Business week in review

In profit...

Need a profit boost? Call in the superheroes. That's what Disney chief Bob Iger did. The film Avengers Assemble, starring Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr, helped the Mouse House to its highest quarterly profit of $3bn (£1.9bn) after it smashed box-office records in its opening weekend.

The sun also shone on Peter Long, the boss of TUI Travel, as rain-soaked Brits packed their suitcases and headed for warmer climes.

The world's biggest tour operator, which runs Thomson Holidays, said average selling prices this summer are 9 per cent higher than last after a sharp rise in late bookings.

Max James is not alone in claiming to benefit from the Olympic halo effect. But the boss of the property developer Quintain has a fair point that his transformation of the area around Wembley Stadium will be helped by having more than a million football and rythmic gymnastics fans flocking there over the past fortnight.

...at a loss

Even a political row over its pasties couldn't heat up springtime sales for Greggs, when torrential rain kept shoppers away from the high street.

Bakery boss Ken McMeikan, who led the campaign against Chancellor George Osborne's plan for a tax hike on his hot food, reported that footfall was down 7 per cent between April and June, leading to a 3.5 per cent fall in sales.

Drugs groups AstraZeneca and BTG, run by Louise Makin suffered a setback when they axed plans to develop a new treatment for severe blood poisoning after CytoFab failed medical trials. Had it been successful analysts estimated it would have earned BTG annual sales of £1.2bn.

Meg Whitman continued to cut a swathe through giant computer maker Hewlett Packard. The president and chief executive took an eye-watering $8bn (£5bn) writedown on the value of its IT services division.

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