MONTREAL – BRP Inc. raised its dividend as it reported a drop in profit for its latest quarter compared with a year ago as revenue also declined.The maker of Ski-Doo snowmobiles says it will pay a quarterly dividend of nine cents per share, up a penny from its previous quarterly payment to shareholders.The increase came as BRP reported a profit attributable to shareholders of $115.2 million or $1.12 per diluted share for the quarter ended Jan. 31.That compared with a profit of $136.6 million attributable to shareholders or $1.22 per diluted share a year earlier.On a normalized basis, BRP said it earned 96 cents per diluted share compared with $1 per share a year ago.Revenue in what was the company’s fourth quarter totalled $1.26 billion, down from nearly $1.31 billion.Companies in this story: (TSX:DOO)
MOSCOW – Budweiser has a boat on the Moscow River and a disco. Coke set up an interactive sculpture-video installation in Gorky Park and entertained 5,000 guests during the monthlong tournament. Visa built a campaign around former Sweden star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.Business went on at the World Cup without the presence of the United States, although the tournament’s visibility decreased across America.“The absence of the U.S. team here doesn’t change what we’re doing,” said Ricardo Fort, The Coca-Cola Co.’s head of global sponsorships. “The real value is based on how broad our programs are implemented. We have over 180 countries doing work.”FIFA said after the group stage that of 2.6 million tickets sold, U.S. residents bought about 97,000 on FIFA’s website and from its ticketing centres, second only to host Russia’s 1.1 million. The U.S. was second to host Brazil in 2014, but the American total was around 200,000 that year.“We were all disappointed when the U.S. team didn’t qualify,” said Brian Perkins, vice-president of global marketing for Budweiser at Anheuser-Busch InBev. “But two-thirds of the sales of Budweiser globally are sold outside of the U.S., so actually the bigger part of the business is international, and that’s where all the growth is coming from as well. It really didn’t change much at all.”World Cup advertising increased sharply in the U.S. during the past few tournaments. Nike used a 70 1/2-foot advertising board near New York’s Penn Station and its store windows to attract attention.Plans for U.S. marketing changed last October when the U.S. lost at Trinidad and Tobago, ending a string of seven straight World Cup appearances dating to 1990.“Since Team USA will not be competing, we don’t have much going on,” Nike spokesman Ilana Finley said in an email.Past World Cups contributed to soccer’s growth in the U.S., both at Major League Soccer and at the youth level. The four matches involving the American team in 2014 were seen by 10 million to 18 million viewers on ESPN and generated what then-U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati called “water-cooler talk.” That opportunity was lost in this four-year cycle.Fox, which holds U.S. English-language television rights, had been projecting four of 64 matches involving the American team.“We had to pivot quickly,” Fox Sports senior vice-president of ad sales Mike Petruzzi said.While viewers declined from the 2014 tournament in Brazil, the level is up from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when the U.S. games are factored out.“You are naturally going to have more people paying attention back home when your country is in the tournament, but there has still been a ton of interest in the World Cup in the United States,” current USSF president Carlos Cordeiro said in an email. “That clearly shows how the game has grown over the years.”Visa is using the World Cup to expand the use of near field communication contactless payment technology and brought Ibrahimovic, now with MLS’s LA Galaxy, to Russia for the tournament’s first week for promotion.“Some of the biggest amount of spending that we’re seeing in Russia is coming from American fans who travel to Russia to see the World Cup in person,” said Chris Curtin, Visa’s chief brand and innovation marketing officer.Visa’s data backed up an impression the percentage of fans from Europe was lower than at past World Cups. Part of the cause may be tension between Russia and western European nations that followed Russia’s invasion of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine, and accusations by Britain that Russia was behind the poisoning of a former spy living in England.Through the semifinals, $12 million was charged inside the stadiums to Visa cards issued to cardholders in Russia, followed by those issued in the U.S. ($3 million), Mexico ($1.5 million), China ($1.1 million), Argentina ($700,000), Peru ($560,000), England ($550,000), Brazil ($500,000), Colombia ($420,000) and Australia ($400,000).France was 13th at $230,000 heading into Sunday’s final against Croatia.FIFA has seven top-level partners in Adidas, Coca-Cola, Gazprom, Hyundai, Qatar