30 Tuesday, 7 July 2009 London Lite Inbrief Hungry tourists keeping burger joints on a rollTHE owner of the Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Real Greek chains today said its central London restaurants are shrugging off the recession. Clapham House Groups eateries in Soho, the West End, Covent Garden and the South Bank are its star performers thanks to tour- ists flocking to the capital to enjoy the weak pound. Its the silver lining of the reces- sion, said chief executive Paul Campbell. It came as the company reported a 6% rise in sales between April and June as it pulled in diners with special offers. But the scores of promotions, such as two-for-one main courses at GBK, are eating away at margins. Clapham House has scaled back its expansion plans, but Campbell said it will continue to look for good locations to take advantage of falling rents. Its recently opened GBKs in Spitalfields Market and Westfield have been performing well. Profits before tax and write-offs fell 18% to 4.1 million for the year to the end of March. Campbell said that The Real Greeks intro- duction of menus with nutritional details of dishes, which includes calorie counts, has been a hit with diners. BY ROSAMUND URwiN More job cuts planned as Ikea feels the pinch The economic crisis will take a further hard toll on staff at Ikea worldwide, with massive further job cuts in the pipeline, the groups billionaire founder said today. Ikea is facing up to a savage decline in global consumer spending on home furnishings -- spending that is heavily dependent on the number of people moving house or remortgaging. It has so far cut staff by 5000 and is scaling back its expansion programme significantly, Ingvar Kamprad said. Still an adviser to Ikea, he added: It is naturally a disappointment, but it will unfortunately not be enough. It will be necessary to do significantly more on the staff side. We need to cut staff more mainly within manufacturing and logistics. This is about adapting to sales being far below budget, as well as becoming more efficient. Kamprad also revealed that the group has scaled back expansion plans, and criticised the current management for not acting soon enough. he said: The forecast shows the margin and earnings falling considerably this year. That is proof that weve been too lax in dealing with our existing stores. Ive tried to warn for some time that weve had too much focus on expansion and now the board has chosen to reduce the pace of new establishments, he told Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri. Branson stores big loss SIR Richard Bransons Virgin Megastores accumulated losses of more than 300 million before they were sold off two years ago. Virgin Holdings, which owns a number of Bransons businesses, went from profits of 151.7 million to losses of 227.3 million in the year that ending March 2008 after a one-off operating loss of 324.3 million. That came after the 125 Megastores were sold to rival Zavvi, which went bust last year. Australia Dollars 1.9358 Canada Dollars 1.7911 Denmark Kroner 8.2161 Eurozone Euro 1.1068 Hong Kong Dollars 11.8900 Japan Yen 146.8400 New Zealand Dollars 2.4045 South Africa Rand 12.0400 Sweden Kronor 12.0800 Switzerland Francs 1.6775 UAE Dirham 5.5717 United States Dollars 1.5439 TourisT raTes DOWN 1.83 at 4193.08 fTse 100 dow jones nikkei -$ UP 44.13 at 8324.87 DOWN 33.08 at 9647.79 DOWN 1.08c at $1.6178 >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit thisismoney.co.uk dry-cleaners sales shrinking l Jeeves of Belgravia and Johnson dry-cleaners saw sales modestly below plan in the first six months of this year. Cost-cutting saved 100,000 a week from the chains, and the new Greenearth chain of environment friendly dry-cleaners has launched well. Johnson, which also includes textile rental and property management, said the full year would be satisfactory. Capital gain: weak pound has helped London eateries thrive weather boost for n Brown l N BrowN, the mail-order clothes retailer to big women, today said sales in the past 18 weeks are up 5.1% despite the credit crunch. warm weather boosted demand for its summer ranges while a big investment in its websites had resulted in a 25% lift in online sales. It has also put more focus on credit control, reducing the rate of bad debts. Michael Page plunges by 45% l CIty recruitment giant Michael Page saw profits in the past three months slump by 45% compared with the same period last year as unemployment soared. Chief executive steve Ingham said the business was planning for a challenging third quarter in the quieter summer period, particularly in the UK and Continental europe. Gross profit fell to 83.8 million. Glaxo cancer vaccine fillip l BrItIsh drug giant GlaxosmithKline received a lift today after research into its cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix showed it is the only treatment to protect against five of the most common viruses associated with the disease. the research is likely to help Glaxos application for Cervarixs approval in the Us. www.MEcasino.co.uk Play Monopoly at MEcasino! www.MEcasino.co.uk.MEcasino.co.uk.MEcasino.co.uk.MEcasino.co.uk Monopoly at MEcasino! 150 FREE! Play The all new 9-line slot with Jackpots reaching 4,000! PLUS 100% sign up bonus up to 150! Please play responsibly. Visit www.gambleaware.co.uk. Players must be over 18. Monopoly at MEcasino! 150150150 PASS GO AND GET Make a deposit between 10 and 150 and we will DOUBLE it. Sign up today and enter the promotional code monopoly for a free 2 trial! 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