News Article | February 15, 2017
« Nemaska Lithium achieves Phase 1 plant milestone and triggers $3M installment payment from Johnson Matthey Battery Materials | Main | TÜV lifecycle analysis shows Mercedes-Benz E 350 e PHEV cuts GHG footprint 44% compared to E 350 CGI; equivalent NOx » Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bringing its all-electric heavy-duty truck (earlier post) to market in a small series this year. Following the presentation of the Urban eTruck with 25 t perm. GVW and a range of up to 200 km at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in 2016, the first vehicles will be delivered to customers this year. The electric truck is based on a three-axle truck, with the entire conventional drivetrain replaced by an electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. Maximum output is 2 x 125 kW, while the peak torque is 2 x 500 N·m. In combination with the gearing, the torque at the wheel reaches 11,000 N·m. The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three modules of lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 212 kWh. This results in a range of up to 200 km (124 miles)—normally enough for a typical day's delivery round. Depending on the desired range, the modular battery pack can be customized by adding or removing batteries. The Urban eTruck is connected to the charging station using the Europe-wide standardized Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 connector. With a charging power of 100 kW, the fully discharged batteries are charged to 100% in two to three hours. (The system will support up to 150 kW.) Following the world premiere in September 2016 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show, the customer reaction was outstanding. We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the disposal, foodstuffs and logistics sector. With the small series we are now rapidly taking the next step towards a series product. By 2020 we want to be on the market with the series generation. The vehicle will initially go in a low two-figure number of units to customers in Germany, and later in Europe too, Buchner said. In order to be able to depict the various application possibilities, 18- and 25-tonne models will be equipped with a refrigerated body, as a dry box body and as a platform vehicle. Together with a special charger which takes into account the increased demands on a truck, the vehicles will be handed over to the customers to use for a period of twelve months and supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks road testing department. During this time the use profiles and areas of application will be recorded and the knowledge gained and expectations compared. The Urban eTruck is part of a comprehensive electric initiative from Daimler Trucks. The light-duty electric truck Fuso eCanter will be in use in a global small series in 2017. Around 150 vehicles will be handed over to selected customers in Europe, Japan and the US. Daimler Trucks is thus covering a wide application portfolio of electric trucks all over the world. Daimler Trucks is expecting the costs for the batteries of an all-electric truck to fall by a factor of 2.5 from 1997 to 2025— from €500/kWh to €200/kWh. At the same time the energy density of the available batteries in this period will rise by the same factor from 80 Wh/kg to 200 Wh/kg.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Since the advent of hybrids and electric cars, debate has raged about their efficiency over a full lifecycle. Sure, they use less fuel when strapped to a government test rig, but do they create fewer CO2 emissions throughout their entire manufacture-to-recycle life? Mercedes handed an E350e to the German Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV Süd) to prove hybrid power is cleaner than gas in the long run. The E350e absolutely blows a regular E-Class away on the testing rig, returning 2.1 l/100 km (112 mpg) on the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC). That's close to half the 3.9 l/100km (60 mpg) used by the base model E220d on the same test, while the hybrid's 49 g/km of CO2 is also significantly lower than the diesel can manage. The E350e can run on battery power for 33 km (21 mi) as well, which means it can run smoothly and silently through the city with no local emissions. With a 65 kW (88 hp) electric motor hooked up to a miserly four-cylinder petrol engine, the car punches out a useful 210 kW (286 hp) of power and 550 Nm of torque. Unlike old hybrids – or current hybrids: we're looking at you, Prius – that means the E350e should also drive like a normal car, rather than a glacial science experiment. But one of the biggest criticisms of hybrid cars has been the fact they aren't usually able to back up the claimed fuel efficiency figures in the real world. There's also the question of how much CO2 is emitted in the production of electricity used to charge the battery. According to the lifecycle analysis conducted by TÜV, building, owning and recycling the new E350e emits around 44 percent less C02 than the outgoing E350 CGI, which offered similar performance to the new hybrid, but ran with a conventional petrol engine instead. The testing assumes the car has been charged using a conventional European plug, but also says using renewable energy to charge the battery could improve that figure to 63 percent over the course of 250,000 km (155,343 mi). "The Plug-in Hybrid is a good example of how a transparent analysis of the entire life cycle is required to show and evaluate the environmental impact in its entirety," says Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Research and Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler. "With these analyses, we go way beyond the statutory requirements. They also enable us to prove that the naturally higher use of resources in production is more than compensated for by the significantly better ecological balance when driving, meaning that the overall Life Cycle Assessment is improved, too." This isn't the first time Mercedes has published a lifecycle analysis of one of its cars. In 2015, it released a breakdown of how much CO2 the GLE350e four-wheel drive uses over its manufacture-to-recycle lifetime. That car emitted about 37 percent less CO2 using a normal European energy mix, with savings jumping to around 58 percent if the car is charged with renewable energy.
