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Media Live Stream Alert: Vivid Sydney 2015 Program Announcement to be Live Streamed

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-11am, Wednesday 18 March 2015 (Australia Eastern Standard Time)

SYDNEY /PRNewswire/ —

What: Live streaming of the Vivid Sydney 2015 Program Launch
Wednesday 18 March 2015
11.00am start (AEST)

Vivid Sydney is set to enthral audiences from 22 May to 8 June. The official Vivid Sydney 2015 program will be announced at an exclusive event being held at the Sydney Opera House and live streamed for interstate and international media.

The 18-day festival of Light, Music and Ideas, is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Owned and managed by Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney is a major celebration of creativity and last year attracted 1.43 million visitors.


Source: Destination NSW
Related Links:

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Telepizza Strengthens Expansion Strategy Appointing Giorgio Minardi as President of International

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PRNewswire/ —

  • The company, first non-American player in the sector and fourth in the world, registers over 30% of sales abroad
  • With an extensive experience in food-service industry (Dunkin’ Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King or Autogrill), Minardi will boost global growth and lead the international franchising business

Telepizza takes a further step in its international expansion strategy by appointing Giorgio Minardi as new President of International.


Minardi joins the company’s management team to lead the international franchising business and boost firm’s growth abroad, which currently represents over 30% of total sales from 14 countries in Europe, America and Africa.

Entering new markets where it has no presence – mainly some Latin American and Central European countries, leveraging its hub in Poland – is key for Telepizza’s expansion plans, either directly or through master franchises. Additionally, the company will increase its presence in others where it is currently operating.

Giorgio Minardi’s appointment reinforces Telepizza’s expansion strategy. We are convinced that his extensive experience, combined with our deep knowledge of international dynamics and our ambitious global expansion plan will allow us to consolidate our leadership in the sector worldwide”, explained Pablo Juantegui, CEO of Telepizza.

To Giorgio Minardi, being part of Telepizza’s team is an exciting challenge: “It is one of the most recognized companies in the sector worldwide. I am pleased to join such a skilled and world-class team and I am looking forward to working together to consolidate its international growth opportunities.”

The new head of the International area is a highly experienced Executive of food-service and beverage industry. He has held top development and brand management positions at prominent companies in the sector, such as Dunkin’ Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King and Autogrill.

To date, Minardi has been with Dunkin’ Brands in Boston (USA) as President of International, where he carried out an ambitious development plan – opening over 450 new stores a year and expanding into 8 new countries-. Prior to this, Minardi was with Autogrill and Burger King and spent 16 years with McDonald’s, ultimately as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Greater China.

About Telepizza

Telepizza is the leading Spanish multinational in the segment of delivery prepared food and is the fourth in the world.

A pioneering company in the food delivery service in Spain, Telepizza has established itself in the food industry as a company with the largest number of outlets and the best geographical coverage: currently, the company is present in more than a dozen countries in Europe, America and Africa.

With a market share of nearly five times that of the second best-known brand in Spain, the company has more than 1,300 sales points and 25,000 employees worldwide.

Further information:
Kreab  T. +34-917027170
Susana Sanjuan / M. +34-677-946-805
Francisco Calderon / / M. +34-654-642-160
Luis Meseguer /

Source: Telepizza

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Program Announced for World’s Foremost Residence and Citizenship Forum

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PRNewswire/ — The world’s most respected experts in the field of residence and citizenship planning will come together at the Dolder Grand Hotel, Zurich on 5-6 May 2015 for The Henley & Partners Forum 2015.


Designed to shine the spotlight on key developments in field, the Forum’s program includes addresses from, and panel discussions with, top tier international service providers and senior government officials such as the The Hon. Dr.Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta. It fittingly culminates in a gala dinner with a short address by Professor Dr. h.c. mult. Claude Nicollier, the Swiss former ESA Astronaut on Space Shuttle Missions, who will speak on his experiences and thoughts on Global Citizenship.

Says Eric Major, CEO of Henley & Partners, the industry pioneers hosting the Forum: “As the field of residence and citizenship planning is expanding at a rapid pace, it is becoming increasingly important to stay abreast of trends and changes. More importantly perhaps, is building a trusted network with the leading lights in the industry. This is what we have endeavored to create with our events, a platform to do just that.”

Attendees will hear first-hand from the world’s most respected professionals in the field and the government representatives and thought leaders that really matter, and meet senior government officials of relevant countries from around the world.

Key Speakers include:

  • The Hon. Dr. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta
  • The Hon. Vance Amory, Premier of Nevis
  • T. Alexander Aleinikoff, UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner
  • Judith Gold, Deputy Division Chief, International Monetary Fund, Washington D.C.
  • Graham Zebedee, Head of Border Security, Home Office, Government of the United Kingdom
  • Marianne Nufer, Head of Tax Department, Canton of Obwalden, Switzerland
  • Tim Mohr, Principal, BDO Consulting, New York
  • Bruno L’ecuyer, CEO, Investment Migration Council, Geneva

Program Highlights:

  • The Malta Individual Investor Program: Setting a New Global Standard
  • The Concept of Citizenship in the 21st Century
  • Global Exchange of Information and Privacy Rights
  • Wealth Planning for the Russian Global Citizen
  • Luxury Property and Citizenship: Antigua, Nevis, St. Kitts

All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook and the new Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2015 report.

Visit for full information.

About Henley & Partners

Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship planning. Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals, families and their advisors rely on their expertise and experience in this area.

The concept of residence and citizenship planning was created by Henley & Partners in the 1990s. As globalization has expanded, residence and citizenship have become topics of significant interest among the increasing number of internationally mobile entrepreneurs and investors who work with Henley & Partners.

