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Shell to acquire UK’s largest electric vehicle charging network



Shell to acquire UK's largest electric vehicle charging network 1

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday it was acquiring the owner of the UK’s largest public electric vehicle charging network, ubitricity, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal for the company that has over 2,700 on-street charge points in the country is expected to be completed late this year.

Electric vehicle sales are set to continue to soar in 2021, industry analysts and car distributors have said, as more models are brought to the market and governments push for use of cleaner energy to achieve climate goals.

The European Commission has already outlined plans to further tighten car CO2 limits as part of its proposal for a tougher 2030 EU climate goal.

“This acquisition marks Shell’s expansion into the fast-growing on-street EV charging market and will provide critical competencies, helping Shell to scale its overall EV charging offer,” Shell said in a statement.

The oil giant is aiming to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner.

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)


Hyundai Motor revises down fourth-quarter operating profit after costly Kona EV recall



Hyundai Motor revises down fourth-quarter operating profit after costly Kona EV recall 2

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co revised down its fourth-quarter operating profit by nearly a fifth after a costly $900 million recall to replace battery systems in some 82,000 electric vehicles globally.

It said on Thursday that the quarter’s profit came in at 1.3 trillion won ($1.2 billion), down from the 1.6 trillion won it had initially reported in late January.

The recall mostly concerns the Kona EV, Hyundai’s biggest-selling electric car which was first recalled late last year for a software upgrade after a spate of fires.

Hyundai’s Kona EV uses batteries manufactured by LG Chem Ltd’s wholly owned battery division LG Energy Solution.

($1 = 1,123.5800 won)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Edwina Gibbs)

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Ladbrokes owner holds off on dividend even as profit jumps



Ladbrokes owner holds off on dividend even as profit jumps 3

(Reuters) – Ladbrokes owner Entain said COVID-19 uncertainties kept it from declaring a dividend despite a jump in 2020 earnings and that it was expecting online volumes to ease when shops re-open after surging during lockdowns.

Entain, which rejected MGM’s $11 billion takeover offer in January, posted an 11% rise in 2020 core earnings to 843.1 million pounds as it benefited from a 50% jump in online profit.

However, the company said given the ongoing uncertainty as a result of COVID-19, the board does not consider it prudent to pay a dividend at this time.

While the pandemic led to the cancellation of sporting and other events and hindered betting in physical shops, a surge in online betting during lockdowns encouraged the FTSE 100 firm to bump up its profit outlook twice last year.

Entain said it had started the year with good momentum in line with expectations and hope to see normality returning over the coming months.

The company also said while it was expecting online volumes to ease when shops in core online territories re-open, the trends seen during the pandemic could remain positive for the global online gaming market. ($1 = 0.7165 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M and Chris Peters in Bengaluru)

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Exxon and Macquarie in $11.7 billion U.S. lawsuit over gas contract



Exxon and Macquarie in $11.7 billion U.S. lawsuit over gas contract 4

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp is suing Australia’s Macquarie Energy in a Texas court in a $11.7 billion lawsuit over missed deliveries during last month’s winter freeze in the central United States.

The lawsuit filed by Exxon’s natural gas business said the massive storm and state declarations of emergencies prevented it from fulfilling its supply commitment to Macquarie Energy, the second largest U.S. gas marketer.

Exxon is asking the Texas court to rule that the massive storm, caused when an arctic air mass swept the central United States, was a natural disaster.

Such a ruling would allow Exxon to break its contract with Macquarie without a penalty, overriding a demand from the Australian company that Exxon cover the wholesaler’s $11.7 billion in damages for missed deliveries.

U.S. gas demand and prices soared last month when freezing temperatures hit as far south as Texas, where 4.3 million homes lost power.

A Macquarie spokesperson in Australia declined immediate comment. Exxon did not reply to a request for comment after normal business hours.

The cold sent spot gas at a west Texas hub to $203.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Feb. 16. It also prompted Texas and Louisiana to declare emergencies and direct gas supplies to the states’ power generators.

Australia’s Macquarie was one of the largest winners in the cold snap, benefiting from record U.S. natural gas prices. It could collect a $317 million profit from a weather related gas binge, analysts said.

Macquarie had rejected Exxon’s own declaration of a natural disaster, the lawsuit said, but the Australian company later issued its own force majeure declaration over gas it had agreed to provide Exxon in Texas.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; editing by Jane Wardell)

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