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FB Roundup: Faber-Castell, Tata, and H&M

Adult colouring book craze prompts growth at Faber-Castell; Tata patriarch defends sale of UK steelworks; and Mixed first quarter for high street giant H&M

Adult colouring book craze prompts growth at Faber-Castell

A surge in the number of people buying adult colouring books has caused double-digit growth at German writing instruments manufacturer Faber-Castell.

The eighth-generation family firm has been forced to run extra shifts in its factory to keep up with demand, Sandra Suppa from Faber-Castell told The Independent.

Adult colouring books have become a surprise success in bookshops and have sold some 16 million copies worldwide.

Faber-Castell attributes the rise in popularity of adult colouring books to its relaxing and meditative qualities.

The 255-year-old firm posted revenues of €577 million ($657 million) in 2015.

Tata patriarch defends sale of UK steelworks

Ratan Tata, the former chairman of eponymous Indian conglomerate Tata Group, has defended the decision to sell its UK steel operations calling them “underinvested and overmanned”.

Speaking in Washington, the 78-year-old said the decision came from the huge rise in exports by Chinese steelmakers.

“Right now the problem is that the English facilities are underinvested and overmanned,” said Tata, who handed over control of the group to Cyrus Mistry, the 44-year-old son of Irish-Indian construction tycoon Pallonji Mistry, in 2012.

The sale of Tata Group’s UK assets throws the future of the UK steel industry into doubt, while Tata estimates it would take approximately £2 billion ($2.8 billion) of investment to transform its plant at Port Talbot into a profitable producer of steel.

Tata Group is in the fifth generation and reported revenues of $109 billion in 2015.

Mixed first quarter for high street giant H&M

Swedish family empire H&M has seen its first-quarter sales grow thanks to continued expansion and increased online trade.

Though sales were up, quarterly net profit came under pressure after being impacted by “a continued very negative US dollar” and by increased markdowns.

The group, which has includes brands like COS, Monki and Cheap Monday, said it plans about 425 additional stores in existing markets this year.

H&M is in the third generation and reported sales of SEK 210 billion ($26 billion) in 2015.

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