Wed05242017

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 09:48

Aspelt Village Festival this Weekend

unity foundation

The village of Aspelt will host a village market featuring artisanal produce and activities in the courtyard of the “Château d’Aspelt”, the main village square and the former park of the castle, from 10:00 until 18:00, on Sunday 28 May. 

Organised by the “Frënn vum Uespelter Schlass” and “Coin de Terre et Foyer Uespelt” village associations, the event will involve some 70 stands offering products and creations ranging from spices, cured meat, flowers and jewellery, articles for the garden to homemade jams, dog biscuits to alcoholic beverages and much more.

During lunch the Luxembourg Pipe Band will enchant the visitors with Scottish sounds and in the afternoon a concert by the band Reluctant Dragon will be held performing traditional Irish music. Stands offering drinks and food will also be in operation throughout the day. A corner specially prepared for the kids, also awaits them with many activities.

 

customs seizure

Last weekend, during a check at the Tattoo Convention in Luxexpo, Customs and Excise, in cooperation with the forest administration and by order of the public prosecutor's office, discovered and seized fifteen animals, so-called trophies that are protected species

These animals were offered to the visitors as part of the Tattoo Convention.

It should be noted that whether alive or dead protected species cannot be offered for sale, and violations may be punished with fines up to €750,000.

Moreover, customs authorities are also investigating against the organiser on suspicion of illegal employment. The commissioned security service was not in possession of the necessary permits (valid trade authorisation). The customs administrators also identified several infringements in the field of hygiene and food law.

 

post luxembourg logo 600 533

POST Luxembourg Group ended the 2016 financial year with improved results in comparison to the previous year despite a complex and difficult climate. Turnover was up 3% for turnover and operating profits (EBITDA) 9%. However, the company says that sustaining profitability remains a key priority.

POST Luxembourg, a public institution and parent company of the POST Luxembourg Group, comprises three business sectors, POST Technologies, POST Courrier and POST Finance, each of which faces its own distinct challenges. 

Notwithstanding the difficult climate for these three businesses, POST Luxembourg generated a net turnover of €728.1 million, up €22.1 million from the previous year.

At consolidated level, gross margins in 2016 rose by €10.7 million to €538.2 million, equivalent to 74% of net sales.

EBIDTA, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, reached €156 million, an increase of €13.2 million. This compares to €142.8 million in the 2015 financial year.

In light of the significant strategic investments made in recent years, value adjustments stand at €127.2 million, marking and increase of €11.0 million compared to 2015. This is reflected in pre-tax earnings, which show an increase of €2.3 million. 

Thus, the Group ended the 2016 financial year with a profit of €23.5 million. With the group's share being €23 million. Due to lower income taxes (which were abnormally high in 2015), this marks a strong increase as compared to the previous year, up €13.4 million, with the group share’s reaching €12.2 million.

Results for the group have therefore improved when measured against the previous year. Nevertheless, the sustainability of the Company's profitability continues to require special attention.

In view of the 2016 results, the company draws three conclusions. Firstly, the postal business is continually affected by digitalisation. This translates into a steady decline in mail volume which is only partially offset by "parcel" activity, an area which has risen considerably compared to 2015.

Secondly, the profitability of the financial services business is suffering from historically low interest rates. This remains valid despite the development of a new long-term economic partnership model with Banque Raiffeisen.

Finally, the telecommunications business continues to be extremely competitive and affected by the progressive abolition of Roaming charges.

The outcome of the redesign of the postal products portfolio and pricing model, announced in September 2015, was witnessed in 2016, offsetting the increased decline in mail volume, down 5.8% in 2016.

Parcel activity is increasing in volume however, up 13%, and the conclusion of the partnership with Singapore Post is showing first results.

In April 2016, the closure of 35 post offices across the country generated a wide range of reactions, but POST Luxembourg remains convinced that this restructuring, together with the modernisation of its sales network and the development of new sales channels, will result in real added value for customers. As part of this new approach, new “Espaces POST” will be created this year. These are integrated sales outlets where customers will be able to obtain the whole range of products and services offered by POST in a consumer-friendly environment.

Even though the telecommunications market remains, on the whole, very dynamic, POST Telecom shows a decline in turnover. The traditional voice services (fixed and mobile) and SMS are giving way to data traffic, up 29.3% in the mobile sector in 2016, owing to the success of social networks, streaming, gaming, messaging, etc. This change in user habits has forced telecom operators to develop their products and services to remain in line with the market trends, at a national and global level.

In the retail segment, the success of the SCOUBIDO range has led to an increase in the number of post-paid customers, up 3.7% in 2016. Income from the mobile segment, which is highly competitive and under pressure from the new Roaming IV and Roaming V Regulations, has fallen when measured against 2015 figures. Customer interest in broadband Internet products continues and is reflected, among other factors, in the success of the BAMBOO triple-play offer. The "pro" market for ICT solutions and services is on the rise, with the M2M and IoT markets providing opportunities for growth.