The firm also runs a government advisory practice, and have been involved in strategic consulting and the design, set-up and operation of several of the world’s most successful residence and citizenship programs which attracted have more than USD 4 billion in foreign direct investment to date.

Press Photos

To view and download a selection of images relating to Henley & Partners, please go to:

Source: Henley & Partners

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Precision Aviation Group Obtains Part 145 CASA & EASA Approval in Australia

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ATLANTA, March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ –Precision Aviation Group, Inc. (PAG), a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry announced today that the company has obtained Part 145 approval from the Civil Aviation Service Authority (CASA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Australia after working closely with officials for the past 12 months.

“PAG Australia has taken care of our customers’ needs in the Australia, Asia and the South Pacific Regions for over two years from our Brisbane, Australia, location,” said David Mast, President & CEO of PAG. “Our company continues to grow and expand the scope of our products and MRO capabilities worldwide in order to serve our customers not only in Australia, but throughout the world.”

Chris Slade serves as the Director of Operations for PAG Australia. “By having CASA & EASA approval on the capabilities in Australia, our company is able to provide, competitive pricing, improved turn times and ongoing reliability and technical support on starter generators and hydraulic components for both rotor and fixed wing customers,” said Slade. “The local support provided in Australia is backed by PAG’s Inventory Supported Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (ISMRO) program to ensure that operators’ fleet reliability remains high and operating costs are kept low.”

Having a Part 145 approved facility in Australia reduces aircraft downtime, improves response time and enables customers to leverage the full scope of PAG services locally in Australia. This translates into time and cost savings for customers. The 10,000 square foot facility strategically located near Brisbane’s Airport, allows PAG Australia’s staff to provide sales, exchanges and MRO services to mission critical operators in “real time”.

“This certification reiterates PAG’s commitment to our customers and provides them with a known and trusted brand in country when looking for a reliable MRO partner,” said Mast. “Australia represents a growing aviation market, and we will continue to make capital investments in Australia in the coming years.”

Logo –

About Precision Aviation Group (PAG)

Precision Aviation Group (PAG) is a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry. With nine locations and more than 235,000-square-feet of sales and service facilities in the United States, Canada and Australia, PAG uses its distinct business units and customer-focused business model to serve aviation customers through two business functions – Aviation Supply Chain – and its trademarked Inventory Supported Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (ISMRO®) services.

PAG provides MRO and Supply Chain Solutions for Fixed and Rotary-wing aircraft through: Precision Heliparts – PHP (; Precision Aviation Services – PAS (; Precision Accessories & Instruments – PAI (; Precision Heliparts Canada – PHP-C (; Precision Accessories & Instruments Canada – PAI-C (; PHP-Instruments & Accessories – PHP-IA (; Precision Aero Technology –PAT (, Precision Heliparts – Australia – PHP-AU (, Precision Accessories & Instruments –Australia (PAI-AU) ( and Aviation Controls, Inc. – ACI ( PAG subsidiaries have MRO capabilities on over 35,000 products, including accessories, avionics, engine components, hydraulics, instruments, NDT, starter/generators, and wheels/brakes (

Source: Precision Aviation Group

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Grand Opening of the World’s First Avis Prestige Car Showroom

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SINGAPORE  /PRNewswire/ —Avis, one of the world’s largest car rental brands, has opened the world’s first Avis Prestige showroom showcasing elite luxury car brands that are available for rent. Such brands include Bentley, Porsche, Hummer and Tesla.

To cope with the elevating demand of luxurious cars in Hong Kong, Avis Prestigeprovides a diversified range of vehicles such as super-luxurious four-door sedans, high-end sports cars and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) . At the Avis Prestige showroom, customers can rent, pick up their rental car and immediately enjoy the superb driving experience.  Avis Prestige takes the motto WE TRY HARDERto heart by providing premium services to all customers.  Apart from flexible options for rental cars pick up and return, Avis Prestige now also provides rental vehicle delivery service to designated locations at the customer’s request.

About Avis in Hong Kong
Avis opened its first operations in Asia in 1969. With over 44 years of experience and presence, Avis Hong Kong is one of the longest operating car rental & leasing companies in Hong Kong. Today, it has a fleet of more than 230 vehicles and 3 stations throughout the city. For More Information: Visit

About Avis in Asia
In Asia, Avis is a leading provider of vehicle rental; vehicle leasing and limousine/chauffeur drive services operating in more than 300 locations through a network of wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensee agreements in 20 countries and territories. Avis opened its first operations in Asia in 1970 in Hong Kong. Throughout the 1970’s Avis grew steadily in the region, with operations launched in Singapore, the Philippines,Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia. More recently, developments have included openings in India, Mainland China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

About Avis
Avis Car Rental operates one of the world’s best-known car rental brands with approximately 5,450 locations in more than 165 countries. Avis has a long history of innovation in the car rental industry and is one of the world’s top brands for customer loyalty. Avis is owned by Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), which operates and licenses the brand throughout the world. For more information, visit

Logo –

Source: Avis Asia

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Samsonite International S.A. Announces 2014 Final Results

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-Net sales reach a record US$2.35 billion
-Double-digit Revenue and EBITDA Growth for the Fifth Consecutive Year

