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Sidewalk Labs CEO to Resign Ahead of Possible Battle with ALS

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Alphabet has announced that it is folding all Sidewalk Labs’ projects under the umbrella of Google, after the founder and CEO of Sidewalk announced that he will be stepping down ahead of a possible battle with ALS.

Alphabet Inc. is an American tech company which was created through a Google restructuring in October 2015, eventually becoming the parent company of Google and several subsidiaries of Google. One of the subsidiaries of Alphabet Inc. is Sidewalk Labs, which deals with urban planning and infrastructure. Until recently, Sidewalk Labs was headed by founder and CEO Daniel Doctoroff.

Doctoroff, who had previously been in charge of Bloomberg LP, announced in a blog post on Thursday that he would be resigning as CEO. He made this decision in the wake of a possible battle with the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a highly deadly neurodegenerative condition. Doctoroff has not been diagnosed with the disease yet, but meetings with experts in the field, meetings and test results have all pointed to the possibility of being diagnosed.

He however said that he tested negative for a gene mutation that points to ALS, which had been present in his family with the disease, making it a possibility that he is fighting a disease with similar symptoms to ALS but which is not ALS.

According to Doctoroff, the disease runs in the family as both his father and uncle were diagnosed with the devastating disease. Since the ALS fears, he has decided to spend more time with his family and lead his organisation called Target ALS. Doctoroff said he plans to raise $250 million for medical research through the Target ALS group.

In the wake of Doctoroff’s resignation, Google will take over Sidewalk projects like the parking technology Pebble, and low-cost energy tracking system Mesa. Doctoroff announced that the projects will still be led by Sidewalk Labs’ President of Urban Products Prem Ramaswami and the Chief Technology Officer Craig Nevill-Manning, who are both former workers with Google.

It was however announced that the company did not have a date for the transition yet.

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Nigerian Breweries Announces 142.8% Jump in Profit in H1 2022

Nigerian Breweries Plc on Friday reported a whopping 142.8% jump in profit after tax realised in the first half (H1) of 2022.

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Nigerian Breweries - Investors King

Nigerian Breweries Plc on Friday reported a whopping 142.8% jump in profit after tax realised in the first half (H1) of 2022.

In the company’s unaudited financial statement obtained by Investors King, revenue grew by 31% from N209.031 billion recorded in the first half of 2021 to N274.085 billion in the period under review.

Cost of sales stood at N155.349 billion, an increase of 18.3% from N131.340 billion filed in the corresponding period of 2021.

Gross profit rose by 52.4% from N77.917 billion in H1 2021 to N118.736 billion in H1 2022 while marketing, distribution and administration expenses surged by 44.8 percent to N84.896 billion from N58.628 billion.

Results from operating activities expanded by 79.9% to N35.840 billion, up from N19.917 billion achieved in H1 2021.

Nigerian Breweries grew profit before tax to N25.697 billion in the period under review from N11.940 billion filed in H1 2021.

The company paid N6.954 billion in income tax to post N18.743 billion profit after tax. This represents an increase of N142.8% growth from N7.858 billion recorded in H1 2021.

In a press release signed by Uaboi G. Agbebaku, Esq., Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries said profitability was driven by the company’s pricing strategy and better mix.

However, the increase in the cost of sales was attributed to the recent surge in commodity prices due to internal and external factors.

“The increase in operating profit and profit after tax was driven mainly by top line growth resulting from our pricing strategy and better mix. Increase in cost of sales was due to rise in commodity prices. Marketing, distribution and administration expenses were driven by the increase in commercial activities, rising diesel prices and higher wages arising from collective labour agreements,” the company stated.

“Although interest expenses were lower, the net finance cost was higher due to foreign exchange losses arising from a higher cost of meeting foreign obligations to overseas partners.

“Our business continues to build momentum and deliver consistent profitable growth even in the context of a very challenging operating environment. Our best-in-class portfolio of brands provides a unique platform that positions us well to lead and grow the beer and malt category and drive superior long-term value creation.”

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Lafarge Africa Grows Profit by 3.5% in Q2, 2022

Lafarge Africa Plc, one of Africa’s largest cement manufacturers, managed to sustain profitability in the second quarter (Q2) of the year as over 70% jump in selling and distribution costs dragged on the company’s profit after tax.

