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The Business Matrix: Thursday 30 August 2012


Olympic profits cheer Chime

The Olympics have been a boon to advertising and marketing group Chime Communications as operating profits at its sports division surged by more than two thirds. Half-year profits rose nearly 50 per cent on a headline basis, but once Bell Pottinger's results are included, pre-tax profit fell 41 per cent to £6.7m, partly because the PR firm made a small loss.

Paddy Power's a Euro 2012 winner

Paddy Power, the bookie, yesterday reported surging, half-year profits up 21 per cent to €68.7m (£54.5m), thanks partly to a strong Euro 2012. Paddy took €78m of bets during the three-week tournament. Online growth and a strong performance in Australia helped push overall revenue to €311.2m, up from €242m a year ago.

Exports help US beat expectations

The US economy is doing better than expected, new figures out yesterday revealed. But the fact that growth was revised upwards to 1.7 per cent from 1.5 per cent in the second quarter is unlikely to stave off fresh stimulus from the US Federal Reserve.

Divi back at 888 as earnings climb

Online gaming firm 888 has reinstated its interim dividend after seeing earnings double on the back of booming demand or its casino and poker products. Profit for the first six months of the year hit $18.4m compared with a loss of $22m last time.

Switzerland gets Domino's effect

Domino's Pizza snapped up its Swiss counterpart yesterday and took an option to move into Austria. It is paying up to £5m for the 12 Swiss stores as well as the master franchises for Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein and the option on Austria. The move follows Domino's successful takeover of the German version of the pizza chain 16 months ago.

Antofagasta hit by falling prices

Chilean copper miner Antofagasta reported a 7.2 per cent drop in first-half profits, as falling prices and higher exploration costs outweighed the benefit of higher output from its Esperanza project. London-listed Antofagasta reported a $646.1m (£408m) profit for the period as revenues rose by 3.5 per cent to $3.16bn.

Galaxy stake pays off for Permira

Permira has sold a second stake in a year in Galaxy Entertainment, the Macau casinos business, for £474m, taking its profit on the investment to more than 60 per cent. the private-equity company still holds a 6 per cent stake in Galaxy, having originally bought 20 per cent for £420m.

Italian luxury shoe firm grows

Up-market Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo saw "significant" growth in 2012 after posting first-half net profits up 22.5 per cent to 55.9 million euros. It makes footwear for stars such as Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie.