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The Business Matrix: Thursday 23 August 2012


Peppa Pig is sold to Asian TV

Entertainment One, the media company, has sold the broadcasting rights for some of its most popular children's programmes, including Peppa Pig, to major broadcasters in Asia. The deals, which also include Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, Tractor Tom and Humf, will extend its portfolio of children's programming to audiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

Shock result for Goals Soccer

The match to take over Goals Soccer Centre has ended in a shock defeat for the £73m bidder. To the surprise of analysts, shareholders in the firm – which operates 43 five-a-side football centres in the UK – failed to back an offer from Canadian pension fund the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Only 71 per cent of investors voting yesterday backed the deal, short of the 75 per cent required to carry it.

BHP shelves $20bn expansion

BHP Billiton has delayed its planned $20bn (£13bn) Olympic Dam copper expansion and said no major projects would be approved in the year to June 2013, as it battles escalating capital costs. BHP reported a 35 per cent slide in second-half profits to $7.16bn in the face of falling commodity prices as China's economic growth cools.

Adnams cheered by 5% sales rise

Adnams, the Southwold-based beer and pub firm, posted sales of £25.75m, a rise of 5.1 per cent, in the six months to June. Profits jumped 7.7 per cent to £754,000, a strong result for a trade hit by tax rises and supermarket deals. Meanwhile, lager giant Heineken's first-half profit edged up 1.7 per cent.

BT 'in talks' with ITV over matches

BT has approached ITV with a proposal for the free-to-air broadcaster to show "one or two" English Premier League soccer matches to promote BT Vision, BT's pay-TV service that owns the rights to 38 games starting next season. "Early-stage talks have been held," a source told Reuters.

Carillion in £2bn revenue drop

Delayed Middle East building contracts and a decision to cut back its UK business in response to weaker markets left construction and support-services firm Carillion nursing a 12 per cent drop in revenue to £2.16bn in the first half. The firm, however, boasts a record £35.6bn pipeline bid as it eyes outsourcing opportunities in the public sector.

Vestas to lay off 1,400 more jobs

The Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas is to cut 1,400 more jobs to save €100m (£79m), as it battened down the hatches for another difficult year in 2013. "As it looks today, 2013 is probably going to be the toughest year that the wind industry has seen for a number of years," its chief executive, Ditlev Engel, said.

Tunnel travel hits record high

Eurotunnel's Le Shuttle service achieved a record for traffic in the seven days running up to 12 August, when 74,292 cars, motorcycles, caravans and camper vans, and 776 coaches travelled in both directions between Folkestone, Kent and Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais.