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European firms improve diversity scores in pandemic year, study finds

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European firms improve diversity scores in pandemic year, study finds 1

By Aida Pelaez-Fernandez

(Reuters) – The number of major European companies with high participation of women in leadership positions has doubled over the past year, but there was less progress on top jobs, a study by a EU-sponsored non-profit organization showed on Thursday.

Brussels-based association European Women on Boards, which analysed 668 Europe’s top listed companies included in the STOXX 600 index and national benchmarks, said the number of those with high scores on its Gender Diversity Index rose to 62 from 32 in 2019.

It defined as high score index readings of 0.8 and above where zero means no women on company boards and in other senior management positions and 1 is the ideal value with a 50% representation.

Women made up just over a third of the analysed companies’ boards, but held only 14% of “C-suite” jobs, such as chief executive, chief operating or finance officer. Only 6% of companies had female CEOs, the association said, though that marked an improvement from 4.7% in 2019.

The study said women were hit harder by the coronavirus pandemic, suffering higher unemployment and greater stress juggling work and family, but did not discuss its impact on the gender diversity scores.

The United Nations has set a 2030 goal for achieving gender equality and several EU countries, including its largest member Germany, have laws promoting it. Still, one report estimated that at current path, the bloc was at least 60 years away from accomplishing that goal.

Companies from Norway, France, Britain, Finland and Sweden led the rankings, with Switzerland and newly represented Poland at the bottom of the table.

Three real state companies added to the STOXX 600 index in 2020, British groups Assura and Grainger, and Sweden’s Wihlborgs Fastigheter AB, led with a perfect score.

Six of the tracked companies had no women on their boards, executive boards or committees, including two from Germany – Nemetschek and Rational – the study showed.

(Reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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Pent-up demand driving global factory revival

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Pent-up demand driving global factory revival 2

By Jonathan Cable and Leika Kihara

LONDON/TOKYO (Reuters) – Demand for manufactured goods drove extended growth in factories across Europe and Asia in February, but a slowdown in China underscored the challenges countries face as they seek a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic blow.

Restrictions imposed around the world to try and quell the spread of the coronavirus have shuttered vast swathes of the services industry, meaning it has fallen to manufacturers to support economies.

But vaccine rollouts and a pick-up in demand provided optimism for businesses that have grappled for months with a cash-flow crunch and falling profits.

IHS Markit’s final Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped to a three-year high of 57.9 in February from January’s 54.8, beating the initial 57.7 “flash” estimate for one of the highest readings in the survey’s 20-year history. [EUR/PMIM]

German factory activity also reached a three-year peak last month and in France the pace of growth accelerated. Italy and Spain also saw a pick-up.

However, lockdown measures disrupted supply chains and factories struggled to obtain raw materials, leading to a big increase in delivery times.

“International shipping delays and strong global demand for raw materials have slowed manufacturers worldwide,” said Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Factories in Britain, outside the euro zone and the European Union, reported the slowest output growth since May last month. Disruptions and rising costs linked to Brexit and COVID-19 limited their ability to respond to a modest pick-up in orders. [GB/PMIM]

ASIAN RECOVERY

Manufacturing activity in Japan expanded at the fastest pace in over two years and South Korea’s exports rose for a fourth straight month, suggesting Asia’s export-reliant economies were benefiting from robust global trade.

On the flip side, China’s factory activity grew at the slowest pace in nine months, hit by a domestic flare-up of COVID-19 and soft demand from countries under renewed lock-down measures.

“In all, the softer pace of activity in today’s (Chinese) manufacturing print is likely to be temporary, and we expect the growth momentum to pick back up on the back of a broadening out of the domestic demand recovery and a pick-up in global demand,” said Erin Xin, an economist at HSBC.

“However, household consumption, while recovering, has not yet fully reached pre-pandemic levels of growth due to continued labour market pressure.”

China was the first major economy to lead the recovery from the COVID-19 shock, so any signs of prolonged cooling in Asia’s growth engine will likely be a cause for concern.

With the global rebound still in its early days, analysts said the outlook was brightening as companies increased output to restock inventory on hopes vaccine rollouts normalise economic activity.

“The recovery in durable-goods demand is continuing, which is creating a positive cycle for manufacturers in Asia,” said Shigeto Nagai, head of Japan economics at Oxford Economics.

“As vaccine rollouts ease uncertainties over the outlook, capital expenditure will gradually pick up. That will benefit Japan, which is strong in exports of capital goods,” he said.

China’s Caixin/Markit Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.9 in February, the lowest level since last May but still above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

Activity elsewhere in Asia remained brisk.

The Japan PMI jumped to its highest since December 2018. In South Korea, a regional exports bellwether, shipments jumped 9.5% for a fourth straight month of increase.

India’s factory activity expanded for the seventh consecutive month on strong demand and increased output, though a spike in input costs could weigh on corporate profits ahead.

The Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam also saw manufacturing activity expand in February, a sign the region was recovering from the initial hit of the pandemic.