HONG KONG  /PRNewswire/ —


  • Samsonite posted double-digit growth in both net sales and Adjusted EBITDA for the fifth year running.
  • Samsonite’s net sales for the year ended December 31, 2014 increased by 17.3%[1] to a record US$2,350.7 million with strong growth across all regions. US Dollar reported net sales increased by 15.4%.
    • Asia — 18.0%[1] year-on-year net sales growth.
    • North America — 22.9%[1] year-on-year net sales growth.
    • Europe — 10.4%[1] year-on-year net sales growth.
    • Latin America — 15.7%[1] year-on-year net sales growth.
  • Profit attributable to shareholders increased to US$186.3 million, representing year-on-year growth of 5.8%, or 16.3% excluding acquisition costs and foreign exchange translation losses.
  • Adjusted Net Income[2] increased to US$206.3 million, representing year-on-year growth of 9.0%, or 12.3% excluding foreign exchange translation losses.
  • Adjusted EBITDA[2] increased to US$384.3 million, representing 13.8% year-on-year growth.
  • Net sales of the American Tourister and High Sierra brands continued to deliver strong growth with an increase of 19.0%[1] and 24.9%[1] year-on-year, respectively, while the Samsonite and Hartmann brands saw solid net sales growth of 10.2%[1] and 10.3%[1], respectively.
  • Good progress was made across all four product categories.
    • Travel — net sales increased by 10.9%[1] to US$1,654.4 million.
    • Casual — net sales increased by 25.1%[1] to US$252.1 million.
    • Business — net sales increased by 34.6%[1] to US$256.2 million.
    • Accessories — net sales increased by 76.3%[1] to US$147.2 million.
  • Three acquisitions were completed during the year, which together significantly expand the Group’s brand and product offering:
    • Lipault, a French luggage brand known for its functional and fashionable designs and appeal to female travellers, in April 2014.
    • Speck Products, a leading designer and distributor of slim protective cases for personal electronic devices that are marketed under the Speck® brand, in May 2014.
    • Gregory, a premium technical outdoor backpack brand, in July 2014.
  • Subsequent to 2014, the Group acquired Rolling Luggage in February 2015, providing the Group with a significant retail footprint in some of the world’s leading airports and further expanding the Group’s portfolio of retail store locations.
  • The Group generated US$229.9 million of cash from operating activities during 2014 compared to US$193.0 million during 2013, resulting in a net cash position of US$72.9 million at year-end, providing a solid platform to execute future growth plans.
  • Adjusted basic earnings per share[2] increased to US$0.147 in 2014 from US$0.134 for the previous year. Basic earnings per share as reported increased to US$0.132 from US$0.125.
  • The Board recommended a cash distribution to shareholders of US$88.0 million, or approximatelyUS$0.0625 per share, up 10% from the US$80.0 million distribution paid in the previous year.


Excluding foreign currency effects.


This non-IFRS measure eliminates the effect of a number of non-recurring costs and charges and certain other non-cash items that impact the Group’s reported profit for the year. The Group believes the adjusted figures are useful in gaining a more complete understanding of its operational performance and of the underlying trends of its business.

Samsonite International S.A. (“Samsonite” or “the Group”; stock code 1910), the world’s largest travel luggage company, today announced its results for the year ended December 31, 2014.

The Group’s net sales increased by 15.4% to a record US$2,350.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales increased by 17.3%. Excluding amounts attributable to acquisitions made in 2014, net sales increased by US$203.2 million, or 10.0%, and by 11.9% on a constant currency basis. Samsonite continued to benefit from the worldwide growth in travel and tourism as international tourist arrivals grew by 4.7% in 2014 to 1.13 billion travellers, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Reported profit for the year attributable to shareholders increased by 5.8% to US$186.3 million. Excluding acquisition costs and foreign exchange translation losses, profit attributable to shareholders increased by 16.3%. The Group’s Adjusted Net Income increased by 9.0%, to US$206.3 million and by 12.3% excluding foreign exchange translation losses. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 13.8% to US$384.3 million for the year endedDecember 31, 2014.

Adjusted basic earnings per share increased to US$0.147 in 2014 from US$0.134 in 2013. Basic earnings per share as reported increased to US$0.132 for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to US$0.125 for the previous year. The Board has recommended that a cash distribution in the amount of US$88.0 million, or approximately US$0.0625 per share, be made to the Company’s shareholders. This represents a 10% increase from the distribution paid in the previous year.

Mr. Tim Parker, Chairman, said, “Since the Group’s listing in 2011, we have achieved considerable growth, and today Samsonite is the leader in travel goods in almost every significant world market. The Group continued its strong momentum in 2014, achieving another year of excellent progress. The next stage of our growth will see the Group develop on a much more ambitious scale as we intend to not only extend our leading position in travel goods with the Samsonite and American Tourister brands, but we will also continue to diversify our brands, product offering and distribution channels. We firmly believe that our business has the capacity to double in size over the next few years, and the progress we have made during 2014 is consistent with our long-term ambition.”

Mr. Ramesh Tainwala, Chief Executive Officer, added, “We are pleased to report another outstanding set of results for the fifth year running, reflecting the consistent and successful execution of Samsonite’s growth strategy. Our business grew nicely across all geographies, brands and product categories in 2014, which is a testament to our ability to deliver best in class products catering to the needs of consumers in individual markets. The Group’s strong performance also demonstrates the resilience of the multi-brand, multi-category and multi-channel model we have established over the last few years as part of our aim to strategically diversify the business. In line with this strategy, last year we acquired three very different, yet complementary brands, Lipault, Speck and Gregory, which together significantly extend our product offering and which we expect will contribute considerably to our topline as we leverage our global distribution and marketing platform to expand them into new markets. Our most recent buy, Rolling Luggage, coming at the start of 2015, establishes a strong retail presence for us in key international airport locations as we push to expand our retail points of sales globally. Looking ahead, we will stay the course of our clear and defined strategy to achieve our goals for sustained growth.”