Furthermore, it should be pointed out that heavy investment is required to further develop the 4G mobile network, the deployment of the 4G+ network, while waiting for the future 5G generation as of 2020. 

In 2016, POST Finance was confronted with an environment which remained virtually unchanged from previous years. Turnover was mainly affected by the discontinuation of the Western Union service, thus having little impact on the overall performance of POST Finance.

During the past financial year, POST Finance made a strategic shift towards digital technology and forged closer ties with Banque Raiffeisen.

In 2016, POST Luxembourg continued its diversification policy by acquiring, amongst others, a 60% stake in Elgon S.A. and Ainos S.A.

Almost all subsidiaries of the POST Luxembourg Group, including ERBC, as well as VBS, Editus and InTech, registered impressive performances in 2016. 

Efforts have been carried out to create synergies between the Group's various businesses. In particular, in the field of cyber security, where resources and skills are used internally and for the benefit of the Group's customers.

Of all the 2016 figures, it is clear that POST Luxembourg’s key objective - the stabilisation of earnings - was achieved over the year. However, this situation remains fragile: to a large extent, it has been accomplished owing to an increase in earnings in the postal segment, while the telecom business (which remains the most significant contributor to the Group) continues to suffer from lower margins across all levels.

The outlook for 2017 will be challenging, especially in view of the effectiveness of the Roaming V Regulation in June 2017, the significant impact on the wage bill due to the indexation on salaries which came into effect on 1 January 2017 and the conclusion of a new salary agreement for Civil Service and State employees.

In any case, one of the main objectives of the management of POST Luxembourg Group is to maintain the profitability, while taking into account two key factors: the decline in turnover in markets with traditionally high margins and a cost structure with low levels of flexibility, staff costs, growth in depreciation in investment programmes.

The 2016 annual report of POST Luxembourg is available at: http://www.postgroup.lu

 

 

conferences retrait

The Ministry of the Family, Integration and the Greater Region is organising a series of conferences in May and June aimed at retirement. This cycle is made up of three conferences, each with a particular theme. 

The transition from working life to retirement is an important moment in every person's life. The long-awaited retirement is a chance, but also a challenge. New opportunities, leisure time and volunteer involvement on the one hand, adjustment difficulties, possible loss of status and social relations, and risk of conjugal conflicts on the other. 

Retirement can thus upset the lives of future retirees and create psychosocial difficulties.

The different conferences and themes are described as follows: 

29 May 2017 — pensions in Luxembourg: practical information, led by Fernand Lepage, National Pension Insurance Fund (CNAP) at BGL BNP Paribas, 50, avenue J. F. Kennedy, L-2951 Luxembourg, from 18:30.  

June 12, 2017 — How do I prepare for retirement? Led by Liliane Charenzowski, psychologist specializing in retirement coaching (Brussels) att Auditorium of the Bank of Luxembourg, 14, boulevard Royal, L-2449 Luxembourg from 18:30. 

June 26, 2017 — A Thousand and One Ways of Living; Testimonials and Round Table at Auditorium of the Bank of Luxembourg, 14, boulevard Royal, L-2449 Luxembourg from 18:30. 

The conferences are in French and Luxembourgish with simultaneous translation of both languages ​​is ensured. They are open to anyone interested in this subject.

Additional information can be obtained from the Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region: (+352) 247-83696, senioren@fm.etat.lu or on the website: www.luxsenior.lu

 

jan de nul hopper dredger

Jan De Nul Group continues to develop its investment programme for self-supporting dredges with trailing towels with a new contract this March for three self-supporting dredges with a well capacity of 3.500 m³.

In addition, a self-supporting dredger with a capacity of 6,000 m³, including the option for its sister ship, has recently been ordered. All of its dredges will be equipped with exhaust gas treatment systems, which the company says is revolutionary in the dredging sector.

"With this investment, we exceed the most stringent European emission standards. So we're setting a trend in the dredging industry,” said Robby De Backer, head of the shipbuilding department.

The newly ordered dredger will weigh 9,880 tonnes, and extend for 111.7 m in length and 24.6 in width. 

 

 

 

sdworx logo

SD Worx, a global provider of payroll and human resources services, is partnering with World First, a fund transfer and payment service provider, to simplify the payroll exchange rate system to help active payroll and HR customers across the world. The group announced the partnership today saying the goal is to provide a single-currency transfer solution to SD Worx's international HR and payroll customers.

Within large organisations operating in several countries, payment procedures may require cumbersome and costly formalities, particularly in managing foreign exchange processes in order to make payments in a wide range of currencies. This partnership provides SD Worx with an efficient and fully compliant payment service with the ability to execute international payments at competitive exchange rates. SD Worx says this will allow customers to easily charge payments, authorise transactions in multiple foreign currencies, and process all related reconciliation and reporting transactions. These services will be available on a single platform for better control over the payment process, while customers can save time and save costs compared to traditional banking methods.

World First's ability to transfer payments to more than 150 countries in 127 currencies also promotes the global reach of SD Worx, while also offering customers visibility and user-friendliness in managing their international payroll.

