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Budget 2014

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

So … Growth is up, house prices are up and it’s a golden age for pensioners and bingo players!! PRimage take on the Budget Buzz …

Google Mobile Advertising – PRimage comment

Friday, July 20th, 2012
Judy Viitanen has been looking at Google’s latest financial results … Seems that Google sold more advertising at lower prices ….  The number of “paid clicks” during the quarter, or clicks on advertisements for which Google charges a fee, surged by 42 per cent from a year before, marking an acceleration from the first three months of this year. However, the company also reported a further deterioration in the amount of money it makes from each click, with a 16 per cent decline due to a shift to lower-priced mobile advertising and the impact of foreign currency changes.

Google’s revenues are still growing nicely:

But ….

Google’s total paid click growth and its cost-per-click are rapidly diverging:

Is this a case of ‘Piling it high and selling it cheap’? ….

Facebook Facts & IPO – PRimage like!

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Yesterday Facebook released amendments to their S-1 filing document. Ahead of its public offering Facebook has placed a  $77bn valuation on itself – and has revealed that it is to pay $550m for a batch of Microsoft payment formerly owned by AOL.

Facebook expects to raise $5 billion in its IPO, which may value the company at close to $100 billion. The company will trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “FB.” The company now employs 3,539 people full time

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team reviewed the latest S-1 document and found the following insights and stats very interesting.  We hope you do too!

Here are some key stats from the amendment:

  • Monthly active users now total 901 million (up from 680 million a year ago).
  • Daily active users are up to 526 million (up from 372 million last year).
  • Monthly mobile users now total 488 million.
  • 300 million photos are uploaded to the site each day.
  • 3.2 billion Likes and Comments are posted daily.
  • 125 billion friendships are forged per day.
  • Facebook will pay $300 million in cash, plus 23 million shares of common stock for photo-sharing app Instagram.
  • If the Instagram deal falls through, Facebook will pay $200 million.
  • Revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was $1.058 billion, up from $731 last year.
  • Net income dropped to $205 million for the quarter, down from $233 last year.

Facebook History & Milestones

Facebook’s Floatation – PRimage ponders ‘will it be an investors dream?’

Friday, April 20th, 2012

As a social media strategist, Judy Viitanen is a keen advocate of Facebook and its ‘Platform Power’!  With 800+ million users worldwide and 4 billion items shared every day, Facebook is the undisputed titan of the social network sites.

Rumours suggest its highly-anticipated flotation is expected to happen on May 17.  Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team will watch with interest … We wonder if it will prove to be an investors dream. Is the $100bn valuation likely?  Facebook’s estimated revenues last year were $4.3bn – with $3.8bn coming from advertising and $470 from Facebook Credits.

Watch this space ……

Budget Basics – The Budget 2012: Changes That Will Affect You

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

So …. After all the speculation and hype, George Osborne has finally revealed all. The draw down of Afghan operations has given the Chancellor a £2.4bn bonus.

Tax
Income Tax
  • Personal allowance will rise by an extra £1,100 in April 2013 in addition to the increase to £8,105 already scheduled for this April.
  • This means you’ll be able to earn £9,205 before you pay any tax.
  • The 50% ‘high earner’ tax rate will be lowered to 45% from April 2013.
National Insurance
  • The plan to merge Income Tax & National Insurance is still likely to go ahead.
Tax for pensioners
  • The age-related additional personal allowance will be phased out to leave a single personal allowance that applies to all.
  • This will be rolled out from April 2013 and, according to Osborne, no one receiving a pension will lose out because of it.
VAT
  • Loopholes in the VAT system will be closed to reduce tax avoidance.
  • The current VAT exemptions on food, children’s clothes, books and newspapers will not be affected.
Tax statements
  • Personal tax statements will be sent to all taxpayers.
  • These will set out your average tax rate for the year, how much tax and NI you’ve paid in total and how this has funded both public spending and public debt.
Corporation tax
  • Corporation tax will be cut by 1% today in addition to the 1% reduction scheduled for April – together this will take the UK rate of corporation tax to 24%.
  • Two further cuts are scheduled for next year so by 2014 UK corporation tax will be reduced to 22%.
  • To ensure these cuts don’t benefit the banks the bank levy rate will be increased to 0.105% next January.
Other tax
  • Capital gains tax on residential properties owned by companies will be introduced.
  • A cap on tax relief for high earners will be introduced in April 2013. This means anyone that claims upwards of £50,000 in tax relief will be limited to receive a maximum of 25% of their income.
  • A general tax avoidance rule will be introduced to tackle tax evasion, details of which will be set out next year.
Benefits
Child benefit
  • The child benefit cut for higher rate tax payers will stay but changes have been made.
  • Those earning less than £50,000 will get to keep child benefit.
  • Those earning more than £50,000 will have their child benefit payments reduced by 1% for every £100 they earn over the £50k threshold.
  • Those earning more than £60,000 will not receive child benefit payments.
Housing
Affordable housing
  • The Get Britain Building scheme that extends funding to companies that build new houses will be upgraded to encourage affordable property development.
Stamp duty
  • Individual-owned residential properties worth over £2 million will be liable for 7% stamp duty.
  • The stamp duty rate will increase to 15% for residential properties that are bought by a company.
  • The government will investigate retrospective stamp duty charges for residential properties already owned by companies.
Armed forces
  • An extra £100 million will be used to improve accommodation for those in the armed forces.
  • Members of the armed forces serving overseas will also benefit from 100% council tax relief.
  • This will be funded by a £2.4 billion saving on the cost of operations in Afghanistan.
Planning permission
  • Next week the government will publish an overhaul of planning regulations that should make applications for planning permission far simpler.
Alcohol & Tobacco
Alcohol
  • There will be no change to taxation on alcohol.
Tobacco
  • Duty on all tobacco products will rise by 5% above inflation at 6pm tonight.
  • This will increase the cost of an ‘average’ pack of cigarettes by 37p.
Transport
Fuel
  • There will be no additional changes to fuel duty.
  • The Fair Fuel Stabiliser will still apply so fuel duty will go down when the cost of fuel rises and increase when fuel prices fall.
Road tax
  • Vehicle Excise Duty will increase by inflation only.
Trains
  • Rail links to the North of England will be improved.
  • The London underground and train network will be extended.
Flights
  • Additional airports may be built in the South East of England.
Employment & Education
Employment
  • Local authorities will be given the flexibility to introduce local pay rates for civil servants whose pay freezes end this year.
  • This is to bring public sector pay in line with wages available in the private sector.
  • There will be investment in manufacturing with the aim of doubling UK exports.
  • New Enterprise Zones will be introduced in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Education
  • A scheme that extends Enterprise Loans to young people to start and grow their own businesses will be piloted later this year.
Pensions
State pension
  • A single rate, contribution-based pension that pays a minimum of £140 will be introduced for future pensioners in the next Parliament.
  • Plans for an automatic review of the state pension age will be published this summer.
Entertainment
Sunday trading
  • Sunday trading laws will be relaxed for eight consecutive Sundays from 22nd July to coincide with the Olympics.
Broadband
  • Ultrafast broadband will be rolled out in 10 of the UK’s biggest cities.
  • A number of smaller cities will also benefit from ultrafast broadband speeds.
  • Improvements will be made to broadband connection speeds in rural areas.
Entertainment industry
  • UK companies that produce video games, animation or high end TV programmes will be eligible for tax relief.
  • A new gambling duty on games machines will be introduced.

