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The Independent Online
Walt Disney earnings record

Problems at Euro Disney did not prevent the Walt Disney Company from announcing record first-quarter earnings, thanks largely to the continuing success of Aladdin and The Jungle Book in the home video market.

Revenues from its film studios and US theme parks resulted in an after-tax profit of dollars 368m, or 68 cents a share. That compared with dollars 275m, or 50 cents, in 1992. Disney accounted for its share of Euro Disney's losses in its previous quarter, taking a dollars 350m charge.

Alpha float price

The flotation price for Alpha Airports, the in-flight catering and airports retailing group owned by Forte, has been fixed at 140p. The price values Alpha at pounds 211m, and will yield pounds 170m of cash for Forte which will retain a 25 per cent stake.

Bottom Line, page 30.

Ministers to meet

Finance ministers of the Group of Seven are planning to meet on Russian economic reforms late next month. One report said the G7 would meet in Frankfurt on 26 February.

Building upturn

Construction orders in the three months to November were 14 per cent higher than in the previous three months after adjusting for inflation and normal seasonal effects, according to figures published by the Department of the Environment. Orders were 23 per cent higher than in the same three months of 1992.

Millwall stake

Jose Berardo, president of the Portuguese football club Maritimo, has taken a 12.5 per cent stake in the British club Millwall Holdings. Millwall said it had acquired the entire issued share capital of Mr Berardo's Lakerose Properties, an investment company with assets of pounds 1m. Millwall issued 24,390,243 shares in exchange for Lakerose, taking Mr Berardo's holding to 40,773,043 shares.

No change on jobs

November unemployment in the European Community was a seasonally adjusted 10.8 per cent, unchanged from October, the Eurostat statistical service said. The largest year-on-year rises were in Spain (22.4 per cent from 19.6), the Netherlands (8.7 from 7) and Belgium (9.8 from 8.5).

dollars 210m libel claim

A Californian stockbroker, Rafi Khan, has filed a lawsuit alleging libel against the New York Times and two of its reporters. He is seeking dollars 210m (pounds 141m) in damages. The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleges that the newspaper damaged Mr Khan's business reputation and income by stating erroneously that he had been sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

World Markets

New York: Disappointment over IBM pulled the market lower, and by the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 17.45 points at 3,895.34.

Tokyo: Arbitrage buying triggered a rebound after Monday's heavy losses. The Nikkei average put on 295.12 to 18,648.36.

Hong Kong: Profit-taking interrupted the rally, taking the Hang Seng 109.15 lower to 11,490.94.

Sydney: Bouncing back from an early 17-point deficit, the All Ordinaries index ended just 2.6 points easier at 2,221.9.

Bombay: Hectic buying by foreign investors lifted the index 123.52 (3.1 per cent) to 3,978.96.

Johannesburg: Strong gains by gold shares and a firmer trend in industrials left the overall index 24 points better at 4,763.

Frankfurt: A wave of short-covering after recent losses carried the DAX up 46.77 to 2,126.78.

Paris: The CAC-40 index opened the new account with a 3.85- point gain to 2,278.34.

Zurich: Underpinned by speculation about interest rate cuts, the SPI added 13.77 to 1,949.06.

Milan: Record volume saw gains on optimism over the economy.

London: Report, page 28.

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