(Reporting by Jonathan Cable and Leika Kihara; editing by Shri Navaratnam, Larry King)

 

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How to Find LLC Owners with Business and People Searches

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How to Find LLC Owners with Business and People Searches 3

In any business, it is important that records are kept in the interest of transparency. When somebody becomes the director of a company or starts an LLC there will likely be a record of this, meaning that people can search for those who are involved in companies. This can be a way to check peoples’ assets or find out who you need to contact within a business.

Strategies to Find Business Owners

There are a number of steps you can take in order to find business owners. Some of them are relatively simple but if you have to delve a little bit deeper then it can be more complex.

  • Make a call. This is the most simple way of finding business owners. If you have a contact number for the company, give them a call and simply ask for these details. You may or may not get what you are looking for.
  • Check the company website. Similarly, company websites often have staff pages or information about the corporate structure of a business. You may find the owners here.
  • Do a little social media digging. Who is an admin on the Facebook page? Is there information listed on the “about” section of Facebook? This kind of digging might be required to find LLC owners.
  • Domain lookup. You can look up the owners of a domain to see what name it is under. This will often be the company owner. These are sometimes switched to private.
  • Read the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Reports. The BBB allows data about businesses to be collected for the transparency of customers and finding trustworthy business owners. The reports might outline who is involved in the company.
  • Search State Databases of Registered Businesses. In the US, each state has its own registry. Check what is available within the state where you live, as you might be able to find the information on the database.
  • Contact Local Business Licensing or Regulatory Agencies. Some businesses require a license, and disclosure on the owners of the LLC involved. The regulatory agencies may have a public database showing the owners of the business.
  • Use Public Records to Find More Information. There is some skill to finding the right data. You might need to look at state records such as court records of incorporation. If the company is British, UK publicly available data includes the company’s house, which shows directors and director changes and is searchable by anyone.

Which Records are Accessible to the Public in UK?

There are different laws dictating what is available in different parts of the world. People have a right to privacy, to an extent, but if you are involved in a company you must also be accountable.

The Freedom of Information Act allows access to a number of different records. This is all about transparency, and giving people the chance to check information such as court records and those involved in certain businesses. These records come in useful in many different scenarios including probation, or as an employment check to establish someone’s history. They can also show you LLC owners.

A people search might allow you to see all businesses that someone has been involved in as a director. Details on the electoral roll may also be kept and made available.

Registered Business Structures

Business structures can dictate how much information needs to be provided. For an LLC, articles of organization with the company structure must be filed with a state and may become public record.

Different business structures have different levels of responsibility when it comes to publishing details. So, a sole proprietor might not have to make the same level of information available.

When and Why You Might Need These Data

There are a lot of different reasons why you might need to find LLC owners. For example, you might need to know who to pursue in legal proceedings.

Alternatively, you might want to check that someone is being legitimate before signing a contract or lease with them, so that you don’t get scammed. Public records can help with this.

If an LLC owes you money, finding the individuals involved might allow you more routes to pursue in terms of getting money back.

Law Regulations on People Search

The laws are different for each state, but there are some regulations on what you can or cannot use the information for. Public data is available for the sake of transparency. It doesn’t mean that you should be able to stalk people. People may also have the right to request some public records are taken off the records. Things like court information are likely to stay public, though.

Check your local state law to see what information is made public under the Freedom of Information Act.

Conclusion

People who run businesses should be accountable, and the fact that you can find the owners of an LLC by using a public search ensures that people cannot get away with breaking the law or trying to scam you anonymously. Often, it is incredibly easy to find this kind of information online or using a public records search.

Brought to you by Davi L

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Logitech sees pandemic-driven growth continuing, hikes 2021 guidance

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Logitech sees pandemic-driven growth continuing, hikes 2021 guidance 4

(Reuters) – Computer goods maker Logitech International increased its 2021 guidance on Monday and issued a 2022 forecast, saying growth trends in remote work, video collaboration, esports and digital content creation would continue beyond the 2021 boom.

The company’s Switzerland-listed shares were up 3.2% at 0850 GMT after it raised its 2021 sales growth forecast to about 63% in constant currencies, up from the 57%-60% range it previously expected. Logitech said sales for fiscal 2022, measured in constant currency terms, would be flat to plus or minus 5%.

“Several years ago, we set out to become a design company and positioned our business against long-term growth trends in remote work, video collaboration, esports, and digital content creation. These trends have accelerated over the course of the fiscal year and have seen a coming of age for Logitech,” Chief Executive Bracken Darrell said in a statement.

Operating income for fiscal 2022, measured under non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (non-GAAP), is expected to be $750 million to $800 million, the Swiss-U.S. company said, down from the $1.1 billion it now expects for fiscal 2021 and a fraction up from a previous estimate of $1.05 billion.

“The outlook increase is particularly surprising in the longer term, as it is relatively substantial,” Zuercher Kantonalbank said in a note, adding the guidance implied the company could benefit from various growth drivers even after the pandemic.

In January, Logitech reported a more than three-fold jump in quarterly adjusted operating income, benefiting from the pandemic-driven boost in demand for work-from-home products and gaming accessories.

The company also said on Monday its expectations of long-term sales growth in constant currency had increased to 8% to 10%, up from high-single digits and its non-GAAP operating margin target had improved to between 14% and 17%, up from 11% to 14%.

(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Edmund Blair)

 

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