Business week in review
Sunday 12 August 2012
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.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
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