Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is not worried about an economic slowdown, saying the U.S. consumer is still in a strong place.Banksread more
Target CEO Brian Cornell says he's encouraged by Trump's decision to postpone some consumer-oriented tariffs that were supposed to start Sept. 1.Retailread more
Corporate debt recently passed the $1 trillion mark in a continuing sign of global financial displacement.Marketsread more
President Trump insists the economy is healthy and says the only thing holding U.S. growth back is the Federal Reserve.Marketsread more
In a second-round of tweets aimed at the U.S. central bank, the president asked, "WHERE IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE?"Marketsread more
J.P. Morgan Chase customers will no longer be able to pay with their phones in stores beginning next year.Marketsread more
Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg predicts one of the strongest parts of the U.S. economy will disappoint Wall Street and lead to a market meltdown.Futures Nowread more
Target shares opened at record high after the retailer beat second-quarter earnings expectations and boosted its full-year estimates.Retailread more
Sanders' sweeping proposal would make it easier for workers to join unions and end the so-called right-to-work laws recently favored by the GOP.2020 Electionsread more
Germany has sold a 30-year bond with a 0% interest rate for the first time on Wednesday.Marketsread more
* Mild weather weighs on core earnings more than on sales
* Energy-efficient district heating is growing worldwide
* No plans to go back into French district heating for now (Adds detail on urban heating and share price detail)
PARIS, May 2 (Reuters) - Strong growth in new high-value activities such as hazardous waste treatment and plastics recycling boosted French utility Veolia's earnings, although relatively warm weather weighed on its international district heating business.
First-quarter revenue increased 5.4 percent to 6.78 billion euros but core earnings grew at a slower pace of 4 percent to 1.03 billion euros ($1.15 billion), partly because of the impact of unseasonally warm weather on the firm's district heating business, CEO Antoine Frerot said on a call.
Nevertheless, investors focused on the more positive, overall performance of the group, and Veolia shares rose 1.4 percent in early session trading to their highest level since January 2018.
The mild weather cut sales by 77 million euros or 1.2 percent, while the impact on core earnings was 2.7 percent, and even more on pre-tax earnings, added Frerot.
Energy activities account for about 20 percent of Veolia's revenue, with district heating - distribution of hot water via urban pipeline networks - accounting for about two thirds of that 20 percent, or 12 to 13 percent of total revenue.
Following the sale of its French energy services unit Dalkia to EDF six years ago, Veolia's district heating business is mainly in Eastern Europe, in countries including Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. It also operates in northern China and on the United States east coast.
Frerot said that for now Veolia is not looking into going back into district heating in France, where 20 to 25 percent of cities have heating grids, notably Paris, whose hot-water grid heats about 15 percent of homes and is expanding.
Many of these networks were built a century ago, but were not extended to the suburbs as cities grew outward. Frerot said there was now a trend towards building heating networks in suburbs as well.
"District heating is growing globally, new networks are being built and existing networks are growing in size," he said.
He said a well-run network can reduce consumers' heating costs 20-25 percent because centrally operated systems are more efficient and easier to optimise than individual boilers.
When burning household waste or biomass, they also count as renewable energy as they limit CO2 emissions.
Veolia shares are up around 20 percent so far in 2019, outperforming a 9 percent rise at sector peer Suez.
($1 = 0.8924 euros) (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)