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Lenovo logs record profit in Q3, beats forecasts

China's Lenovo Group, on track to become the world's top maker of personal computers, reported a record quarterly profit, up by a third from a year earlier, as it gained more share in the PC market and made inroads in the smartphone business. The ThinkPad maker, also China's No. 2 smartphone vendor, said on Wednesday net profit in its October-December third quarter had risen to $204.9 million. That beat the average estimate of $178.4 million in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 11 analysts and exceeded its previous record of around $172 million in the three months ended December 2007. In the third quarter, overall revenue grew 12% from a year earlier to $9.4 billion, but the bulk of that still came from its PC business.

Cancer drugs give Roche modest 2012 profit boost

Growing demand for its cancer medicines and diagnostic tests used by clinical laboratories helped Swiss drug maker Roche Holding post a modest 2.4% increase in full-year profits. The Basel-based company said on Wednesday that it made a net profit of 9.77 billion Swiss francs ($10.6 billion) in 2012, against 9.54 billion francs the year before, and that it anticipates further gains this year. The company, which is the world's biggest manufacturer of cancer drugs, said it delivered strong results for 2012 in part due to the launch of its new breast cancer medicine, Perjeta, in the US and Europe. Overall sales were up 4% at 45.5 billion francs ($49.2 billion). "We met our financial targets, grew faster than the market, and our strong pipeline positions us well for further growth," said Roche chief executive officer Severin Schwan.

Chrysler 2012 profit jumps on higher sales

Chrysler says its profit jumped to $1.7 billion in 2012 as sales rose 18%. Chrysler's profit was nine times higher than the $183 million recorded in 2011. The results mark another step in Chrysler's remarkable turnaround. The company went bankrupt during the US recession in 2009 and needed a $12.5-billion loan from taxpayers to survive. The No. 3 US automaker sold 2.2 million cars and trucks worldwide last year. Revenue increased 20% to $65.8 billion. Chrysler expects its net income to rise to around $2.2 billion this year, on revenue of between $72 billion and $75 billion.

US private sector adds 192,000 jobs in January

US private employers added 192,000 jobs in January, more than economists were expecting, in a sign of growth in the labour market, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 165,000 jobs. December's private payrolls were revised down to an increase of 185,000 from the previously reported 215,000. The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.

France to turn off office and shop lights at night

French shops and office buildings will have to turn off their lights at night to save energy and reduce light pollution, the French environment ministry said on Wednesday. From July 1, all non-residential buildings will have to switch off interior lights one hour after the last worker leaves the premises. All exterior and shop window lighting will have to be turned off by 1 am. Local authorities will be able to allow exceptions for Christmas lighting and other local events. The new law will save about two terawatt/hours of electricity a year the equivalent of the annual consumption of 750,000 households, the ministry said. Environment minister Delphine Batho said it would also make France a pioneer in Europe in preventing light pollution, which disrupts ecosystems and people's sleep patterns.

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