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Catalyst Launches Impact Protection Case for iPhone X Expanding Portfolio Beyond Waterproof Solutions for the First Time

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Image Source: Behance

Catalyst, the award-winning manufacturer of protective waterproof cases, today announces the Catalyst Impact Protection Case for the iPhone X, a shock-proof protective case that expands their portfolio of cases beyond waterproof products and solutions. The design brings a new level of impact protection increasing the drop specification to 9.9ft (3m). The Catalyst Impact Protection Case for the iPhone X, available for pre-order now, is introduced on the heels of the much-anticipated product announcement from Apple and provides a fresh, sleek design that showcases a refinement in performance and style.

Image Source: prnewswire2-a.akamaihd.net

Image Source: prnewswire2-a.akamaihd.net

“The Catalyst Impact Protection Case for the iPhone X is a game changer for us,” said Catalyst CEO June Lai. “Catalyst has a long history of making the industry leading waterproof, drop proof cases. This is the first in a new line of products that diversifies our offering and presents a lower cost, sleek case for those who may not need a water-tight solution but still require the impact protection. We have a number of other products in development and are excited to unveil them to customers, starting today with the Impact Protection Case.”

In addition, Catalyst also introduced a waterproof, drop proof case for the iPhone X. The case is IP-68 to 33 feet (10 meters) and still the most protective, waterproof every day case in the world. The new Catalyst waterproof case is now available for pre-order and expected to ship in January.

As part of the announcement, Apple also introduced the second generation AirPods. Catalyst offers the only IP-67 waterproof, drop-proof case for Apple AirPods which is compatible with the 1st and 2nd generation accessories.

“We are always working to diversify our product line and meet a variety of lifestyle needs,” said Co-Founder and Chief Designer Josh Wright. “Catalyst products are made to fit our customer’s day to day adventure and enable them to use their devices without worry. Over the last year we’ve added bold colors, styles and varied levels of protection in our product offerings. Our customers have grown to expect the best quality from Catalyst and that’s exactly what we’re delivering with every new case as we extend our range of products.”

Apple is also releasing the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Catalyst will be releasing new waterproof cases for these to ship in December.

New Products:

Catalyst Impact Protection Case for the iPhone X– available to preorder here
US $39.99 | EU 43.99 | GBp 39.99 | Pre-order now, Available September

The Catalyst Impact Protection Case line stays true to the Catalyst signature features: with a grippy rubber bumper, lanyard attachment, rotating mute switch and clear case back to showcase the style and color of the iPhone. This design has an angular modern form for the iPhone X and added impact protection from an innovative truss cushioning system combined with a proprietary rubber polymer blend to increase the drop spec to 9.9ft (3m).

Catalyst Case for AirPods – available here
US $24.99 | EU 27.99 | GBp 24.99 | Available now

Glow-in-the-dark version US $29.99 | EU 32.99 | GBp 29.99 | Available now

The first of its kind Catalyst case for AirPods is a premium protective case that is a stylish, essential everyday accessory. Made of a soft premium silicone, the case is IP67 waterproof to 3.3ft (1m) and drop proof to 4ft (1.2m). Its slim, minimalist and designed so users have convenient access to the charge port. The included carabiner allows the case to be easily attached to a belt loop, bag or backpack so that you can always find your AirPods and they are easily accessible. Compatible with 1st and 2nd generation of AirPods.

Catalyst Case for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – available to pre-order here for iPhone 8, and here for iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 8 US $79.99 | EU 87.99 | GBp 78.99 | Pre-order now, available in December
iPhone 8 Plus $89.99 | EU 98.99 | GBp 88.99 | Pre-order now, available in December

The Catalyst case for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus provides the industry leading protection Catalyst is known for. Every case is tested waterproof to 33ft (10m) and designed to handle drops up to 6.6ft (2m).The case features Catalyst’s signature rotating mute switch, sensitive touchscreen and TouchID, quickly accessible ports and wrist lanyard.

Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone X – available to pre-order here
US $ 89.99 | EU 98.99 | GBP 88.99 | Pre-order now, available in January

The Catalyst waterproof case for the iPhone X is an evolution of our high-performance waterproof and drop proof cases. With 33ft (10m) waterproof protection and 6.6ft (2m) impact protection, this case is the industry leader in slim everyday waterproof cases. Catalyst is known for having superior acoustic performance that features with our patented True Sound Acoustic Technology™.The ultra-slim profile and clear front and back housing compliments and showcases Apple’s iconic design beautifully without sacrificing the industry leading protection Catalyst is known for.

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IKEA to Announce Opening Date This Year

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Swedish furniture company IKEA was planning to announce targeted opening date in the Philippines within the year, IKEA Sustainability and Communication Director Lars Svensson said Wednesday.