Table 1: Key Financial Highlights

Year ended

December 31, 2014

US$ (Million)

Year ended

December 31, 2013

US$ (Million)

Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Excl. Foreign

Currency Effects

Net Sales





Profit attributable to shareholders




Adjusted Net Income




Adjusted EBITDA




Basic and diluted earnings per share (US$)




Adjusted basic earnings per share (US$)




Recommended cash distribution




Net Sales by Brand

Net sales of the Group’s flagship brand, Samsonite, increased by 8.6% year-on-year to US$1,535.7 million, accounting for 65.3% of the Group’s net sales, down from 69.4% for 2013, reflecting continuing efforts to diversify the Group’s brand portfolio. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales of the Samsonite brand increased by 10.2%.

The Group’s mid-priced brand, American Tourister, recorded net sales of US$504.2 million, an increase of 17.4%, or 19.0% on a constant currency basis, from 2013. This growth was largely driven by Asia, which saw net sales for the brand increase by 17.5% in constant currency terms in 2014, accounting for 71.5% of the increase in overallAmerican Tourister brand sales for the year. While accounting for a smaller contribution to the Group’s overall net sales than Asia, net sales of the American Tourister brand also saw considerable growth in Europe, increasing by 54.8% on a constant currency basis.

The net sales growth of both the Samsonite and American Tourister brands was largely the result of expanded product offerings and further penetration of existing markets, which were supported by the Group’s targeted advertising activities.

The High Sierra and Hartmann brands, both acquired by the Group in 2012, posted constant currency net sales growth of 24.9% and 10.3%, respectively, as the Group pursued further geographical expansion of the two brands. Hartmann was launched globally in the fourth quarter of 2014 with the opening of the New York Madison Avenue flagship store in October, followed by the Tokyo Ginza flagship in December, with a total of over 350 points of sales around the world as at December 31, 2014, including key cities such as London, Paris, Moscow,Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore. Meanwhile, the High Sierra brand continued its successful expansion in Asia, Europe and Latin America in 2014.

The Group made three acquisitions in 2014: Lipault, acquired in April; Speck Products, acquired in May, and; Gregory Mountain Products, acquired in July. For the year ended December 31, 2014, net sales of the Speck,Gregory and Lipault brands amounted to US$91.6 million, US$12.6 million and US$5.5 million, respectively. The integration of all three of these businesses is substantially complete and plans are well advanced to expand product ranges and distribution.

Mr. Tainwala said, “Lipault, Speck and Gregory are wonderful new additions to our brand portfolio. Samsoniteremains our flagship, but as we diversify and increase our product offering, it will come to account for a smaller proportion of our overall sales. American Tourister continued to drive growth, most notably in Asia, but also in other regions such as Europe. As we continue the broader geographical rollout of High Sierra and Hartmann, we’re seeing very encouraging signs from consumers, and expect both of these brands will be drivers of considerable growth for our business going forward. Our portfolio now comprises a diverse set of well-respected brands in both the travel and non-travel categories and spanning a wide range of price points. In line with our strategic objectives, we will continue to further diversify our offering by monitoring the market for attractive acquisition opportunities.”

Table 2: Net Sales by Brand


Year ended

December 31, 2014


Year ended

December 31, 2013


Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Excl. Foreign

Currency Effects






American Tourister





High Sierra





















[3] The Speck brand was acquired on May 28, 2014
[4] The Gregory brand was acquired on July 23, 2014
[5] Other includes Lipault, Saxoline, Xtrem and others

[6] nm Not meaningful due to acquisition during 2014

Net Sales by Region

The Group continued to achieve strong double-digit constant currency sales growth in all regions in 2014, led byAsia and North America.

The Group’s net sales in Asia increased by 16.1% to US$892.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014compared to the previous year. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales increased by 18.0%. Along with additional product offerings and points of sale expansion, the success of the Group’s business in Asia has been bolstered by a continued focus on country-specific product and marketing strategies to drive increased awareness of and demand for the Group’s products. The sales growth in the region was largely driven by theAmerican Tourister brand, net sales of which accounted for 43.2% of the increase in net sales for the region. TheSamsonite Red sub-brand in the Group’s casual category, which was first launched in South Korea in 2010 and is aimed at young fashion-conscious consumers, continued to be popular, with net sales increasing by 91.9% on a constant currency basis to US$57.9 million in 2014 on the back of successful new product introductions and marketing programs. On the back of the success of American Tourister, Samsonite and Samsonite Red, Chinacontinued to lead in terms of sales and performance, contributing 25.5% of the region’s net sales and recording 18.4% year-on-year net sales growth, or 18.7% on a constant currency basis, despite a slowing economy which affected consumer spending. Japan posted strong constant currency net sales gains of 32.3%, driven by the success of the Samsonite brand and the Gregory acquisition. South Korea, with constant currency net sales up 12.8% year-on-year, continued to experience robust sales growth driven by American Tourister and Samsonite Red, while India and Hong Kong posted healthy constant currency net sales gains of 19.9% and 12.2%, respectively.

The Group’s net sales in North America, which includes the United States and Canada, increased by 22.4% toUS$761.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the previous year. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales increased by 22.9%. The Group’s continued focus on marketing and selling products designed to appeal to North American consumers, as well as the addition of the Speck and Gregory brands, contributed to the net sales growth in the region. Excluding net sales attributable to Speck and Gregory, net sales increased by 6.9%, or 7.3% on a constant currency basis. Net sales across both the Samsonite and AmericanTourister brands, as well as across the travel and casual categories, all recorded solid year-on-year constant currency growth, while the business and accessories categories performed particularly well on the back of the Speck acquisition.

