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(MENAFN - AFP) Finnish telecom equipment group Nokia reported a sharp rise in annual net profit Thursday, boosted by a substantial one-off tax-related gain and strong North America sales in the fourth quarter.

The group's net profit in 2014 soared fivefold to 1.16 billion euros ($1.31 billion) compared to the previous year, due in part to a tax gain worth 1.4 billion euros ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) One of the world's leading comics festival was set to open in France on Thursday under tight security as it dedicated this year's event to the murdered cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.

The four-day festival in the western town of Angouleme attracted 200,000 people last year.

This year's guests -- including some of the biggest names in comics and graphic ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) On a quiet street lined with 18th-century Georgian houses behind Westminster Abbey, Garry Usher winds the mechanical clock on the gas street lamp and gives the glass globe a polish.

He steps down off his ladder and looks up with satisfaction as the soft, warm light lifts the dark winter evening, and moves on down the street.

Despite nationwide budget ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The Ebola epidemic is decreasing but is still present in a third of the areas of the three worst affected west African nations, UN Ebola coordinator David Nabarro warned Thursday.

"The number of cases is decreasing week by week and getting to zero in many places... but we still see occasional flare-ups and we still see some surprises with new cases out of our ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, said Thursday that its net profit for 2014 more than doubled from the previous year, to a better-than-expected 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion).

The bank's bosses, who introduced a drive to reduce costs and boost profitability when they took over in 2012, said they were "encouraged" by the group's results but would not ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Greek stocks opened 2.03 percent higher on Thursday after plunging a day before over the new anti-austerity government's decision to scrap key privatisations and other reforms.

Wednesday's 9.24 percent plunge hit Greece's biggest banks especially hard, with the sector's stocks losing a quarter of their market value.

The decision to halt the privatisation ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Energy group Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday announced an eight-percent drop in annual net profits owing to a slump in global oil prices and said it would accelerate spending cuts.

Profit after tax dropped to $15.05 billion (13.3 billion euros) in 2014 compared with the Anglo-Dutch company's performance one year earlier, dragged down by plunging earnings in the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Russia's gas giant Gazprom on Thursday said its third quarter profits plunged 61 percent as supplies were suspended to Ukraine, one of its main customers.

The group's profits between July and September reached 105.7 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) but revenues in that quarter were down 6 percent year-on-year to 1.13 trillion rubles ($16.5 billion).

Analysts ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Facebook said profit soared in the fourth quarter on the wings of mobile ad revenue but stressed it is more concerned with investing in the future than making quick cash.

While earnings figures surpassed market forecasts, Facebook executives strived to temper expectations, while stressing they plan to continue aggressively investing to achieve long-range goals.

Facebook ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Offer Roberto Ceretti a fortune for one of his coveted hand-made guitars and he'll likely turn you down: the Italian craftsman may be in demand among collectors, but only plies his trade for top musicians in need.

Tucked away in the hills of north-west Italy, Ceretti's workshop is hung with half-finished models, the walls lined with stacks of cedar, mahogany ...

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