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.
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Acclaim for retired Australian defence chief Angus Houston who is leading the search for the airliner
South Korea ferry: Four dead and almost 300 missing as mass rescue gets underway
Malaysia Airlines MH370 co-pilot's phone 'was on and made contact with network tower' 30 minutes after plane turned around
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp told athlete she 'loved him' for first time in Valentine's Day card
Lunar eclipse 2014: Images of the spectacular 'blood moon'
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 3 Man on a leash in Farringdon, London: Mystery of 'walkies' solved
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
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