Airways, Visa and Wanda Group, plus five second-level sponsors: Anheuser-Busch, Hisense, McDonald’s, Mengniu Dairy and Vivo.Hisense, Mengniu, Vivo and Wanda are all Chinese companies, a sign of that nation’s increasing influence in soccer despite the lack of success of its national team.Among the official FIFA group, Adidas, Anheuser-Busch, Coke and McDonald’s purchased about 20 per cent of Fox’s advertising inventory and sponsorships, and Hisense sponsored clock wraps, billboards and graphics, according to Petruzzi. They were joined by tech companies Amazon, Apple and Google.Coke, Sprint and Volkswagen advertised on U.S. Spanish-language coverage on NBC Universal’s Telemundo network.Four years from now, the World Cup will be in Qatar, which like Moscow will also be seven hours ahead of Eastern time. The change will be the timing, Nov. 21-Dec. 18, a tournament shortened from 32 days to 28.“Fourth quarter has got a lot of rating points already with college football, NFL, so it’s going to be very interesting how we approach it,” Petruzzi said. “The holiday stuff will be great, but I also get cautious about fourth quarter because there’s so many rating points out there.”___More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
SYDNEY, N.S. — Hundreds of Cape Breton call centre workers laid off just weeks before Christmas may now have jobs to return to in the new year.“There will be Christmas — there is some hope here,” said Michelle Hillier, who worked at ServiCom Canada for five years before being forced on the unemployment line earlier this month along with more than 600 colleagues.“If the jobs are there, I’m walking right back through the doors again.”The reopening of the call centre would be a significant gain for the economy of Cape Breton, a region that struggles with perennially high unemployment.An Iowa-based businessman offered $1.5-million for the idled call centre during an auction this week that was part of bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.The Sydney, N.S., operation was abruptly closed Dec. 6 after ServiCom’s U.S. parent, JNET Communications, filed for bankruptcy protection.Anthony Marlowe of Marlowe Companies Inc. (MCI) outbid two other interested buyers and was expected to travel to the region and meet with workers Thursday.“I was thrilled to find out that somebody is buying it and we could all have our jobs back,” said Chauncey Sullivan, who worked at the call centre for almost three years.“It was such a huge loss for a small community.”She said the mass layoff was “heartbreaking” but that “Capers” — or Cape Bretoners — have pulled together to support the workers.The community has banded together to raise money for the laid off workers, with donations flooding in and the Salvation Army providing food and payments for home heating oil and electricity bills. Most of the workers were owed about four weeks in back pay when the call centre abruptly shuttered, a liability MCI Canada said rests with ServiCom.Justin Boutilier, who worked at the call centre for more than a decade, said while it’s great for the community and the regional economy to see the call centre reopen — there’s a “flip side.” “A lot of people are owed thousands of dollars … it leaves a little bit of a sour taste,” he said.Boutilier said some laid off workers who have qualified for employment insurance may go back to school or pursue training rather than return to the call centre.Brett Murphy, who worked at the call centre for two years, said the laid off workers are struggling to pay bills.“If this happened in July, it would be a little bit easier, but people are hurting this close to Christmas,” he said. “It’s great to know that hundreds of people will get their jobs back, we just need to get through this time.”In a statement Tuesday, MCI Canada said the call centre will reopen as early as Jan. 2, 2019 under a new name: The Sydney Call Centre Inc. The company also confirmed that MCI will enter a nine-year lease for the shuttered facility.Marlowe said it was clear that the bankruptcy proceedings in the United States were unlikely to produce any money for the workers. He said his company would offer sign-on and retention bonuses, but no figures were mentioned.“We hope that this will help lessen some of the financial impacts of the closing,” he said in a statement.Marlowe’s company was in the process of buying the call centre’s assets when it was shut down by the bankruptcy proceedings.He said his company will provide new and ongoing employment for the Sydney area. Again, no numbers were mentioned.“We are in a unique position to be able to quickly bring jobs back to Sydney, provide a valuable service to customers and add talented employees and capacity to the MCI portfolio,” Marlowe said.