The Group’s net sales in Europe increased by 8.3% to US$557.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2014compared to the previous year. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales for the European region increased by 10.4%. Strong local currency sales growth was achieved in several markets due to the positive sell-through of new product introductions, including new product lines manufactured using the Curv material and other lines of polypropylene suitcases, as demand for hardside luggage continued to grow in the region. Germany, the Group’s leading market in Europe representing 14.7% of total regional net sales, achieved 10.6% constant currency sales growth during the year. The United Kingdom also posted strong growth, with constant currency net sales increasing by 12.2% year-on-year. The Group’s business in Italy and Spain continued to show signs of improvement with constant currency net sales growth of 12.3% and 11.3%, respectively. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales in France increased by 13.2% year-on-year assisted by the Lipault acquisition. The Group continued to penetrate the emerging markets of Turkey and South Africa with year-on-year constant currency net sales growth of 34.9% and 25.5%, respectively. The Group’s business in Russia was negatively impacted by the economic uncertainty and devaluation of the Russian Ruble, but still generated constant currency net sales growth of 5.7% year-on-year.

In Latin America, net sales increased by 5.7% to US$130.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2014compared to the previous year. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales increased by 15.7%. Chile andMexico accounted for 45.1% and 30.5% of the region’s net sales, respectively. Chile recorded year-on-year net sales growth of 8.1%, excluding foreign currency effects, due in large part to the recently launched women’s handbag brand Secret. US Dollar reported net sales for Chile decreased by 5.9% due to the negative impact of foreign exchange rates. Excluding foreign currency effects, Mexico recorded a net sales increase of 16.3%, whileBrazil posted year-on-year constant currency net sales growth of 105.0% mainly due to the direct import and sales model implemented during 2013. Excluding net sales attributable to Argentina, which continued to be negatively impacted by import restrictions imposed by the local government, net sales for the Latin American region increased by 20.0% on a constant currency basis.

Mr. Tainwala said, “2014 saw considerable growth once again coming from North America and Asia, and we continued to see positive progress in Europe, particularly Italy and Spain, which have both suffered considerably in the past few years due to the Eurozone crisis. As recent events have demonstrated, global economies continue to be turbulent; however the broad geographical spread of our operations as well as our multi-brand, multi-category and multi-channel model have enabled us to weather the many external forces that can buffet individual markets.”

Table 3: Net Sales by Region


Year ended

December 31, 2014


Year ended

December 31, 2013


Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Excl. Foreign Currency Effects






North America










Latin America





Net Sales by Product Category

Net sales in the travel category, the Group’s traditional area of strength, grew by 10.9% to US$1,654.4 million, excluding foreign currency effects, delivering 44.3% of the Group’s total increase in net sales in 2014. Country-specific product designs, locally relevant marketing strategies and expanded points of sale, including e-commerce, continue to be the key factors contributing to the Group’s success in the travel category.

As a result of the Group’s strategic focus on expanding its product offering, the accessories category recorded constant currency net sales growth of 76.3% year on year, largely due to the acquisition of Speck Products. The acquisition of Speck also had a positive impact on the business product category, where net sales increased by 34.6% excluding foreign currency effects. Meanwhile, net sales in the casual product category increased by 25.1% on a constant currency basis, due primarily to the success of High Sierra and Samsonite Red as well as the acquisition of Gregory.

Mr. Tainwala added, “Our share of travel has reduced from 74.4% of total net sales in 2013 to 70.4% in 2014, while that of non-travel has grown from 25.6% to 29.6% during the same period. This demonstrates the progress we have made in a short time to diversify our brand and product portfolio. Over the next five years, we aim to increase the contribution of our non-travel brands to around 50% of total net sales.”

Table 4: Net Sales by Product Category

Product Category

Year ended

December 31, 2014


Year ended

December 31, 2013


Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Percentage change

2014 vs. 2013

Excl. Foreign Currency























As at December 31, 2014, the wholesale and retail channels represented 79.4% and 20.2%, respectively, of the Group’s net sales. Excluding foreign currency effects, net sales in the wholesale channel increased year-on-year by 17.2%, while net sales in the retail channel increased by 18.3%. On a same store, constant currency basis, net sales in the retail channel increased by 7.9%. For the year ended December 31, 2014, approximately 6.6% of the Group’s net sales were derived from its direct-to-consumer e-commerce business and net sales to e-tailers, versus 5.6% for the previous year.

The Group expanded its points of sale by approximately 3,600 during the year to a total of over 49,000 points of sale in over 100 countries worldwide as of December 31, 2014. Over 300 points of sale were added in Asiaduring 2014, including 41 net new company-operated retail locations, bringing the total to more than 7,200 points of sale in the region as at December 31, 2014.

Mr. Tainwala noted, “2014 saw Samsonite pushing for a more balanced channel mix. We are integrating both online and offline distribution to create an omni-channel presence that will strengthen our engagement with consumers, increase visibility for our products and drive sales. Given the explosive growth in online retail, we believe e-commerce will be a new driver of profitable growth for our business, and will be the way in which many of our newer and younger customers experience our brands. As for brick-and-mortar, we are aggressively expanding our own retail footprint around the world, including in airports under the Rolling Luggage name as well as through opening multi-brand bag and luggage specialty stores under the J.S. Trunk & Co. name. We believe an omni-channel model has the potential to grow the proportion of retail sales from around 20% of our net sales in 2014 to perhaps as much as 50% over the medium term.”


The Group spent US$144.7 million, or 6.2% of net sales, on marketing in 2014, an increase of 12.0% compared to 2013, reflecting its ongoing commitment to advertise and promote its brands and products to support sales growth worldwide. The Group continued to employ targeted and focused advertising and promotional campaigns and the Group believes the success of these campaigns is evident in its net sales growth outpacing the industry in all regions.


Looking ahead to 2015, the Group’s existing growth strategy will continue to maintain its course with the objective of increasing shareholder value through sustainable revenue and earnings growth.

