City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Wednesday, 5 August 2009 31 Inbrief Premier earns a crust from Hovis l PREMIER Foods today delivered a jump in sales as shoppers stocked up on Hovis bread, but sank into the red for the first six months. Turnover at the company, which also makes Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy, rose 3.5% to 1.2 billion thanks to demand for its bread and groceries. But there was a pre-tax loss of 30 million after currency hedging and a pensions charge. Carpetright sales get off the floor l CaRPETRIgHT shares surged 70p to 734p today as the rugs retailer revealed sales have risen from the floor. Like-for-like sales rose 1.4% for the 13 weeks to 1 august -- the first increase since the final three months of 2007/2008. Chairman and chief executive Lord Harris of Peckham said Carpetright was benefiting from the closure of rivals. Swine flu gives Glaxo a boost l gLaxoSMITHKLInE is set to cash in on 1.8 billion from the rush for its swine flu vaccine, after nine more governments gave the pharma giant orders for another 96 million doses. Brentford-based glaxo said it has now sold 291 million doses of its vaccine. Clinical trials are to start this month, with the first supplies set for delivery in September. Buoyant Betfair beats the odds l THE odds shortened today on a flotation of Betfair after the betting exchange reported soaring revenues and profits. In contrast to falling business in the High Street bookmakers, Betfair today reported revenues of 303 million in the year to the end of april, up 27% year on year and double where they were three years ago. Australia Dollars 1.9063 Canada Dollars 1.7236 Denmark Kroner 8.3415 Eurozone Euro 1.1237 Hong Kong Dollars 12.4800 Japan Yen 153.7900 New Zealand Dollars 2.3612 South Africa Rand 12.2800 Sweden Kronor 11.5600 Switzerland Francs 1.7148 UAE Dirham 5.8488 United States Dollars 1.6205 TouriST raTeS DOWN 11.3 at 4660.0 fTSe 100 dow joneS nikkei -$ UP 33.63 at 9320.19 DOWN 122.48 at 10,252.53 DOWN 0.03 at $1.6936 >>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 recession hits stage school PARENTS of wannabe- Emma Watsons are being forced to pull their children out of acting classes because of the recession, figures from Stagecoach Theatre Arts revealed today. The drama, singing and dance schools group, which counts the Harry Potter star among its alumni, has seen a 4.2% drop in student numbers but offset this with a rise in fees from its franchise network of schools. It posted a 3% jump in pre-tax profits to 726,000 for the year to end-May. Housing hopes given a lift by Taylor Wimpey ConfidenCe in the housing market received a boost today as prices looked to have bottomed out and builder Taylor Wimpey said summer sales were solid. While refusing to call a bottom to the crisis yet, Taylor Wimpey said recent months had proved far better than it had expected. Prices are stabilising and sales of new homes, as well as the number of potential buyers nosing around, have increased. The early summer selling season has been solid and visitor levels remain encouraging, said chief executive Peter Redfern. We are cautiously optimistic about trading conditions for the remainder of the year. The first of the major housebuilders to report first- half-of-the-year results, Taylor Wimpey still had to make huge writedowns of 527 million to the value of its land and work in progress. That meant that the groups losses for the six months widened to 681.9 million. Meanwhile, Britains biggest mortgage lender, the Halifax, today reported house prices rising 1.1% in July, meaning prices have fallen by less than 1% so far this year. it has also emerged that off- plan buying is returning to the capital, as one of Londons luxury residential developments, an apartment block in Westminsters Rochester Row, has received a huge take-up. Almost half the flats have been snapped up at the Barratt site. Last laugh: Halifaxs Howard is happy but with no good reason Losses at Lloyds hit 4bn after HBoS takeoverTAXPAYER-funded Lloyds Banking Group reported losses of 4 billion today as it paid the price for reckless lending. It saw toxic debts balloon by more than five times to 13.4 billion in the first half of this year after the takeover of troubled HBOS, which was instigated by Gordon Brown. The group is 43 per cent owned by the taxpayer, who is now nursing heavy losses on the 17 billion investment. Chief executive Eric Daniels blamed HBOS for 80 per cent of the writedowns and said the fall in property prices this year had a significant impact. The half-year results showed Lloyds racked up losses of 3.96 bil- lion. It made a profit of 2.78 billion in the same period last year. Daniels said: 2008 was a difficult year for the banking industry and the first half of 2009 proved no less challenging. While the environment will remain challenging, man- agement expects the economy to stabilise in the second half and start recovering slowly in 2010. Lloyds, for years seen as a safe bank, merged with the far more aggressive HBOS last year to save the Halifax and Bank of Scotland owner from collapse. BY Hugo duncan Issue 456 | 17-8-08 Available in all good newsagents near you! In association with: 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.html