Thierry Vanbever, Global Services and Solutions Director, SD Worx, said "Our partnership with World First will help business leaders and buyers of global payroll services reduce the complexity of international payment processes with perfect control and Visibility. We now provide our customers with a coherent and coordinated solution that enables fast-growing companies to expand internationally while ensuring that their global payroll and HR needs are in good hands”. 

Seth Harvey, Global Head of Partnership at World First, said "We are proud of this partnership with such an innovative company as SD Worx, which will enable us to support the growth and transformation of companies worldwide. In an increasingly connected and globalized world, it is important for large employers to be able to manage their payroll and to transfer capital quickly and efficiently in any currency”.

government logo

Some 700 pupils from the Grand Duchy will take their first steps in the world of work tomorrow to discover, for one day, what some may consider an atypical job for their gender. 

Despite the progress made in recent years, young people still often continue to be guided differently by gender. Technical occupations are still for boys, while girls are offered "administrative" or “social" avenues.

The “Girls' Day - Boys’ Day" came into being with a view to combating these stereotypes, and the initiative represents an opportunity for pupils to be sensitised thanks to an expanded offer of internships by companies into professions considered atypical for their genre. This initiative is also an opportunity to bring them closer to the world of work.

This immersion, whether in a private company or in a state or communal administration, also offers participants the opportunity to confront the realities and demands of the labor market, while at the same time encouraging potential vocations.

The 2017 edition was able to count again on the faithful support of companies and administrations: there were almost a hundred to offer several placements on the website www.girlsdayboysday.lu. The fact that the 2017 edition is aimed only at pupils in the 6th / 8th and 5th / 9th grades of secondary and technical secondary education in no way dampened their enthusiasm for the initiative.

 

Since 2017, the Orientation House has been coordinating this event, which aims to contribute to a more effective orientation of young people. It collaborates with the ADEM professional guidance service, the Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth and the Ministry of Equal Opportunities.

government logo

The Council of Ministers of Education and Youth of the European Union (EU) met in Brussels yesterday.

Despite the 2008 Recommendation on the European Qualifications Framework, the Ministers adopted new Council Recommendations on the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning. The purpose of these new recommendations is to address the problems and limitations of the former.

Subsequently, a report on the state of play of the revision of the European framework for the transparency of qualifications, Europass, introduced in 2004, was presented to the ministers before they actively participated in an orientation debate on the expression of learners As part of an improvement and modernisation of the systems to ensure quality education for all.

Minister Claude Meisch stressed that in order to achieve this goal, a series of measures must be put in place, to give schools greater autonomy or to develop modern didactic materials to respond to the digital revolution. According to the minister, young people must be actively involved in this process and they must be helped to become active and responsible citizens.

In conclusion, Member States expressed the need for international efforts to collect and analyse data on citizenship and inclusion. The Minister affirmed that Luxembourg has always been in favour of participation in international studies such as the PISA study. He suggested, however, that more robust and relevant frameworks for such assessments be established, taking into account country specificities. According to Claude Meisch, one must stop the "rankings" of countries that simply compare what is incomparable.

luxaviation logo

Luxaviation Helicopters and Azur Helicopter have launched a new partnership offering integrated private helicopter and jet services for customers visiting the south of France. 

Luxaviation Helicopters, part of the Luxaviation group, will work with Azur Helicopters, one of the first helicopter companies based at Nice Côte d'Azur International and Cannes-Mandelieu airports, to provide customers with helicopter transfers to their final destination in the region. 

Azur Helicopter customers will conversely have access to the Luxaviation Group's fleet of more than 260 aircraft.

Elodie Mekhmoukh, commercial director of Azur Helicopter, will manage the charter office of Luxaviation on the Côte d'Azur and will coordinate charter requests. 

Charlotte Pedersen, Managing Director of Luxaviation Helicopters, said, "Azur Helicopter was our first choice for a partnership on the Côte d'Azur because of its sustainable location in the region, its high level of quality, safety and support to customers. We seek to partner with companies that meet our high standards for private aviation and those with which we can build a long-term relationship for the benefit of our customers“.

Michel de Rohozinski, CEO of Azur Hélicoptère, said, "This partnership is an exciting time for our business and our customers. We look forward to working closely with Luxaviation and providing exceptional service in the South of France. We will work together to develop our customer service, operational support and future business development”.

 

government logo

The Economic Committee chaired by the Secretary of State for Economy, Francine Closener, received and granted seven applications for partial unemployment for the month of June, three more than for May. 

The final decision on whether or not to grant this support to companies temporarily confronted with a difficult economic situation incumbent on the Governing Council. In the companies concerned, it is expected that out of a total workforce of 952 people, 442 employees will work on a reduced schedule. 

The expenditure incurred by the Employment Fund for the month of June 2017 shall be €672.550 in the event that all the undertakings concerned benefit fully from the partial unemployment schemes granted.

The next meeting of the Economic Committee is set for 28 June 2017.

 

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