In particular, Samsonite will:

  • Continue to gain market share by leveraging the strength of the Group’s diverse portfolio of brands, which include Samsonite, American Tourister, Hartmann, High Sierra, Gregory, Speck and Lipault, across all of its markets;
  • Allocate more resources to increase the Group’s direct-to-consumer sales, including e-commerce, retail and omni-channel, in proportion to net sales;
  • Allocate more resources to the markets in Latin America where the Group is less represented and has the potential to gain market share;
  • Allocate more resources to the Hartmann brand to increase sales and gain market share worldwide;
  • Focus on further integrating Speck Products, Lipault and Gregory into the Group’s existing business and continue to realize anticipated synergies in sourcing, systems and back-office support functions;
  • Continually improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Group’s supply chain and global distribution network; and
  • Continually evaluate acquisition opportunities that have a compelling strategic fit, leveraging the Group’s strong management team and balance sheet capacity.

About Samsonite

Samsonite International S.A. (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the “Group”) is the world’s largest travel luggage company, with a heritage dating back more than 100 years. The Group is principally engaged in the design, manufacture, sourcing and distribution of luggage, business and computer bags, outdoor and casual bags, travel accessories and slim protective cases for personal electronic devices throughout the world, primarily under the Samsonite®, American Tourister®, Hartmann®, High Sierra®, Gregory®, Speck® and Lipault® brand names and other owned and licensed brand names. The Group’s core brand, Samsonite, is one of the most well-known travel luggage brands in the world.

For more information, please contact:

Samsonite International S.A.

William Yue

Tel: +852-2422-2611

Fax: +852-2480-1808


Artemis Associates

Vanita Sehgal

Jonathan Yang

Tel: +852-2861-3227

Tel: +852-2861-3234

Mob: +852-9103-4626

Mob: +852-6373-6676


Email: jonathan.yang

Europe: Newgate Communications

Jonathan Clare

Clotilde Gros

Georgia Lewis

Tel: +44-2076-806-500

Tel: +44-207-680-6522

Tel: +44-207-680-6528

Mob: +44-7899-790-749

Mob: +44-7718-619-905


This announcement contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this announcement, including, without limitation, the discussions of the Group’s business strategies and expectations concerning future operations, margins, profitability, liquidity and capital resources, the future development of the Group’s industry and the future development of the general economy of the Group’s key markets and any statements preceded by, followed by or that include words and expressions such as “expect”, “seek”, “believe”, “plan”, “intend”, “estimate”, “project”, “anticipate”, “may”, “will”, “would” and “could” or similar words or statements, as they relate to the Group or its management, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

These statements are subject to certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which may cause the Group’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking information.

Subject to the requirements of applicable laws, rules and regulations, the Group does not have any and undertakes no obligation to update or otherwise revise the forward-looking statements in this announcement, whether as a result of new information, future events or developments or otherwise. In this announcement, statements of or references to the Group’s intentions are made as of the date of this announcement. Any such intentions may change in light of future developments. All forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are qualified by reference to the cautionary statements set out above.

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Source: Samsonite International S.A.

Related stocks: HongKong:1910 OTC-PINK:SMSEY

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March 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Western Union Pays Tribute: Women Move US$ 291B globally to loved ones; half of $582 Billion in Global Remittances

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-On International Women’s Day, Western Union recognizes Migrant Women Moving, Sending and Receiving

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. /PRNewswire/ — For this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global money transfer services, recognizes the economic impact that international migrant women are having on both the global economy and their home economies as they cross borders for new opportunities.


As a company serving women, who represent nearly 51 percent of its customers sending cross-border money transfers, Western Union celebrates the economic power of women, who comprise almost 50 percent of international migrants and remit 50 percent of the World Bank’s estimated USD582 billion in global remittances.

Based on analysis of global trends, Western Union said women send a greater percentage of their wages, while sending the same amounts as men. Both men and women primarily send to women (about two-thirds of receivers are women[1]), reinforcing the importance of women as the core of home financial management.

“Women have emerged from the margins of the international migration equation to become decision makers and essential contributors to the financial well-being of their families and communities,” said Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, Western Union.

“As women significantly influence the use of remittances for education, women’s international remittances contribute to human capital-building globally while also reinforcing the backbone of so many remittance-receiving economies. We see it every day across the world, more than half of the remittances we move are made by women,” Ersek said.

Women are Migrating as Much as Men

Today migrant women represent 48 percent of all international migrants and are finding jobs in multiple sectors and disciplines or starting their own businesses, according to the United Nations[2], dismissing some misconceptions that women were “second wave” migrants, traveling only as part of a family or once relatives have established themselves in a new home. Whereas men have historically migrated to industrialized economies for both manual labor and technical or professional jobs, today women workers are migrating to countries with strong service-based economies where they will have greater opportunity. The proportion of women to men migrants significantly varies by country and can be as high as 70 – 80 percent in some cases[3].

Women Senders Remit More Out of Their Wages and Women Receive the Bulk of Remittances

Female international migrants send approximately the same total amount of remittances as their male counterparts, sending a higher proportion of their income, even though they generally earn less than men, according to International Organization of Migration (IOM)[4]. The IOM states that women usually send money more regularly and for longer periods of time.

Women international migrants are also more likely than men to act as a safety net for families back home during emergencies and bad economic times. Additionally, when women send international remittances, these women gain more autonomy and negotiating power within the overall family[1].

According to the United Nations[1], international migrant men and women prefer to send remittances to women (two-thirds), reinforcing the global finding that women are the household financial managers. Studies show international women senders and receivers channel remittances in ways that directly benefit the family, including food, education, healthcare, housing and savings, while men remittance receivers tend to spend slightly more on the consumption of goods, according to Western Union analysis.

