AUTO INDUSTRY
Nissan profit falls amid Ghosn scandal

Nissan forecast a 28 percent plunge in its annual operating profit, putting it on course for the weakest earnings in 11 years and underscoring its struggle to turn the page after former chairman Carlos Ghosn was ousted.

The lackluster outlook from Japan’s No. 2 automaker — hit by Ghosn’s arrest last year and troubles at its North American business — is likely to add to the pressure on CEO Hiroto Saikawa as he tries to overhaul corporate governance and put Nissan on a more equal footing with alliance partner Renault.

Nissan’s weakening profit and a growing number of departing executives and managers have raised concerns at Renault, which holds a 43 percent stake in the Japanese firm and has pushed for closer ties.

These issues could strengthen the argument for closer links between the two automakers, although some Nissan executives have opposed a full merger and what they see as an unequal partnership that gives smaller Renault more sway over Nissan.

“Today we have hit rock bottom,” Saikawa told a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama on Tuesday, adding that he wanted the company to recover to its original performance level in the next two to three years.

Nissan expects operating profit of $2 billion for the year to March 2020.

— Reuters

GAMBLING
Casinos agree to code of marketing conduct

U.S. casinos on Tuesday agreed to a code of conduct for responsible marketing of sports betting, a year after a pivotal court ruling paved the way for a new countrywide legal sports wagering market.

The code calls for members of the American Gaming Association, a casino industry group, to advertise sports betting products only to adults.

That means no cartoon characters, music or entertainers that appeal primarily to kids. It also bars ads placed in media outlets and venues where most of the audience is expected to be below the legal sports wagering age, which is usually 18 to 21 years old depending on the state.

The new U.S. sports betting market is a huge opportunity for media companies, leagues and teams to cash in on sportsbook operators’ need to reach bettors through ads and marketing.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court a year ago overturned a 1992 federal ban on sports wagering outside of Nevada, states have passed legislation that legalizes, regulates and taxes the activity.

Currently, eight states are offering sports betting. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law last week, while Iowa Gov. Kim Reynold signed one on Monday. District of Columbia elected officials legalized sports betting last year.

— Reuters

Also in Business

Boeing handed over 24 percent fewer jet airplanes in the first four months of 2019 compared with the same period a year earlier as the grounding of its top-selling 737 Max aircraft halted deliveries for a second month. Deliveries of the aircraft were stopped in early March, a few days after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed, killing all 157 people on board, in the second fatal accident involving the 737 Max in just five months.

The world's largest chocolate market is finally getting a taste of the ruby range, the first new type in more than 80 years. Switzerland's Barry Callebaut, the top maker of bulk chocolates, is rolling out its ruby breakthrough in the United States almost two years after announcing the discovery. The new chocolate, with its pinkish hue, was the first new natural shade added since Nestle started making white bars in the 1930s.

The heiress of a German biscuits empire has stirred outrage after she appeared to play down the hardship suffered by dozens of people forced to work at the family business under Nazi rule. Verena Bahlsen, whose father owns the Bahlsen company that makes some of Germany's most famous biscuits, told the mass-selling Bild newspaper that the firm, which employed some 200 forced laborers during World War II, "did nothing wrong" then. Most of the forced laborers at Hanover-based Bahlsen were women, many from Nazi-occupied Ukraine.

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Commerce Department releases retail sales data for April.

9:15 a.m.: Federal Reserve releases industrial production for April.

— From news services