Facebook IPO Filing …. Watch this space says PRimage ….

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

All eyes are on Facebook this week as it files papers for a mega initial public offering.  Keeping in mind that it’s roughly $100 billion valuation occurred in the span of seven years, the question is: What were the moves that Facebook made as a startup that resulted in such success? One thing is for sure … the IPO filing could answer at least three intriguing questions: who actually owns FB now, how much revenue does it actually generate and how much is it worth? ….. Watch this space!

PRimage and Judy Viitanen finds this an interesting infographic on Facebook ….

HAPPY 2012! Love and best wishes from Judy Viitanen and PRimage

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•☆☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

In 2012….I hope the kindness you’ve given to others returns many times to you.
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you’re going,
And the insight to know when you’re going too far.
May hope, love, and warmth be in your heart’s possessing,
And may the New Year bring you and yours many blessings.
Happy New Year!

Judy Viitanen

Social media start-ups and investment opps – Talk to PRimage!

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

With the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, etc, social media is a rapidly expanding industry – and one where Judy Viitanen and PRimage do a lot of work and have interests in. It is also an area which offers great opportunities for angel investors. The decline in operational costs for running social media is an important factor for attracting angel investors, as the expenses for storage, processing power and web-based computing continue to lower.  Significantly, social media allows start-ups to actively test new products and ideas with users throughout.

Many social media start-up businesses may eventually require a large capital input, like Facebook needed to reach its current size.  But in the early stages of angel investment, most social media products just need a minor investment to get up and running. Our PRimage advice to social media entrepreneurs is to keep their business senses realistic and make sure their model is sound.

If you need good marketing messaging and PR for your social media work – or are interested in investing in entrepreneurial social media start-ups, please get in touch with Judy at PRimage – judy@primage.org

Housing crisis in UK – ‘generation-rent’? PRimage comment

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

PRimage had just been reading a new report released today on the crisis in the UK housing market – which forecasts that home ownership in England will slump to just 63.8% over the next decade.  The National Housing Federation report also forecasts steep rises in the private rental sector and a house price boom. It blames the bleak outlook on an under-supply of homes in the UK.

So, for the UK it looks like we are heading for a ‘generation-rent’ scenario! And market trends will follow those in the US. Certainly many young people now face decades of renting!

PRimage believes the NHF are right to highlight stark statistics which show that last year, the number of new homes built reached the lowest in peacetime since 1923 – and correct in blaming declining home ownership on banks setting too lenient lending criteria and too small deposits.  The Government needs to take immediate action to tackle this crisis and the chronically low supply of homes. From what Judy Viitanen understands, reading the report and comments from industry experts, the difficulties of raising deposits and obtaining mortgages are one side of the problem. The other is housing supply. It is, though, a bit of a catch-22.  The major developers say they are willing and ready to build more homes. But they worry that they won’t be able to sell them, because potential buyers will not be able to raise the finance.  The dilemma for policy makers is how to escape this damaging cycle, of restricted supply leading to high prices, which leads to curtailed demand, resulting in unwillingness to build

  • In England, the proportion of people living in owner-occupied homes will fall from a peak of 72.5% in 2001 to 63.8% in 2021.
  • In London, the majority of people will rent by 2021, with the number of owner-occupiers falling from 51.6% in 2010 to 44% by 2021
  • Average rents for apartments and single family homes in the private sector are forecast to increase by 19.8% over the next five years, fuelled by high demand and a shortage of properties.

 

Turbulent day on the markets!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Too depressing …. Investor anxieties …. Weakness in Eurozone.  Stock markets plunged again today, led down by banks, as fears resurfaced about the global economy and European debt problems. The FTSE 100 fell nearly 5% while RBS, Lloyds and Barclays all lost more than 10% of their value.