Greater Access to Financial Services Critical to Empowering Women

Ersek reiterated Western Union’s support for migrant women on International Women’s Day, noting their courage and dedication.  “Greater access to financial services is critical to advancing the financial inclusion and literacy of women within the global economy, particularly with the use of new technologies – such as mobile,” he said.  “The public and private sectors around the world have a collective role to drive for real inclusion, and Western Union is distinctively positioned to provide access for banked, under-banked and un-banked international remittance senders and receivers, as well as to facilitate rapid payments for cross border trade for small and medium enterprises.”

“We have a responsibility to tailor services for a growing and influential group of international workers,” said Ersek.  “Western Union offers nearly half a million Agent locations, and we are improving choices, with the goal of allowing people to send money any time, any way and (almost) anywhere on earth, through an array of pay-in options such as cash, bank account, debit, credit, prepaid, online, mobile wallet and now Apple Pay in the U.S.”

Migrant Women Gain in Financial Transaction Sophistication

“Women have increased their participation with banks around the world as places to send and receive money,” Ersek added, “although we find the majority of Western Union money transfer customers still prefer cash due to convenience and accessibility.”  According to the World Bank, 46.6 percent of women globally have an account at a formal financial institution (vs. 54.5 percent of men).  However, in developing economies, women are 8 percent less likely to have an account than men.  Further, women have narrowed the gender gap in their financial practices as 13.4 percent of women use electronic payment methods to make payments (vs. 15.6 percent of men) and 21 percent of women saved money at a financial institution (vs. 23.9 percent of men).

The World Bank[5] also found that women are rapidly approaching parity with men when it comes to sending and receiving money. Nearly seven percent of women use their bank accounts to receive remittances (vs. 7.6% of men) and six percent of women use their account to send remittances (vs. 8.0% of men).  Mobile phones are gaining popularity with nearly three percent of women to receive money (vs. 3.5% of men), and nearly two percent of women use their mobile phone to send money (vs. 2.7% of men).[6]

For further information, please call Western Union

Americas and European Union:
Pia De Lima: +1 954 260 5732 /

Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe & CIS
Ingrid Sahu, 971 4 4373656 /

About International Woman’s Day

Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8.   The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911.  Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.  Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media around the world celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.  Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for the global hub, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognizing women.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders.  As of December 31, 2014, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks.  In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit

[1] International Organization of Migration (IOM) and United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement (UN-INSTRAW) 2007; IOM et al., 2007


[3] Linking Women Remitters & Senders to Financial Services, Women’s World Banking, 2011

[4] IOM Report 2013

[5] World Bank Report 2011

[6] Financial inclusion by gender. (2011)  World Bank

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Source: Western Union Financial Services, Inc.

Related stocks: NYSE:WU

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Data Presented at ACC Demonstrates Benefits of Keystone Heart’s TriGuard(TM) Cerebral Protection Device During TAVR

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— American College of Cardiology (ACC) Annual Scientific Session

CAESAREA, Israel and SAN DIEGO, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — Late breaking trials at the ACC include the data from the first randomized, multi-center DEFLECT III clinical trial, testing the TriGuard Cerebral Detection Device designed to protect the brain during cardiovascular procedures.

  • Use of the TriGuard was safe with numerically better in-hospital procedure safety
  • Patients protected with TriGuard during TAVR were more likely to be free of new brain lesions post- procedure, particularly when TriGuard was used during implantation of Edwards’ Sapien family of valves. Complete freedom from ischemic brain lesion was observed in 50% of TriGuard protected patients treated with Sapien 3 – an unprecedented level not previously reported in any study
  • On DW-MRI post-procedure, single and maximum brain lesion volume was reduced by about 40% as compared to control patients who did not have TriGuard protection
  • Neurocognitive decline was reduced post-procedure in patients protected with the TriGuard device and patients with protection had improved short-term and delayed memory at discharge

Keystone Heart today announced that its CE marked TriGuard™ Cerebral Protection Device has improved in-hospital safety outcomes and cognitive scores at discharge during Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), according to preliminary findings from the DEFLECT III trial presented at the 64th Annual Scientific Session of the ACC. Patients protected by the TriGuard device were also more likely to have complete freedom from ischemic brain lesions as assessed by Diffusion Weighted MRI (DW-MRI) post-procedure. Based on changes in NIH Stroke Scale, patients protected with TriGuard had 10% absolute reduction in stroke (4.9% vs. 14.3%). Minor strokes were under detected without detailed NIHSS assessment.

The First Report of the DEFLECT III Trial was presented in San Diego earlier today by Alexandra Lansky, MD, director of the Yale Cardiovascular Research Program, Yale School of Medicine, USA. DEFLECT III is the first multi-center randomized clinical trial of a neuro-protection device used during TAVR, designed to explore safety, detailed neurocognitive and DW-MRI surrogate efficacy endpoints. Conducted at 13 sites in 5 countries in Europeand Israel, DEFLECT III data demonstrated clear benefits on a number of endpoints in TAVR procedures performed using the TriGuard.

This data reinforces the results from DEFLECT I, which demonstrated a significant reduction of over 60% of new brain lesion volume in TriGuard protected TAVR procedures, compared with historical data on unprotected TAVR procedures.

In an announcement released by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Dr. Lansky stated that “Protecting the brain has become a priority to improve our patients’ outcomes and this is a new focus in interventional cardiology. Our data show that TriGuard is probably at least as safe as control, it appears to improve neurocognition at discharge, and when the device is properly placed, patients have fewer lesions and the volume of lesion is greatly reduced.”