“Expanding into a new country in less than 30 days is a big undertaking, but we have a great team and technology in place to get it done … We have every confidence that the team in Sydney will further fuel our organization’s success.”The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — The makers of Budweiser, Coors and other large-scale brewers are placing their bets on cannabis as a way to fight saturated markets and shifting consumer trends.For years, the industry’s largest players have struggled with stagnating markets and shifting consumer tastes. Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors and Corona brewer Constellation Brands have responded by buying up fast-growing craft brews. Anheuser-Busch’s 2011 purchase of Chicago’s Goose Island is one of the most emblematic examples of this strategy, which has helped big brewers maintain revenue and profit steady. But concerns over growth continue to hang over the industry.The craft beer segment of the industry has slowed considerably since 2016, however, according to trade association The Beer Institute.“This seems to be running out of steam now,” said Spiros Malandrakis, head of alcoholic drinks at market research provider Euromonitor International.While the same macroeconomic issues of saturated markets and consumers constantly looking for something new remain, the industry may have to contend with escalating trade issues and a market downturn that could cut into consumer spending.The larger players are fighting back by pushing into the cannabis industry as a potential engine for future growth. Anheuser-Busch said in December it would partner with medicinal cannabis maker Tilray Inc. to develop non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabis.Constellation raised its stake in Canadian cannabis maker Canopy Growth to 38 per cent from 9 per cent in 2018. Molson Coors holds a 59 per cent stake in cannabis producer Hydropothecary.“This is the area that I would expect the most interesting development to happen,” Malandrakis said. “Cannabis could be the big disruptor.”Constellation, in its latest conference call with investors, said the “emerging cannabis space represents one of the most significant global growth opportunities of the next decade and frankly our life time.”The new strategy is not without risks, however. Constellation shares recently took a dive, seemingly over concerns centring around its cannabis investment. Wall Street is cautious about the potential return on those investments, considering the legal hurdles that still need to be cleared in key markets, including the U.S.Investors should soon get some insight into how several of these brewers’ cannabis plans are faring. Molson Coors reports its fourth-quarter results Feb. 12 and Anheuser-Bush reports results Feb. 28.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press
Instead of completely replacing Charlie Lake School, it was decided that they would replace the portables with modular classrooms with $13 million in funding.The District will also be adding modular classrooms at Wonowon Elementary to accommodate the growing student population. That cost is projected at $7.4 million.The replacement school for Ecole Central is still on the District’s wishlist. If approved by the Province, it would require $26.6 million in funding.Upgrades to facility equipment, such as boiler systems, along with upgrades to playgrounds are included in this year’s Capital Plan.The total amount approved for School District 60’s Capital Plan is $125 million. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a School District 60 meeting on Monday, Trustees approved the Capital Plan for the upcoming 2019-2020 School Year.The Capital Plan allocates funding for items such as the construction of new schools, the purchasing of new school buses, and major upgrades to existing facilities within the School District.When it comes to the construction of new or the replacement of existing schools, the District has changed some of their plans.
Bhopal: About Rs 1.58 crore was spent for making arrangements for the stay of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, three of his top bureaucrats in Switzerland and on wooing investors to the state, according to RTI documents. Kamal Nath and Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary S R Mohanty, Principal Secretary to the chief minister Ashok Barnwal and Principal Secretary,Department of Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion of the state government, Mohammed Suleman participated in the World Economic Forum, 2019 in Davos, Switzerland held in January, it said. The delegation of Madhya Pradesh government participated in the exclusive business lounge in Davos to co-brand the state along with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, government of India, according to RTI documents. The dedicated team members of the delegation in collaboration with ‘Invest India’ will closely interact with potential investors, academia, policy makers, etc. to highlight the state as a highly potential investment destination in central India so as to get them attracted for making investments in various sectors in Madhya Pradesh, the state government had defined as the purpose of the visit.
