City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Tuesday, 25 August 2009 31 Strikes spoil picture for PinewoodDespite the muscle power of Rus- sell Crowe in his new Robin Hood movie, pinewood shepperton studios today admitted its profits had halved because of the actors and screen- writers strikes in Hollywood. the disputes over pay and condi- tions have created a major bottle- neck in production that has seen a huge drop-off in work at the heart of Britains film industry west of London. Other big-hitters have still been in filming, including Crowe in Ridley scotts new adventure film, Jack Black in the latest take on Gullivers travels, and Ricky Gervais and stephen Merchant in Cemetery Junction -- their homage to Reading in the seventies. pinewood shepperton chief executive ivan Dunleavy -- who co-founded the listed company with itV boss Michael Grade, the stu- dios chairman -- said any recovery is dependent on when the films start rolling back in. We are now moving on from the screen Actors Guild dispute and film revenues for the remainder of the year will depend as ever on the timing of new film starts, he said. it is about phasing rather than any reduction in consumer demand for film. We do not name any particular film that may come to us but we are encouraged by the number of enquiries. Film revenues, which account for the bulk of pinewood sheppertons income, tumbled by 1.2 million while revenues from television -- suffering from the general brake on expensive, small-screen drama -- fell 300,000. With debt costs rising, that saw pinewood sheppertons pre-tax profits nosedive from 3.8 million to 1.7 million. the groups interim dividend is being held at 1.05p. New boy in the hood: Rusell Crowe ABOUT 3000 staff at Admiral are to receive free shares worth 1500 after the car insurer posted record half-year profits. The company today reported six-month, pre-tax profits up 5% at 150 million and an interim dividend of 27.7p. The number of customers across the group jumped by almost a fifth to 1.92 million, with premiums written rising 17% to 540.1 million. In a statement to the Stock Exchange, chief executive Henry Engelhard could not contain his excitement, saying: Wow! Considering the general economic climate and pathetic investment returns, this was an outstanding result. Admirals staff get shares perk BY JIM ARMITAGE Australia Dollars 1.8645 Canada Dollars 1.6918 Denmark Kroner 8.1529 Eurozone Euro 1.0986 Hong Kong Dollars 12.0900 Japan Yen 148.3500 New Zealand Dollars 2.2457 South Africa Rand 11.9400 Sweden Kronor 11.0400 Switzerland Francs 1.6638 UAE Dirham 5.6663 United States Dollars 1.5700 TouriST raTeS London shares looked to be ending a five-day winning streak today, with the FTSE 100 index down 18.97 points to 4877.26 after investors pocketed profits. Miners were the worst performers. The Footsie hit a 10- month high yesterday, briefly passing the 4900 mark in early trading. Banks are still not lending as much to homebuyers as expected, while the amount of loans going to businesses is down on a year ago. although mortgage approvals and new lending rose, they were still below expectations for July. net lending on mortgages was up 1.6 billion in July against 2.2 billion in June. DOWN 18.97 at 4877.26 fTSe 100 dow joneS nikkei -$ up 3.32 at 9509.28 DOWN 83.69 at 10,497.36 DOWN 0.42c at $1.6374 >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit thisismoney.co.uk * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. not all stocks are available 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