“When a patient undergoes a procedure to improve cardiovascular function, risks of damage to the brain should be minimized whenever possible. The new results from DEFLECT III and previous results from DEFLECT I show that the TriGuard has the potential to do so,” said Shuki Porath, President and CEO of Keystone Heart. “I am hopeful the results of the trial will promote the recognition of cerebral embolic protection importance, and use in TAVR and other cardiovascular procedures.”

Vince Burgess, Executive Chairman of Keystone Heart commented “Our objective since day one has been to help bring the stroke and silent stroke rates seen during TAVR down to a level that is equal to or below that observed during traditional valve replacement surgery. In this study, we have seen completely lesion free brains on DW-MRI in as many as 50% of patients when our device is used during implantation of the leading TAVR manufacturer’s latest generation valves. We are excited about the results of this study and we believe we are approaching our goal of helping to make this revolutionary procedure more widely available to patient populations.”

Keystone Heart’s TriGuard™ is the only cerebral protection device specifically designed to provide full coverage to all aortic arch takeoffs. The CE marked TriGuard™ Cerebral Protection Device is not yet commercially available in the USA.

About KeystoneHeart
Keystone Heart Ltd. is a medical device company developing and manufacturing cerebral protection devices to reduce the risk of stroke, neurocognitive decline and dementia caused by brain emboli associated with cardiovascular procedures.

The Company is focused on protecting the brain from emboli to reduce the risk of brain infarcts during TAVR, surgical valve replacement, atrial fibrillation ablation and other cardiovascular procedures. The TriGuard product pipeline is designed to help interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons to preserve brain reserve while performing these procedures.

Headquartered in Israel, Keystone Heart is dedicated to advancing patient care through innovative technology and clinical research. The Company’s management has extensive experience in the fields of interventional cardiology and medical devices.

Mr. Shuki Porath, President and CEO
Tel: +972-4-615-8000

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Source: Keystone Heart Ltd.

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 11:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

ReDev Properties Ltd. and their President Richard Crenian announces sale of Castleridge II

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TORONTO /PRNewswire/ — Richard Crenian, President of ReDev Properties Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of Castleridge II, a commercial shopping plaza located at 55 & 33 Castleridge Boulevard,Calgary AB, shadow-anchored by Safeway Grocery.

ReDev Properties Ltd. and their President Richard Crenian announces sale of Castleridge II
ReDev Properties Ltd. and their President Richard Crenian announces sale of Castleridge II

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Purchased in 2006, Castleridge II is in a prime location that receives excellent exposure from the CalgaryInternational Airport and access to Castleridge Boulevard. With 8,022 square feet of rentable space, Castleridge II is anchored by TD Bank Group, the plaza’s first tenant, which occupies approximately 69 percent of the rentable space.

ReDev Properties Ltd. was engaged as the asset manager for the property. Their president, Richard Crenian says “We’re sad to see this asset go. It’s been a wonderful property, allowing us to build a strong and long-term relationship with TD Bank. This plaza will be irreplaceable, but a really motivated purchaser offered the asking price. In the end, we are excited to be able to offer our investors such fair returns.”

The shopping centre made headlines when it first opened, as the first shopping centre in Calgary to offer a drive-through banking service with the TD Bank. It has now been bought by Avenue Commercial.

Castleridge II will be the 9th successful property project ReDev Properties Ltd and Richard Crenian has owned, operated and sold. It will also be the second property the group has sold in 2015.

About ReDev Properties Ltd.
ReDev Properties Ltd. is a Canadian owned and operated commercial real estate asset management company. Since 2001, ReDev Properties has purchased and managed over 25 commercial real estate properties inCanada on behalf of our investors.

ReDev Properties understands that the key to any successful commercial real estate project is location. ReDev Properties carefully and diligently locates existing commercial real estate properties in markets which provide the necessary stability and future growth to ensure our assets retain and increase their value. Western Canada, specifically Alberta and Saskatchewan, are the economic engines of the country and ReDev has placed a high priority on properties located in these provinces.

ReDev Properties utilizes a long term approach to managing our investors’ assets. It generally takes considerable time and expertise to maximize the value of a commercial real estate property. ReDev has the requisite experience and knowledge to capitalize on the lucrative commercial real estate market and maximize the value of our assets.

For more information on ReDev Properties Ltd please contact:

Richard Crenian, President

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Source: ReDev Properties Ltd

Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

FxPro MT5 Now Live

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LONDON /PRNewswire/ — FxPro announces the launch of FxPro MetaTrader5. Due to go live onMonday March 16th, the platform from MetaQuotes will allow traders to take advantage of FxPro’s superior trading conditions and fair trading practices on yet another leading trading platform.

Perfect for traders who prefer market execution but still want to trade on a MetaQuotes platform, FxPro MT5 also features a number of updates to its predecessor, including: more timeframes, drawing tools, buy and sell stop limit orders, tick chart trading and full market depth. Algorithmic traders are just as amply catered for as on MT4 with an integrated EA development environment.

FxPro CEO Charalambos Psimolophitis had the following to say: “The launch of FxPro MT5 has already generated a great deal of interest among traders and our support team have been inundated with queries in the run up to the launch. We are excited about this addition to our fleet of professional trading platforms and will continue to bring our traders the very best in FX trading.

Notes to Media

About FxPro

FxPro is a multi-award-winning FX broker that has its interests completely aligned with its clients. Via its exceptionally deep pool of liquidity FxPro aims to be the leading provider of FX solutions for both institutional and retail clients, which it currently serves in over 150 countries with advanced trading platforms and algorithmic tools. FxPro aims to help its clients become more profitable.

FxPro UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (registration no. 509956). FxPro Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (licence no. 078/07).

Risk Warning

Trading CFDs involves a high risk of loss.

Media Contact
Media Relations

Source: FxPro
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Written by asiafreshnews

March 18, 2015 at 11:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized