Thursday, October 15, 2015

Goldman Sachs sees profits plunge; China slowdown hits Burberry sales; Why new hires are quitting so soon

1 Goldman Sachs sees profits plunge (BBC) US banking giant Goldman Sachs has reported a sharp fall in profits as trading activity slowed owing to concerns about global economic growth. Net profits for the three months to 30 September were $1.43bn, down more than a third on a year earlier. Revenue fell almost 20% to $6.9bn.

The results contrasted sharply with those of rival Citigroup, which posted a 50% jump in profits, to $4.29bn. The bank said it was able to offset a fall in revenue by cutting costs. Goldman's investment banking division saw revenues increase, but other divisions, particularly market making and bond trading, saw revenues drop.

Earlier this week, other big US banks also reported a drop-off in trading during the quarter. Revenues at Citi fell by 5% to $18.69bn, but the bank was able to cut costs dramatically.

2 China slowdown hits Burberry sales (Julia Kollewe & Sarah Butler in The Guardian) Burberry blamed a sharp slowdown in sales on a tough global market for luxury goods, in particular weaker demand from Chinese customers. Shares in the company, known for its British-made trench coats and cashmere scarves, tumbled 8% to a two-year low wiping more than £500m from Burberry’s stock market value. Shares across the luxury sector were hit, including Prada, Kering and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Burberry joins LVMH, which earlier this week became the first major luxury goods company to warn that the stock market collapse in China over the summer had affected sales, particularly at its flagship Louis Vuitton brand.

China’s economic slowdown has prompted fears over the global economy. The country’s stock markets have seen repeated bouts of panic selling this summer, with “Black Monday” sending world markets into a spin. This prompted Beijing to take unprecedented measures to stop the rout, including the biggest devaluation of the yuan in 20 years, to help exporters and boost the flagging economy.

Burberry’s sales in mainland China and Asia-Pacific fell in the six months to the end of September. The region makes up 40% of Burberry’s revenues. The company has stepped up efforts to cut costs by £20m to minimise the impact on this year’s profits, which include a hiring freeze outside its retail operations.

3 Why new hires are quitting jobs so soon (Kia Croom in San Francisco Chronicle) One day you’re introduced to your company’s newest hire. No sooner than you learn his or her name and claim to fame, you notice he or she is no longer there.

Marion, an analyst relations worker, says she recently quit her job after two weeks, all because she suspected her supervisor was a workaholic. Marion was worried about meeting her supervisor’s reasonable expectations.

“She told me within the last five years the most she’d taken off was three consecutive days when she was sick with the flu,” she said. “While I don’t plan on taking excessive time off, I have small children, who get sick from time to time, so I occasionally need to take off. I suspected she has no concept of work life balance and inclination to tend to my family and children wouldn’t go over well with her. So I unapologetically quit.”

A recent study by Bamboo HR reports 31 percent of workers have quit a job within the first six months. Reasons ranged from the workers didn’t like their boss or the job to they changed their mind of the career path. Others said they didn’t get enough training for the job or the work didn’t line up with the job description.

SFGate conducted a survey to learn other reasons new hires quit so quickly. One responded saying “the work culture wasn’t a good fit.” Another said he didn’t like the hours. One said she quit after completing the employee orientation because the “fringe benefits sucked.” According to her calculations, under her employer’s health insurance plan, medical benefits alone for her family would cost her one-third of her pay.

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