Today's letter from the Editor
The Business Matrix: Saturday 22 September 2012
Adidas takes €1bn Reebok hit
Adidas, supplier of Olympic kit for Team GB – including cyclist Victoria Pendleton – has slashed sales forecasts for its Reebok brand after it lost to Nike the rights to supply all NFL American football jerseys. The company also discovered fraud in its Indian business. Adidas chopped Reebok's targets by €1bn to just €2bn
HMV woes mount in slow summer
Loss-making retailer HMV blamed a "very quiet new release schedule" in music, DVD and games markets for poor summer sales. Like-for-like retail sales at HMV fell by 11.6 per cent over the 20 weeks to 15 September. The company, which has 243 shops in the UK and Ireland, suffered a loss of £16.2m for the year to April.
Buyers circle Aer Lingus stake
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said the low cost airline has received a number of approaches to buy its 30 per cent stake in Aer Lingus. Addressing shareholders at yesterday's annual meeting in Dublin, O'Leary said Ryanair had been approached by other airlines and financial institutions who wanted to break up Aer Lingus.
G4S recovers in Scotland
Beleaguered security giant G4S has won its first British contract since failing to provide enough guards for the London Olympics. The £20m, five-year deal with the Scottish government to manage electronic tagging of offenders comes at a crucial time for G4S. It has already taken a £50m hit on the Games.
BP eyes Rosneft share swoop
Oil giant BP yesterday said it was ready to invest in state-owned Russian rival Rosneft if the British firm sold its 50 per cent stake in troubled joint venture TNK-BP. BP said: "If we are successful in selling our stake in TNK-BP we would be interested in investing some of the proceeds in buying shares in Rosneft."
Bloomsbury in Indian move
Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury has launched its own imprint in India. Chief executive Nigel Newton has high hopes for Bloomsbury India, saying the country has "probably more of the book-buying demographic than that of the UK, US and Canada combined".
British Land sells supermarkets
British Land has sold seven supermarkets to a variety of investors for a total of £118m. The property group, which is the largest owner of supermarket buildings outside the retailers themselves, said all the sites had been sold at or above their March book value.
Investec bankers sue for bonuses
Two former Investec bankers are suing the Anglo-South African financial services group for £6.3m in a claim for unpaid bonuses. Andrew Brogden, who ran the structured finance desk until 2011, and deputy Robert Reid have made the claim, which the bank said "had no merit". whatsoever."
Achica breaks through 1m mark
Achica, the online homewares retailer set up by the co-founder of Asos, said its customer numbers have smashed through the 1 million barrier this month. The private members' site sells luxury brands at up to 70 per cent off via flash sales lasting 48 hours.
Millar time as Richemont buys
Luxury goods giant Richemont yesterday added upmarket leisure-wear brand Peter Millar to a wardrobe, which already holds Chloe clothes and Cartier jewellery. The deal for the brand comes weeks after a Burberry profit warning shook the sector.
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