News Article | February 21, 2017
VENICE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PGT Innovations, Inc. (NYSE: PGTI), the leading U.S. manufacturer and supplier of impact-resistant windows and doors, announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. “ PGT Innovations had an exciting year of growth and change in 2016. Our team delivered record sales of $459 million for the year, with 18 percent growth,” commented PGT Innovations’ Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Rod Hershberger. “ We continued to take share and outgrow Florida single-family housing starts, which grew a healthy 15 percent for the year. In part, this share gain and revenue growth was made possible by the WinDoor acquisition, which is aligned with our long-term growth strategy. While we did see softness in the high-end market in 2016, we believe this acquisition has us well positioned as the high-end market returns.” “ The underlying drivers of Florida’s population expansion, rational pricing, and consumer confidence is leading to a steady market recovery for both new construction and repair and remodeling activities,” Hershberger continued. “ During 2016, Florida’s population grew faster than at any time in the last six years, which continued to drive Florida’s economic growth with the single largest factor being the continued recovery in housing.” Hershberger added, “ Slower home-price appreciation is aiding affordability, as home builder confidence continues to soar, leading builders to respond to increasing demand for newly constructed homes. We expect this to have increasingly broader ripple effects on the supply chain for all new-home construction materials, including windows and doors.” Hershberger concluded, “ The stock markets continue to set records, and every measure of consumer sentiment indicates consumer confidence is at near record highs. We are looking forward to the spring 2017 home buying season.” “ Sales of $110 million set a fourth-quarter record for our Company, led by our legacy brand, PGT Custom Windows and Doors,” commented Jeff Jackson, PGT Innovations’ President. “ We were able to leverage our competencies to capture growth in the mass custom market. We expanded our vinyl capacity to capitalize on this market dynamic, and were able to realize strong growth in our impact vinyl products, which grew by 44 percent compared to last year’s fourth quarter.” Jackson continued, “ Our second new Thermal Plastic Spacer (TPS) system, which is an innovative and cutting-edge technology that we believe will enable us to produce better quality insulated glass units, was fully operational as of October 2016. Our first TPS system came online in September 2016.” “ As we move further into 2017, our three brands are continuing to operate more effectively as one company, providing best-in-class solutions to our customers,” Jackson commented, “ In January, at the International Builders Show in Orlando, we unveiled a comprehensive three brand go-to-market strategy with newly-enhanced brand positions. We showcased new products, which we plan to launch later this year, such as WinDoor’s lift-and-slide door, and bi-fold door. We also gave a glimpse into our research and development pipeline, which includes state-of-the-art hardware solutions and several other innovative product designs.” “ We believe these investments in our brands, combined with operational investments, provide a foundation to support expected growth that will generate long-term value for the shareholders of PGT Innovations,” stated Jackson. “ On February 13, 2017, we announced the repricing of our $264 million term loan facility, which reduced our annual interest rate by one full percentage-point,” said Brad West, PGT Innovations’ Chief Financial Officer. “ This repricing will benefit us in several ways during 2017, including lowering interest expense, adding to free cash flow, and adding to our bottom line and per share earnings.” Mr. West continued, “ For 2017, we expect full-year sales to range between $490 and $500 million, representing an increase of between 7 and 9 percent. We expect sales in this range will generate consolidated EBITDA of between $83 and $87 million.” PGT Innovations will host a conference call on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. The conference call will be available at the same time through the Investor Relations section of the PGT Innovations, Inc. website, http://ir.pgtinnovations.com/events.cfm. To participate in the conference call, kindly dial into the call a few minutes before the start time: 877-769-6798 (U.S. and Canada) and 678-894-3060 (international). The conference ID is 56191355. A replay of the call will be available beginning February 21, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. eastern time through