The perception after the NFL’s fourth week of play is that parity reigns supreme. Only two teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, remain undefeated — and they’re both 3-0 rather than 4-0, having had a bye last week. No one else seems to have much momentum. Consider the Atlanta Falcons, who crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56-14 two Thursdays ago in one of the most dominant single-game performances in NFL history. Last week, the Falcons lost by 13 points to the Minnesota Vikings. The Buccaneers? They upset the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were coming off a big win against the Carolina Panthers.Here’s the thing: All of this is pretty normal. Parity exerts a profound gravitational pull on the NFL. It’s a league of short careers, hard salary caps and redistributive schedules that punish winning teams. Its season is just 16 games. There’s always a lot of parity in the league.The question is whether there’s more than usual, and as best as I can tell, the answer is no. One way to evaluate this is through FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo ratings. (For the methodology, see here.) We can look at the standard deviation of each team’s Elo ratings through the first four weeks of the season. The higher it is, the less parity.After the first four weeks this year, the standard deviation is 92 Elo points. That doesn’t mean much except by comparison to past seasons; but by comparison, it’s about average. In 2013, the standard deviation through Week 4 was … 92 Elo points. In 2012, it was 87 points. In 2011, it was 90 points. The average since 1970 has been about 90 points.Some of the perceived parity in Week 4 is because a number of the best teams were out of action, including the Bengals, Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.Meanwhile, there are at least two really terrible teams in the NFL, and terrible teams count as much as great ones when measuring standard deviation. The Oakland Raiders squandered one of their better opportunities to pick up a win in a London game against the Miami Dolphins last week and now project to win only 2.4 games, according to the Elo simulations. That’s in part because of a tough schedule. (The Raiders have about a 10 percent chance of going 0-16.) The Jacksonville Jaguars have a more forgiving schedule, but they’re worse than the Raiders, according to Elo.We haven’t, however, seen much turnover in which teams might be considered great, average or poor. Before the season began — based on their Elo ratings at the end of 2013 — Elo’s top 10 teams were, in order, the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Broncos, New England Patriots, Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Bengals, San Diego Chargers, Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts.Are any of those teams clearly outside of the top 10 now? Only the Panthers and Saints have fallen out of the Elo top 10; they rank at No. 14 and 15, respectively. You could also make a case for the Patriots after their disastrous performance Monday night. But if there’s anything Week 4 demonstrated, it’s that one game may not tell us much.Meanwhile, the worst 10 teams at the start of the year were — from the bottom up — the Jaguars, Raiders, Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Falcons, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans. Nine of those teams remain in the bottom 10. The exception is Atlanta, which has climbed to 22nd place.We’ve seen more reshuffling in the middle tier of teams. The Dallas Cowboys are the biggest gainers so far on the season, having added 61 Elo points. Still, the Cowboys’ schedule has been easy, and Elo will need to see more from them before it concludes they’re anything beyond slightly above average. The same might be said for the Detroit Lions, who are the next-biggest gainers, with 54 Elo points added.But if the early games have not done much to contradict preseason expectations, they have had a pronounced impact on playoff odds. A 10-6 team almost always makes the playoffs, an 8-8 team almost never does and a 9-7 team does about half the time. A “bad” or unlucky or uncharacteristic loss still matters a great deal whether it comes in Week 4 or Week 17. So, which teams have dug themselves the biggest holes, and which have more slack?The Patriots, despite their loss in Kansas City, are still more likely than not to make the playoffs. There are three major reasons for this: The Bills, Dolphins and Jets, the other teams in the AFC East. The Jets project to just a 5-11 record. Buffalo and Miami are better, but with each team at 2-2, Elo is still putting its money on a diminished version of Tom Brady rather than a team with an actual quarterback controversy.The Saints, 1-3 after a loss in Dallas, have seen their playoff chances fall more than any other team since the start of the season (they’ve dropped from 56 percent to 30 percent). Still, New Orleans got a reprieve because division rivals Carolina and Atlanta also lost last week. Every team in the NFC South now projects to finish the season with a negative point differential, and none projects to win more than 8.3 games. That means New Orleans can recover with a merely good — rather than extraordinary — performance. In our simulations, the Saints made the playoffs about 60 percent of the time when they finished 9-7, and almost 25 percent of the time when they went 8-8.The 49ers, on the other hand, still have their work cut out for them despite having secured a victory against Philadelphia last week and ranking third overall in the Elo ratings. They play in the NFC West, by far the NFL’s toughest division. In our simulations, a 9-7 record won San Francisco the NFC West only 1 percent of the time (although it was occasionally good enough to back the Niners into a wild card). The 49ers’ playoff chances improved, but only to 47 percent, from 40 percent a week ago.The loss hurt the Eagles more than the win helped San Francisco; Philadelphia’s playoff chances fell from 65 percent to 51 percent, in part because Dallas (now the divisional favorite) and the New York Giants won.The NFC North, meanwhile, has parity befitting the NFL’s old Norris Division: All four teams have an Elo rating between 1489 and 1521. But the Lions have three wins when everyone else has two, and that makes them the best bet to make the playoffs.Elo ratings can also be used to project point spreads. Since the start of the season, we’ve been recommending that you don’t bet on them, and we hope you’ve heeded that advice. They went 5-7-1 against closing betting lines in Week 4 and are 25-33-2 overall on the season. (As an aside, the Elo point spreads would have had you take Miami over Oakland against the point spread last week if we’d realized the game was in England instead of California. But that wasn’t the forecast we published, so we’ll take the loss.) On the positive side, Elo’s picks are 41-20 straight up this year, including a 10-3 performance in Week 4.In contrast to Week 4, when there were a number of “pick ’em” games, Week 5 features some easier calls, in part because the stronger teams tend to be playing at home. Straight-up (not against the point spread), Elo would have you take the home team in 13 of 15 games. The exceptions are clear: No home-field advantage would be enough to make Washington favored over Seattle, or Jacksonville over Pittsburgh.Compared against early Vegas point spreads, there are several cases with a discrepancy of at least a field goal. Against the point spreads, Elo would have you bet on the Chargers and Cowboys and against the Packers, Saints and Broncos. But to reiterate, we don’t recommend that you do this. I have nothing against gambling; I have something against losing money.
