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FB Roundup: Hero MotoCorp, Hancock Prospecting, and Kering

By Michael Finnigan

Hero MotoCorp posts “best ever” quarterly sales

Indian motorcycle manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, owned by the Munjal family, reported a 28% increase in net profit this week in what has been called its best-ever quarterly sales.

Pawan Munjal, chairman, managing director and chief executive of Hero MotoCorp, said the record-breaking sales were a reiteration of the “overwhelming” customer preference for the company's products.

"The trend is expected to continue through the year and likely to result in double-digit growth for the industry”, Munjal said.

“In the global markets, however, the industry continues to face headwinds due to volatile business environment driven by weakness in crude prices and sharp depreciation of local currencies”.

Last November, Brijmohan Lall Munjal, one of Hero MotoCorp's four founding brothers, died at the age of 92. His son Pawan Munjal, who has been managing director and chief executive since 2001, succeeded his father as chairman shortly thereafter.

Hero Motocorp posted revenues of $3.6 billion in 2013.

Gina Rinehart spends $400 million on fertiliser investment

Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart has purchased a $300 million stake in UK-based fertiliser business Sirius Minerals.

The royalty deal won't kick in until Sirius has committed funds of $630 million to the project. Sirius is run by former executives and financiers of Fortescue—the Australian iron ore company owned by billionaire Andrew Forrest.

In a statement, Rinehart said the Sirius project “delivers a new and natural product which is relevant to Hancock's focus on agriculture and after years of field tests and across many crop types, demonstrated improved yields.

“Sirius has a large, high quality mineral resource and is located in a stable jurisdiction with a competitive tax rate”, Rinehart said.

“I am advised that Sirius is working to progress the project and has potential to become one of the world's leading producers of multi-nutrient fertiliser, and could have a life of 100 years.”

In other news, Rinehart and Chinese partners have raised their bid for the country's largest private landholding, the Kidman estate, with an offer of AUD$387 million ($295 million).

Kering shares hit 15-year high on Gucci success

French luxury goods group Kering, owned by Francois-Henri Pinault, reported a 10% sales increase in the third quarter after its largest brand, Gucci, supported revenue growth in all regions.

The news comes amid a slowdown in the luxury goods sector, which has been affected by currency moves, weak tourism and changing consumer preferences.

Gucci has helped the Paris-headquartered firm achieve its result following a brand makeover, alongside new chief executive and creative director Marco Bizzarri.

The French conglomerate posted sales of €3.2 billion ($3.48 billion) in the quarter, as revenue at Gucci climbed 18% to €1.08 billion.

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