In an interview on the sidelines of Responsible Business conference in Makati, Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries said IKEA was planning to open its first Philippine store early 2020.

Asked about this, Svensson neither denied nor confirmed saying “until (they) have everything firmed up, that’s when (they’ll) announce the date of opening.

“I can say that within this year, we’ll announce it,” he said, explaining they were concealing it for the meantime so as to avoid influencing property prices.

“It’s just that it is an aspect of not fuelling speculation because the size of the company and the size of the brand equates to the interest, that’s a positive thing for us but we do not want to drive speculation where we’re going to be influencing property prices etc.,” he said.

“Absolutely, it is no secret we’re eyeing the Philippines to open next IKEA,” he added.

Svensson said they were highly optimistic about “the maturity and the development” of the Philippine economy. “We really believe it’s a place that is ready in terms of capacity and industry that could support.” 

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Cebu Landmasters Ends 2017 With Record P4.58-B Reservation Sales, Plans 20 New Developments in 2018

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Homegrown property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) finished the year 2017 with P4.58 billion in total reservation sales, exceeding its target by 13.75 percent and beating the 2016 result by 55.6 percent.

CLI attributed its exceptional performance mainly to newly launched residential projects: 38 Park Avenue (Cebu IT Park) with 745 units, Casa Mira South (Cebu) with 3,200 units, Mivesa Garden Residences (Cebu) with 1,514 units, Mesaverte (Cagayan de Oro) with 798 units, and the 694-unit MesaTierra (Davao City). These projects are now almost fully sold.

The listed company said its sales performance is resounding affirmation that its products respond to the needs of the market and are distributed strategically to the areas where demand is strongest.

“All the projects we launched were well-received by their respective markets making 2017 another banner year,” said CLI chief executive officer Jose Soberano III referring to the firm’s efforts to penetrate new markets such as Davao and Dumaguete and to diversify its products.

The past year saw CLI aggressively venturing into the hospitality industry to increase its inventory to a total of 610 rooms in four years. All CLI hotel projects are located within company-developed mixed-use communities. The 180-room “lyf Cebu City” by Ascott targeting millennial travelers and the 250-room Citadines Riverside Davao were launched in late 2017. They will complement Citadines Cebu City set for completion in 2018. More hotel projects are expected to break ground in 2018.

Cebu Landmasters is confident it will gain even greater momentum this year. The company has targeted reservations sales to hit P7 billion this2018, a massive 52-percent hike from the previous year, as it starts more projects and expands to more territories in Visayas-Mindanao growth centers.

The array of new developments planned for the year include 10 in Cebu (two residential subdivisions, three residential condominiums, three offices, one hotel and one industrial park). Details of these projects will be revealed in the coming months.

CLI has also set its sights on two new territories in the Visayas. Bacolod will play host to two residential condominiums and a hotel, while a residential condo is planned for neighboring Iloilo. Reports from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) show that the Visayas region will zoom ahead of other regions in the next five years and is expected to outpace the projected 7 to 8 percent growth for the Philippines.

The listed property developer also plans to fortify its foothold in Mindanao where it will launch two residential subdivisions and one residential condominium in Cagayan de Oro while a central business district and two residential condominiums will be unveiled in Davao. NEDA reports that in terms of economic growth, Davao ranks third among 18 regions in the country.

The upcoming projects boost CLI’s total number of projects to 66 from 46 last year, as it continues to strengthen its brand in its niche markets. The company’s residential condominiums are mostly designed for the mid-market segment, although it also offers condos for the high-end market.

“In 2018, we will continue to expand our footprint in the Visayas and Mindanao, and develop projects that respond to the growing market in these areas,” said Soberano who is confident CLI will meet its performance targets set for the year and beyond.

It expects that hikes in household income resulting from the newly approved package 1 of the Duterte government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) will be channeled to housing.

Studies (TUCP, 2010) have also shown that around 2 to 2.1 percent of OFW remittances are channeled to housing. Total remittances in 2017 were seen to hit US$33 billion (World Bank, 2017). This means that at least US$693 million or about P35 billion would be used for shelter requirements.

CLI also expects that government spending in infrastructure will unlock land values outside Metro Manila and stimulate business in the countryside as the Duterte administration pushes for investments outside of the country’s capital.

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Ferrero to Acquire Nestle’s U.S. Confectionary Business

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Image Source: greatist.com; logo from Vectorlogo4u.com

The Ferrero Group and its affiliated companies (“Ferrero”), a global confectionary group, announced a definitive agreement pursuant to which it will acquire the U.S. confectionary business from Nestle for $2.8 billion in cash. Nestle’s U.S. confectionary business generated sales of approximately $900 million in 2016.

