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Amazon Plans to Wind Down Its AmazonSmile Program Amid A Worsening Economic Outlook

Amazon has donated more than $377 million globally to charitable organizations through the AmazonSmile program since its launch in 2013.

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Amazon

E-commerce giant Amazon has revealed plans to discontinue its charity donation program, AmazonSmile amid a worsening economic outlook.

The company on its website disclosed that it will shut down the program on February  20, 2023, while noting that after almost a decade, the AmazonSmile program has not grown to create the impact it had originally hoped for which has spurred it to invest in areas where it can make meaningful changes.

Investors King understands that Amazon has donated more than $377 million globally to charitable organizations through the AmazonSmile program since its launch in 2013.

The company has also supported hundreds and thousands of nonprofits from global humanitarian efforts and animal welfare groups to hospitals, school PTA’s, and more. These organizations received donations from Amazon generated by customers who shopped using AmazonSmile.

The charity program is a simple way for customers to support their favorite charity every time they shop with Amazon.

Meanwhile, Amazon is currently having a wave of frugality under CEO Andy Jassy who is implementing massive cost cuts at the company.  The company has also commenced the largest layoffs in its history and has instituted a hiring freeze across its corporate workforce.

Executives at Amazon have already sent Memos to employees about job cuts. Recall that it disclosed earlier this month, it plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs as it seeks to navigate macroeconomic conditions.

In November 2022, CEO Andy Jassy disclosed that the company would begin eliminating roles primarily in its devices and recruiting organizations.

He is also undergoing a broad review of Amazon’s expenses as the company reckons with an economic downturn and slowing growth in its core retail business.

Last year, Amazon was faced with dwindling revenue as it battled several economic challenges such as rising inflation, fuel cost, and other macroeconomic factors. This forced it to slap a 5% surcharge on its online sellers.

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Merger and Acquisition

EnjoyCorp Limited Secures Strategic Acquisition of Champion Breweries Plc

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Champion Breweries

EnjoyCorp Limited, a conglomerate known for its ventures in food, beverage, and hospitality, has successfully secured a strategic acquisition deal with Heineken B.V.

The agreement entails EnjoyCorp acquiring 100% of Heineken’s shareholding in The Raysun Nigeria Company Limited, which holds an 86.5% stake in Champion Breweries Plc, a prominent regional brewer listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2024.

Heineken will extend its support to Champion Breweries for a year post-acquisition, ensuring a seamless transition of ownership.

This acquisition marks EnjoyCorp’s strategic entry into the beverage sector, aligning with its vision of catering to the diverse tastes of the African consumer market.

By integrating Champion Breweries as an anchor subsidiary, EnjoyCorp aims to strengthen its foothold in the industry.

EnjoyCorp, known for its mission to enrich life’s moments through quality brands and sustainability, sees this acquisition as a pivotal step in its journey toward transformative growth.

With a focus on innovation and community engagement, EnjoyCorp endeavors to inspire consumers to cherish life’s moments responsibly.

The acquisition underscores EnjoyCorp’s commitment to shaping the future of the beverage industry in Africa.

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Company News

Apple’s Ambitious Electric Car Effort Comes to an End, Stock Rises

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inside apple company

Apple Inc. has announced the termination of its decade-long effort to develop an electric car, marking the end of one of the company’s most ambitious projects.

The decision was disclosed internally on Tuesday, surprising nearly 2,000 employees involved in the project, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Vice President Kevin Lynch, who spearheaded the effort, informed staff that the project would wind down.

Many employees from the car team, known as the Special Projects Group, will transition to Apple’s artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea, focusing on generative AI projects.

The news brought a sense of relief to investors, with Apple’s stock climbing approximately 1% to $182.63 at the close of trading in New York.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., also celebrated the decision, signaling approval with a post on social media.

The end of the electric car project, named Project Titan, is a significant shift for Apple, which initially aimed to produce a fully autonomous electric vehicle with advanced features.

However, the endeavor faced challenges from its inception, including leadership changes and strategic shifts.

Despite investing substantial resources and talent, Apple found itself grappling with a cooling market for electric vehicles, sluggish sales growth, and manufacturing hurdles.

The company explored various designs and tested self-driving technology extensively but ultimately struggled to achieve breakthroughs in the competitive automotive industry.

Apple’s decision underscores its strategic shift towards prioritizing generative AI projects over automotive ventures.

While the end of the electric car project marks a notable chapter in Apple’s history, it signifies the company’s adaptability and focus on areas with long-term profitability potential.

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Olam Group’s Second-Half Earnings Rise 15.5%, Share Price Jumps 10%

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Olam

Olam Group Ltd., a prominent agricultural trader, reported an improvement in its second-half performance following a report of an ongoing investigation in Nigeria.

The company disclosed that its earnings soared by 15.5% to S$230.8 million ($172 million) in the six months ending in December as announced in a recent exchange filing.

Despite facing challenges throughout the year, including high borrowing costs and operational hurdles, Olam Group posted double-digit growth across various metrics in the latter half of the year.

The substantial improvement in earnings has buoyed investor confidence, reflecting optimism about the company’s resilience and capacity to navigate challenging market conditions.

The company’s share price rose by 10% during Singapore trading.

However, Olam Group’s full-year net income experienced a sharp decline, plummeting by 56% to S$278.7 million.

The company attributed this downturn primarily to high interest rates, which resulted in a significant increase in net finance costs amounting to S$401.9 million.

Olam Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Sunny Verghese, expressed optimism about the future, anticipating a decrease in interest rates in the latter part of 2024.

Also, the company announced plans to launch a share buyback program, signaling its belief that the group is currently undervalued in the market.

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