
Underlying EPS

7.12

3.17

Net cash from operating activities 46.4 (12.9)

Written by sreelakshmi

12 March, 2009 at 10:30 am