February 28, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. To access the replay, dial 855-859-2056 (U.S. and Canada) and 404-537-3406 (international) and refer to pass code 56191355. PGT INNOVATIONS, INC. (NYSE:PGTI), headquartered in North Venice, Florida, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, creates products which focus on protecting and enhancing the beauty and functionality of homes and businesses. The Company’s trusted brands include PGT Custom Windows & Doors, CGI Windows & Doors and WinDoor. PGT Innovations, Inc. holds the leadership position in its primary market and is part of the S&P SmallCap 400 Index. For additional information, visit http://ir.pgtinnovations.com. Statements in this press release regarding our business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “may,” “expect,” “expectations,” “outlook,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “intend,” “believe,” “could,” “project,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “should” and similar terminology. These risks and uncertainties include factors such as: Statements in this press release that are forward-looking statements include, without limitation, our expectations regarding: (1) the market for high-end window and door products, and the impact that our acquisition of WinDoor, Inc. may have on our sales and performance in that market; (2) rates of new home construction in the Florida market, and the anticipated impact of slowing home price appreciation and other factors on new home construction; (3) home builder confidence and the anticipated impact it may have on demand for new home construction materials; (4) the 2017 home buying season in the Florida market; (5) the timing and impact on our financial performance of new products that we plan to introduce during 2017; (6) the impact of our investments in our brands and operations on our anticipated growth and long-term shareholder value; and (7) our projected financial performance, results and outlook for 2017. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances after the date of this press release. Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures This Press Release and the financial schedules include financial measures and terms not calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). We believe that presentation of non-GAAP measures such as adjusted net income, adjusted net income per share, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA provides investors and analysts with an alternative method for assessing our operating results in a manner that enables investors and analysts to more thoroughly evaluate our current performance compared to past performance. We also believe these non-GAAP measures provide investors with a better baseline for assessing our future earnings potential. The non-GAAP measures included in this release are provided to give investors access to types of measures that we use in analyzing our results. Adjusted net income consists of GAAP net income adjusted for the items included in the accompanying reconciliation. Adjusted net income per share consists of GAAP net income per share adjusted for the items included in the accompanying reconciliation. We believe these measures enable investors and analysts to more thoroughly evaluate our current performance as compared to the past performance and provide a better baseline for assessing the Company's future earnings potential. However, these measures do not provide a complete picture of our operations. EBITDA consists of GAAP net income adjusted for the items included in the accompanying reconciliation. Adjusted EBITDA consists of EBITDA adjusted for the items included in the accompanying reconciliation. We believe that EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA provide useful information to investors and analysts about the Company's performance because they eliminate the effects of period-to-period changes in taxes, costs associated with capital investments and interest expense. EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA do not give effect to the cash the Company must use to service its debt or pay its income taxes and thus do not reflect the funds generated from operations or actually available for capital investments. Our calculations of adjusted net income, adjusted net income per share, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA are not necessarily comparable to calculations performed by other companies and reported as similarly titled measures. These non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP measures. Schedules that reconcile adjusted net income, adjusted net income per share, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA to GAAP net income are included in the financial schedules accompanying this release.