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Lafarge Africa - Investors King

Lafarge Africa Plc, one of Africa’s largest cement manufacturers, managed to sustain profitability in the second quarter (Q2) of the year as an over 70% jump in selling and distribution costs dragged on the company’s profit after tax.

In the firm’s unaudited financial statement obtained by Investors King, revenue rose by 30.5% from N73.546 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2021 to N95.981 billion in the period under review.

Cost of sales (production) jumped 30.3% to N42.055 billion, up from N32.267 billion reported in the same period of 2021.

The increase weighs on gross profit as expected. Gross profit stood at N53.926 billion, against N41.279 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2021.

Similarly, selling and distribution costs jumped a whopping 73.6% from N13.034 billion in Q2 2021 to N22.631 billion in Q2 2022. While other income dipped 38.36% to N89.631 million from N145.415 million in Q2 2022.

Therefore, the surge in cost of production, selling and distribution costs plunged operating profit to N26.514 billion. Still, a 12.8% increase when compared to the N23.515 billion realised in Q2 2021.

Finance income declined from N191.142 million to N136.945 million. Again, finance costs also jumped by over 50% to N1.239 billion in the period under review.

All these increases in expenses and declines in income dragged on profit before tax to N25.411 billion, a 3.5% increase from N23.976 billion in Q2 2021.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Khaled El Dokani, CEO of Lafarge Africa, said: “Our Q2 2022 performance shows significant improvement over Q2 2021, with net sales of +30.5%, recurring EBIT of +12.8% and net income of +3.5%.

“Our H1 2022 results are even more impressive, with 28.7% and 32.1% growth in net sales and net income,
respectively.

“This further confirms the consistent resilience and robustness of our business. We are equally pleased with the progress we are making on sustainability; our use of affordable clean energy and agroecology footprint are in accordance with our net zero pledge journey.”

On the outlook for the second half of the year, Lafarge Africa’s boss predicted a positive demand momentum expected in H2 2022.

He said, “We will continue to maximize volume opportunities across our markets and actively manage our costs and remain focused in our drive towards sustainability.”

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Ethiopian Airlines Orders Africa’s First A350-1000

Ethiopian Airlines Group, the flag carrier of Ethiopia, Africa’s largest airline group, has upsized four of its A350-900 on order to the largest variant of the A350 Family, the A350-1000, becoming Africa’s first customer for the aircraft.

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Ethiopian Airlines Group, the flag carrier of Ethiopia, Africa’s largest airline group, has upsized four of its A350-900 on order to the largest variant of the A350 Family, the A350-1000, becoming Africa’s first customer for the aircraft.

Ethiopian Airlines has already ordered 22 A350-900s, of which 16 aircraft have been delivered. With the A350-1000 upsizing, Ethiopian Airlines’ backlog consists of four A350-1000s and two A350-900s.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said, “We are delighted over the upsizing of the A350-900 on order to the largest variant, A350-1000, that helps us stay ahead of the curve in technology. We are the technology leaders in the continent introducing the latest technology and fuel-efficient fleet into Africa. The A350-1000 is the best fit for our dense routes, and we believe that the upsizing will be instrumental in satisfying the increasing demand of customers in our vast global network across five continents. We will continue on keeping ourselves abreast of aviation technology advancements to enhance our service and fulfil customers’ demand.”

“We are proud of our strong partnership with Ethiopian Airlines – the first airline in Africa to order and operate the A350-900. In another first, Ethiopian Airlines is once again leading the way in Africa’s aviation sector by introducing the A350-1000, the largest version of the world’s most efficient and technologically advanced passenger aircraft.” said Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa and Middle East. “The A350-900 has delivered extraordinary capability, fuel efficiency, and operational reliability of 99.5 percent together with unbeatable operational flexibility and efficiency, from short to ultra-long-range operations.”

The A350-1000 will increase the East African carrier’s capacity and it will be an addition to its modern wide-body fleet. The airline will benefit from a flexible, high-value Family leveraging Airbus’ unprecedented level of commonality and same type rating.

The Airbus A350’s clean-sheet design features state-of-the-art aerodynamics, a carbon-fibre fuselage and wings, plus the most fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency and sustainability for Ethiopian Airlines, with a 25% reduction in fuel-burn and CO2 emissions compared to previous generation twin-aisle aircraft.

By the end of June 2022, the A350 Family had received 940 orders from 52 customers, making it the reference large widebody family for the next decades.

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