Although Mark Titus’ blog gave outsiders an unprecedented look at life as a college basketball player, its content was not without filter. Restricted by both NCAA and Ohio State overseers, some of Titus’ best stories might have gone untold.But now that he has broken the shackles of censorship, Titus plans to make it up to his fans. Free to tell all the stories he was forbidden to reveal, the former Buckeye benchwarmer has plenty to say. “I am going to write a book whenever I’m done,” Titus said. “I have some stories that need to be told that some people might not want me telling.” Titus, who said he plans to begin writing his book after he graduates in June, was witness to several exciting years as an OSU walk-on. He sat on the sideline during the Buckeyes’ Final Four run in 2007, an NIT title the following year, and he warmed the bench for this season’s Big Ten regular season and tournament championship team. With all that he’s seen, Titus said a book is the only way to tell it all. “Basically, it’s just going to be stories from all four years at Ohio State,” Titus said. “My first years here, I didn’t have my blog going, so there’s stuff from then, some Final Four stuff that I haven’t been able to write about, a lot of experiences.” Perhaps the most high-profile name Titus plans to write about is former Buckeye Greg Oden. Titus said that Oden, who made news earlier this year when some revealing photos of the NBA center found their way onto the Internet, should expect to be a popular subject of the book. “I’ve had the chance to play with some pretty great players at Ohio State,” Titus said. “There are a lot of stories to go with playing with such great players that I haven’t been able to tell. “Let me put it this way: I hope my book makes Greg Oden’s penis one of the least talked about stories involving him, because I have some good ones about him.”
Reports in Spain have revealed that Juventus have decided to propose a trade deal, involving Paulo Dybala, to Atletico Madrid for Antoine GriezmannThe Serie A leaders are very unhappy with the Argentine’s poor display in their 3-0 defeat to Real Madrid for the first leg of their quarter-final clash in the Champions League, which also saw Dybala being sent off with a second yellow card after Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning second goal.Don Balon have now reported that Juventus have now decided to look for a suitable replacement for the 24 year-old and they have concluded that Griezmann would make a great addition to the Turin side.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Although Griezmann has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer, Juventus are now pushing hard to make the transfer happen and are convinced that the French international can breathe new life into their attacking options.Meanwhile, the future of Dyabala is not looking promising with Real president Florentino Perez having taken the forward off his list of potential candidates for a move this summer with Barcelona having done the same at the request of Lionel Messi, due to the star believing that the addition of Dybala will not be good for the team
Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil has confirmed that he was unable to take part of the team’s final training session on Thursday, but added that he was able to complete some running exercisesThe German Football Federation had previously announced that the Arsenal midfielder is suffering from a bruised knee that was sustained in the friendly against Austria last Saturday.Joachim Low’s side lost 2-1 in the friendly, despite Ozil having opened the scoring for the world champions.However, the 29-year-old was later taken off after 76 minutes and has since been training by himself.“I didn’t take part in final team training today, but some running exercises were possible again,” Ozil wrote on Twitter.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…I didn’t take part in final team training today, but some running exercises were possible again ???????? #DieMannschaft #RoadToRussia #ZSMMN @dfb_team pic.twitter.com/VN7nK4z9bp— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) June 7, 2018Germany will begin the defence of their World Cup title by first playing Mexico in Moscow on June 17 before later facing South Korea and Sweden in the remaining fixtures of Group F.