Afternoon Coffee: Appen has strong earnings report; Coca-Cola to cut jobs; Japan’s prime minister resigns

pressmaster/Adobe Stock

Appen Limited (ASX:APX), a leader in the development of high quality, human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence, announced its earnings report results for the half year ending June 30, 2020. The Australia-based company relies on its own vetted, global crowd of over 1 million skilled contractors in 130 countries with competence in more than 180 languages.

Appen reported revenue of about U.S. $222.4 million for H1 2020, a 25% increase over H1 2019. Statutory EBITDA of $36.96 million was up 44%, and statutory net profit after taxes came in at $16.2 million representing a 20% increase over H1 2019.

Since March 31, 2020, Appen’s share price has approximately doubled as of Aug. 27, the day of the financial report.

The market for AI data training services is a large and fast-growing one. A 2019 survey of over 220 data scientists found that 81% of respondents “admit the process of training AI with data is more difficult than they expected” and “76% combat this challenge by attempting to label and annotate training data on their own.” But 71% of respondents report that “they ultimately outsource training data and other ML project activities.”

On top of the strong market fundamentals, Appen said the coronavirus pandemic has been “accelerating growth in advantaged sectors, including technology, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, logistics/delivery, entertainment streaming and gaming, and any business that operates on a contactless basis.”

Coca-Cola workforce restructuring plan

Coca-Cola on Friday announced a restructuring plan that will reduce its workforce with voluntary job cuts, according to CNBC. The company will use the plan to rework some of its operations.

Coke will offer voluntary layoff packages to qualified employees, about 4,000 workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Coke is hopeful that voluntary buyouts will limit the number of involuntary job cuts to follow. Coke forecasted that its global severance program will cost $350 million to $550 million.

Coke also announced nine new divisions that will focus on scaling new products faster and eliminating duplicated resources, according to the article. The restructuring plan comes as Coke attempts to streamline its drink portfolio and focus on its largest, most popular brands. The company is set to create a new unit dedicated to efficiency and making the most of its global scale through data management, consumer analytics and e-commerce.

Japan’s prime minister steps down for health reasons

Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, announced Friday that he will resign soon over a resurgence of a chronic health problem, according to Business Insider.

Abe has ulcerative colitis — a bowel condition — which he said has recently been worse. Abe said he made the decision to step down so that his health would not affect his decision-making. The announcement comes after his administration has been under fire over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and scandals among his party members, the article reported.

Abe is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. A conservative member of parliament, Abe returned as prime minister for a second term in December 2012. His “Abenomics” economic policies stressed hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal spending and reforms.

Never miss out on Spend Matters news — sign up for our newsletter! 

Share on Procurious

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.