News Article | February 26, 2017
"La La Land", "Arrival" and "Manchester by the Sea" might be slugging it out for multiple Oscars, but they're not the only contenders at the 89th Academy Awards this Sunday. A handful of sci-fi and fantasy films have made the shortlist for best visual effects, recognising the cutting-edge movie magic that made our eyes pop in 2016. Will the award be rigged in favour of "Deepwater Horizon"? Can "Doctor Strange" conjure Marvel's first Oscar? Perhaps the bear necessities will come to "The Jungle Book", or maybe "Kubo and the Two Strings" will string out a win. Or will "Rogue One" prove a force to be reckoned with? And the nominees are... It's easy to assume modern visual effects are all achieved at the click of a mouse, but sometimes you have to go old school. So for this true-life tale of a horrifying disaster on a Gulf of Mexico oil rig, the filmmakers built a vast tank of water in a Louisiana parking lot and plonked in a huge model of the Deepwater Horizon rig, 85 percent of the size of the real thing. Industrial Light and Magic then added digital pyrotechnics using Plume, the company's own Oscar-winning software for generating flames and smoke. What are the odds? The combination of a big set with modern effects to tell a story of real-life heroism makes this feel like a solid Oscar-worthy effort, but it lacks the wow factor of other entrants. While rivals like "Deepwater Horizon" and "The Jungle Book" are all about whipping up perfect re-creations of reality, Marvel's "Doctor Strange" throws out the concept of reality entirely. ILM (again) led the effects companies transferring the psychedelic visions of legendary Marvel artist Steve Ditko to the big screen, creating what is simply one of the most visually spectacular movies ever. Where other groundbreaking effects extravaganzas like "The Matrix" or "Inception" lean heavily on one or two big showpiece effects, "Doctor Strange" busts out a new eye-popping gimmick in every action sequence. Whether it's cities being turned inside out, a fight sequence unspooling backward, or kaleidoscopic astral planes where the rules of reality simply don't exist, this flick is a dazzling cavalcade of gorgeousness to make your head spin. What are the odds? Marvel has been Oscar-nominated six times in past years for visual effects, but it's never won. If any film deserves to break that streak and claim the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first Academy Award, it's the frankly jaw-dropping "Doctor Strange". The "Jungle Book" effects team spent weeks in the jungles of India studying leaves, trees and moss to build a computer-generated jungle strewn with millions of CG leaves and twigs. Young actor Neel Sethi was then integrated into the digital jungle where he interacted with CGI animals. Elements of Christopher Walken's distinctive visage were incorporated into the character of chief ape King Louie, created by effects experts Weta. The wizards at MPC created the rest of the animal characters, sometimes drawing on the facial cues of the all-star cast, which included Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. "Our teams took a lot of time looking at videos of animals and studied their biology in order to capture their likeness," MPC's Adam Valdez explains. "Artists at MPC are anatomy specialists, sculptors, students of physics and actors. You need all of these skills to construct, then animate, then render a realistic animal." What are the odds? "The Jungle Book" celebrates and updates a classic movie for the modern age, and that's the sort of thing the Academy loves. Bit of an odd one, this. The delightful fairy tale "Kubo and the Two Strings" is nominated for best animated feature -- alongside out-and-out cartoons -- and for best visual effects, alongside live action films. It's the second such animated movie to also be nominated for VFX, after "The Nightmare Before Christmas". That's because it's a stop-motion production, employing physical puppets and sets that were then embellished with CGI effects. "There are some shots that are entirely practical," director Travis Knight told me when "Kubo" was released. "There are shots that are almost entirely CG. And then there are some shots that are blended." The puppets are created by production company Laika using cutting-edge techniques such as stereoscopic photography, laser-cutting, 3D printing and rapid prototyping. The scale of the models can be seen in the film's closing titles, which show the filmmakers working on a skeleton demon standing 18 feet (5.5 meters) tall and weighing 400 pounds (180 kilograms). What are the odds? This enchanting and beautifully crafted fairy tale richly deserves the recognition -- and, hey, with two nominations it's got two chances to take home a statuette. The effects of "Rogue One" are all about grounding the fantastic in gritty reality. The filmmakers drew on photos of real war zones to create verisimilitude in the battle scenes -- and I mean they literally drew on them, photoshopping Imperial Stormtroopers and Rebel X-Wings onto images from the Vietnam War. One of the highlights of the film is the snippy droid K-2SO, a CGI creation built around a motion captured performance by Alan Tudyk. The actor wore 13-inch stilts to create the droid's hulking form. More controversially, the film used computers to digitally re-create the character of Grand Moff Tarkin from 1977's "A New Hope" -- despite the fact that star Peter Cushing died more than 20 years ago. A CG model of Cushing's face was mapped onto a performance by actor Guy Henry, with controversial results. Some viewers found the digital performance jarring, while critics questioned the ethics of resurrecting a deceased performer. What are the odds? It's tempting to see the computerised Cushing as a watershed in movie history. If the Academy rewards the digital grave-robbing in "Rogue One," it could be seen as acceptance of the use of CGI to resurrect even more dead stars in future. For sheer dazzling imagery, it has to be "Doctor Strange". But visual effects are more than just creating a beautiful image -- they're about furthering a story and bringing characters to life. That brings us to "Kubo" and "The Jungle Book", two films blurring the lines between what's considered an animated or live action film. "Kubo" creator Laika has been nominated several times, so we'd fancy it's about time they took home a gong, but the Academy could well follow the example set by the Visual Effects Society's awards and be charmed by the old-school appeal of "Jungle Book". Update: And the winner is... "The Jungle Book"! Here's how cutting-edge technology helped the "Jungle Book"'s herd of animated animals win the day. Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here's your place for the lighter side of tech. Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool.
