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 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Maryland mother found pushing her dead child on a swing in a playground
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
Nicola Sturgeon did want David Cameron to win the general election, report concludes
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
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