City&FinanceBriefing * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. Not all stocks are available London Lite Monday, 29 June 2009 33 Free voicemail 300 free 3-to-3 mins Get unlimited internet for only 5 a month Free Windows Live Messenger Free Skype-to-Skype calls, in the UK & to anywhere in the world Inbrief NationalExpress rebuffsbidder l NATIONAL Express rejected a takeover offer from rival train operator FirstGroup today. National Express is suffering financial problems at its Kings Cross-based operations. It also runs trains into and out of Liverpool Street. FirstGroup wants to merge National Expresss businesses with its Paddington-based FirstGreatWestern operations. Hovis feeds Premier sales l HOvIS bread is enjoying a good year thanks to a surge in popularity since it launched its Go On Lad advertising campaign featuring a boy running through the ages to the modern day. Its owner Premier Foods said business in May and June was in line with trends seen in the first four months of 2009 when sales were up 3% . The City forecasts 170 million in profits. Hargreaves to beat forecasts l INDEPENDENT financial adviser Hargreaves Lansdown says profits for the year that ends this month will be slightly better than City expectations. Analysts had forecast pre-tax profits to jump from 60.9 million to 69.1 million. Revenues were 10% ahead after 11 months and assets under management grew 15% in the last two months alone. Rolls in 66m Norway oil punt l ROLLS-ROYCE, best-known for its aero-engines, today spent 66 million on a 33% stake in Norwegian oil and gas support systems group ODIM. Roll-Royces marine industry chief John Paterson said: The offshore sector is core to our marine strategy, and ODIM has a strong market position. Australia Dollars 1.9325 Canada Dollars 1.7976 Denmark Kroner 8.2769 Eurozone Euro 1.1148 Hong Kong Dollars 12.0500 Japan Yen 149.7800 New Zealand Dollars 2.3757 South Africa Rand 12.2600 Sweden Kronor 12.3300 Switzerland Francs 1.7029 UAE Dirham 5.6458 United States Dollars 1.5648 TouRisT RaTEs UP 9.48 at 4250.49 fTsE 100 dow joNEs NikkEi -$ DOWN 34.01 at 8438.39 DOWN 93.92 at 9783.47 DOWN 0.73c at $1.6447 >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. Not all stocks are available Madoffs victims on warpath Hundreds of victims of convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff will gather in new York today to demand justice as he is sentenced. Madoff faces 150 years in prison on 11 counts of fraud. But his lawyer wants the judge to show leniency to Madoff, 71, and imprison him for no more than 12 years. His victims, who claim to have lost their life savings to Madoffs $65billion (39.5 billion) Ponzi scheme, feel such leniency would be misplaced. Vodafone targets rival T-Mobile for a takeover The biggest shake-up in the UKs mobile phone industry for more than a decade was under way today with Vodafone looking to buy its German-owned rival T-Mobile. Vodafone is the worlds biggest mobile company. If it took over T-Mobile, it would become the dominant force in the UK market with a 40% share or more than 35 million customers. Chief executive Vittorio Colao has made no secret of the fact he wants the firm to be the dominant force in each of the countries in which it operates. This looks like something of a sighting shot, said one commentator today. Vodafone may be trying to get its pitch in early or the Germans may simply be trying to get a real auction going. Owner Deutsche Telekom earlier this month wrote down the value of T-Mobile UK to just 3.2 billion after a year in which it grew less than any of its rivals. Vodafone is reported to be considering a bid of between 2.5 billion and 3.4 billion. Deutsche Telekom has appointed JPMorgan to investigate its options for T-Mobile UK. These could range from selling it, to merging it with a rival or holding on to it. T-Mobiles new managing director Richard Moat officially begins work today and is expected to instigate a widescale shake-up. Despite a major marketing campaign T-Mobile has been losing market share. asos beats the recession with doubled profitssOArInG sales of colour block dresses and tulip skirts helped online fashion store Asos to deliver a recession-busting jump in prof- its and sales today. The retailer loved by style-obsessed 15-34-year-olds saw profits before tax almost double to 14.1 million for the year to the end of March, on the back of sales up 104% to 165.4 million. But sales growth slowed to 52% for the 13 weeks to last Friday, pushing its shares down 8p to 372p. Margins have been squeezed, and chief executive nick robertson warns that they will come under further pressure this year as the recession bites, but he says Asos has not put up its prices. The company is now focusing on flogging togs to overseas cus- tomers to keep growing. Overseas sales are now 19% of the busi- ness. Can we expect to get to 50% in the next two years? Yes we can, robertson said. Asos plans to launch country-specific sites and will increase spending on marketing abroad. Overseas sales rocketed 303% last year, boosted by sterlings weakness. Asos is extending its offering of High-street brands, bringing in ranges from Mango and Gap in August. BY rosamund urwin Click and vogue: style-obsessed young women give Asos a boost index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html