Ferrero will acquire more than 20 American brands with a rich heritage and strong awareness, including iconic chocolate brands such as Butterfinger®, BabyRuth®, 100Grand®, Raisinets®, Wonka® and the exclusive right to the Crunch® brand for confectionary and certain categories in the U.S., as well as sugar brands such as SweeTarts®, LaffyTaffy®, and Nerds®.

With this transaction, Ferrero will become the third-largest confectionary company in the U.S. market where it is best known for Tic Tac® breath mints, Ferrero Rocher® pralines, Nutella® hazelnut spreads, the Fannie May and Harry London chocolate brands, and the Ferrara Candy Company, which was recently acquired by a Ferrero affiliated company and whose portfolio of brands includes Trolli®, Brach’s® and Black Forest® Gummies.

Ferrero will acquire Nestle’s U.S. manufacturing facilities in Bloomington, Franklin Park and Itasca, Illinois, and the confectionary-related employees, and will continue to operate through the offices in Glendale, California, as well as from its other current locations in Illinois and in New Jersey.

Giovanni Ferrero, Executive Chairman of the Ferrero Group, said, “We are very excited about the acquisition of Nestle’s U.S. confectionary business, which has an outstanding portfolio of iconic brands with rich histories and tremendous awareness. In combination with Ferrero’s existing U.S. presence, including the recently acquired Fannie May Confections Brands and the Ferrara Candy Company, we will have substantially greater scale, a broader offering of high-quality products to customers across the chocolate snack, sugar confectionary and seasonal categories, and exciting new growth opportunities in the world’s largest confectionary market. We look forward to welcoming the talented team from Nestle to Ferrero and to continuing to invest in and grow all of our products and brands in this key strategic and attractive market.”

“Our commitment to deliver value to the North American consumers and customers will be strongly enhanced by the arrival in our portfolio of such powerful confectionary and chocolate brands,” said Lapo Civiletti, CEO of the Ferrero Group.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close around the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Credit Suisse Securities, Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP and Lazard served as advisors to Ferrero. (Ferrero)

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Globe myBusiness Helps SMEs Become Future Proof

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Participants of the Globe myBusiness workshop for Boracay SMEs

Globe myBusiness has brought its valuable expertise and tried-and-tested products and solutions to the country’s favorite tourist destination, Boracay, to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) become future-proof.

The workshop, dubbed as Globe myBusiness Digital Tools to Future-Proof Your Business, centered on the most prominent industries currently flourishing in Boracay such as tourism, hotels and accommodations, restaurants and food establishments, and retail.

In the four-day event, entrepreneurs, managers and various other staff members from all over the island were able to pick up a wealth of knowledge that allowed them to better understand technology and what it can do for them.

Derrick Heng, Senior Advisor for Globe myBusiness said: “Employing technology in business isn’t instantaneous. Rather, it’s a step-by-step process. It may take years for a business to fully maximize its digital potential, but the results are definitely worth the challenge. Globe myBusiness is here to assist entrepreneurs every step of the way.”

As a first takeaway from the workshop, the participants learned about the importance of social media which is the simplest way to use technology for business. Through social media, entrepreneurs can spread word about their business, get feedback, and contact their clients or customers in the blink of an eye.

“Digital marketing was the most important lesson for me, that you really need to make the most out of it through social media,” said Lourdes A. Ramirez of Secret Garden Boracay.

June Myrrh Dueñas and Dane Aldeguer of Isla Chicas Travel Consultancy added: “We understand that everything’s online, and everything’s on mobile phones, and we need to be a part of everything that’s happening. We have to grow with the changes, with technology.”

At the same time, Globe myBusiness educated the participants about different business solutions that can help them sell online such as Shopify; boost efficiency through the Gsuite online suite of productivity tools that can be used anywhere and on any device; and advertise their business like the Adblast targeted texts to consumers, among others.

“The workshop was very helpful for me. The things discussed were added nutrients for what I need for my business, like customer advocacy, offline tools, online tools … they’re very helpful because I discovered what else I need in order to improve the business,” said Jeyna Azugi of Team Sir George Salon.

Digital technology, however, has to be embraced not only by the decision-makers but the whole team for it to make a bigger impact.

“We learned a lot that could help us with our future plans for the business. We are most interested in the concept of GCash. Our consideration now is how we’ll train our employees, because they’re already doing things a certain way, so it’ll be a [challenge] helping them adapt to technology,” said Flory Jhen and Flory Vhel Alvarez of Shinyou.

However, technology only emphasizes what business owners already know and live by, that it is quality that still gets the customer. Thus, technology has to work side by side with current sales, service and marketing strategies in order for it to work.

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