This weekend marks the celebrations for this year's summer solstice – but forget visiting Stonehenge. Hugh Thomson prefers the wonders of its nearby rival, the largest stone circle in England
Today's letter from the Editor
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The Business Matrix: Friday 28 September 2012
Sports Direct to buy 60 JJB stores
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is poised to buy out of administration 60 stores owned by its beleaguered rival JJB Sports, but thousands of staff with the Wigan-based chain will lose their jobs. Sports Direct, the market leader in sportswear retailing, will take over 20 stores immediately, with the other 40 relying on regulatory approval.
Future is looking bright for digital
Shares in the magazine publisher Future jumped yesterday on the strength of booming sales of iPad content. Digital editions on Apple devices have brought in £5m in less than a year, led by titles such as the gadget magazine T3. More than 45 million visitors a month are also logging on to Future's websites, up 50 per cent on a year ago.
Fleeing Britons give TUI a boost
TUI Travel, the world's biggest tour operator, has sold more summer holidays this year than last year. The group, which owns Thomson and First Choice, posted strong fourth-quarter sales, thanks to Britons heading to Ibiza and Jamaica to escape the wet summer. Its operating profits are on track to reach £480m for the year to October.
Confidence is fraying further
Consumer confidence in the eurozone nations has fallen further this month, with the decline most marked in the "core" economies of Germany, France and the Netherlands. The European Commission's confidence rating, which fell to -25.9 from –24.6 in August, also pointed to drops in business and industrial confidence.
Tate & Lyle hopes profits will rise
Tate & Lyle forecast a small rise in full-year profits and said it expected to make progress this year, despite the uncertainty in the wider economy and volatile corn markets. Sales of sweeteners such as Splenda grew in the second quarter, with the US and emerging markets offsetting a weaker performance in Europe.
H&M feels the heat on earnings
The Swedish fashion retailer H&M blamed this summer's heatwave in Europe and adverse foreign currency movements as it again missed profit expectations. The clothing chain also said it would delay its online launch in the US until next year, but vowed to step up its breakneck expansion.
Daniel Stewart is looking East
The investment bank Daniel Stewart Securities is looking to the Far East to boost its business after it said markets for small and mid-cap companies in the UK had "effectively been closed to new issues" for much of the last year. Full-year profits fell from £1m to £478,000.
Vodafone to incur £500m in costs
The mobile phone giant Vodafone said it expects to incur integration costs of about £500m by March 2016 from its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide. The takeover deal, which completed in July, will deliver cash flow benefits of £150m to £200m a year by 2016.
Deripaska makes out-of-court deal
The Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Michael Cherney have reached an 11th-hour settlement in a dispute over a billion dollar slice of aluminium giant Rusal, shortly before they were due to give evidence in a drawn-out London court case.
Aviva sells Sri Lankan business
Aviva has sold its majority shareholding in Sri Lanka's Aviva NDB, formerly known as Eagle Insurance, to Asian insurer AIA for £31m. The business was the first insurer in the country to establish a bancassurance distribution.
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