City&FinanceBriefing June, a striking improvement on the 2.7 million loss it made in the same period last year. Chairman Richard Balfour- Lynn said: Our efforts to raise Libertys profile as a global luxury brand are beginning to pay dividends. It has recaptured its authority in fashion. Liberty hosted Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto in February to reveal a new look after a six-month refurbishment. LONDON department store Liberty has defied the recession and recorded its best performance in 10 years. Sales revenue soared 18% to 25.3 million in the first half of this year, pushing the retailer into profit for the first time since 1999. The 134-year-old West End shop floundered in the Nineties, gradually los- ing its edge and fashion reputation. But a new management team has turned the company around in the past two years and invested in more trend-setting clothing and beauty labels. Liberty today reported a 30,000 underly- ing profit for the six months to the end of * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. Not all stocks are available London Lite Thursday, 27 August 2009 37 prices?propertyfornextWhere more...muchand trusttoreportsWhich rise?pricesWill sell?youShould thisismoney.co.uk/house-prices adviserfinancialownyourBe Inbrief Golden era to light up UK Coal l WIDENING half-year losses -- at 81million eight times worse than a year earlier -- at UK Coal are just the prelude to a golden era for Britains biggest coal producer, its chief executive Jon Lloyd promised today. From next year, it will start mining far easier-to-lift coal in the Midlands and South Yorkshire while long-term contract prices will begin to increase by at least 25%. Diageo gloomy on drinks sales l JohNNIE Walker drinks giant Diageo today saw its shares tumble as it slashed full-year profit targets. The shares fell more than 3%, by 30p to 966p, as it cut earnings goals for this year to low single- digit percentage growth because of concerns over the strength of the economic recovery. Sales growth fell in the past year as people traded down to cheaper options. huntsworth in global revamp l PR GURU Lord Chadlington today said he would be stripping his huntsworth stable of brands by consolidating them from 26 to three: huntsworth health, Grayling and Citigate. The Conservative peer said he would consolidate the business into units to make it more attractive to multinational clients as he did with the Shandwick spin- doctoring empire in the 1990s. 680m bid for trains group l NaTIoNaL Expresss biggest shareholder has made an offer of 450p for the struggling trains and coach group. The offer values National Express at 680 million but does not include the near-1 billion of debt the bidder would also have to take on. The offer comes from the Spanish Cosmen family, which already owns 18%. Australia Dollars 1.8492 Canada Dollars 1.6841 Denmark Kroner 8.0706 Eurozone Euro 1.0879 Hong Kong Dollars 11.9900 Japan Yen 146.0100 New Zealand Dollars 2.2105 South Africa Rand 11.9300 Sweden Kronor 10.9600 Switzerland Francs 1.6491 UAE Dirham 5.6184 United States Dollars 1.5567 ToUrisT raTes UP 7.61 at 4898.34 fTse 100 Dow joNes NiKKei -$ UP 4.23 at 9543.52 down 165.74 at 10,473.97 down 0.36c at $1.6213 >>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 aer Lingus dives deep into red A MASSIvE shake-up at Aer Lingus could yet see the Irish flag carrier end up in the hands of Ryanair. Aer Lingus today reported a 250% deepening of half-year losses to 93 million (82million). New chief executive Christoph Mueller will reveal his plans in the autumn. Asked if Aer Lingus could fall to suitor Ryanair, corporate affairs chief Enda Corneille said: Nothing is ruled out. Cidermaker Magners swallows Tennents ONE of Britains most wholesome brands of alcohol (if such a thing exists) is to merge with a booze brand that has one of the roughest reputations of the lot. Irish drinks group C&C, which has spent millions promoting the lifestyle drinking brand Magners Irish Cider, has bought Tennents, a drink that markets itself as Scotlands leading lager brand but which is better-known in the South -- in its Super variety -- as the favoured tipple of TV character Rab C Nesbitt, and of drunks residing in doorways. C&C is paying 180 million for the Scottish and Irish businesses of Anheuser-Busch Inbev. For that, it is getting the Tennents brand -- reckoned to account for half of all lager drunk north of the border -- and the Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow. It will also get the Scottish and Irish distribution rights to certain Anheuser-Busch Inbev brands including Stella Artois, Becks and Budweiser. The deal comes as C&C reported no better news for Magners, which has been in a slump since 2006 when everybody was trying cider- over-ice. Latest cider revenues are down 4%. C&C chief executive John Dunsmore, the former boss of brewer Scottish & Newcastle, said: Tennents is a celebrated brand. Homelessness charities have previously named Tennents Super, along with Carlsberg Special Brew, as among the strong beers they fear cause drunkenness. Liberty belle: Slumdogs Freida Pinto starred at stores relaunch 25 million in bag for Liberty as sales soarBY SRI CARMICHAEL 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.html40.html41.html42.html43.html