News Article | February 22, 2017
NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Consulting Group International (CGI), a leading-edge provider of on-demand technology services and business strategy, teams up with StreamScape Technologies to provide strategic advisory services and support the firm's Series A venture fund efforts....
News Article | February 21, 2017
CGI Dubai unveils Dubai Fashion Week London on Thursday with hopes of establishing Dubai as a top destination for the new genre of "ready couture" and as a major fashion capital.
News Article | March 1, 2017
Stock market symbolsGIB (NYSE)GIB.A (TSX)cgi.com/newsroom Solution delivers real-time instant payment functionality for banks and payment serviceproviders, along with anti-money laundering and anti-fraud capabilities PRAGUE, Czech Republic, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - CGI (NYSE:...
News Article | February 15, 2017
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 15, 2017) - Canadian General Investments, Limited (TSX:CGI.PR.D) has declared a quarterly dividend on its Series 4 preference shares. A cash dividend of $0.23438 per share is payable on March 15, 2017 to shareholders of the Company's 3.75% Cumulative Redeemable Class A Preference Shares, Series 4 of record at the close of business on February 28, 2017. This dividend is designated as an "eligible dividend" for purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada).
News Article | February 17, 2017
Over the past two years, SpaceX has been working to make its rockets reusable by landing the vehicles upright after they launch to space. Many of those landing attempts have been successful, but since we live in a world where the word “fake” has seen a big resurgence in people’s vocabulary, a lot of skeptics think that all these landings were completely fabricated by the company. There’s a healthy contingent of truthers out there who pore over the footage of landings, pointing out inconsistencies in the videos. Some simply argue that landing videos are clips of rockets taking off played in reverse. Last night, CEO Elon Musk revealed he has a good sense of humor about the conspiracy theory, when he replied to a fan’s question at the ripe time of 1:42AM ET. As we all know, sarcasm and nuance are extinct in the 21st century — surely some people are running wild with this “news” already. But perhaps tomorrow’s launch will help silence the SpaceX skeptics out there, since the landing will be a bit different this time around. It’s the first time that SpaceX will land one of its Falcon 9 rockets on solid ground in broad daylight. For most missions, the Falcon 9s attempt to land on a floating drone ship in the middle of the ocean. However, SpaceX does have a ground-based landing zone at Cape Canaveral, aptly named Landing Zone 1, where the vehicles can touch down. Not all of the company’s rockets are able to return to the site after launch, though, so SpaceX has only tried landing there twice in the past couple of years. Both of those attempts were successful, though they both occurred at night. But tomorrow, SpaceX will try to land its Falcon 9 at Landing Zone 1. Lift off is scheduled for 10:01AM ET and landing is scheduled for 10 minutes afterward. That means those at Cape Canaveral will be able to see the rocket take-off and land in full daylight. And as we all know, it’s much harder to CGI a rocket landing when the Sun is out.
News Article | March 3, 2017
PRAGA, March 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- La solución proporciona funcionalidad de pago instantánea en tiempo real para bancos y proveedores de servicios de pago, junto a las capacidades contra el fraude y contra el blanqueo de dinero CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A) anunció hoy el lanzam...