City&FinanceBriefing 30 Friday, 28 August 2009 London Lite Inbrief Battersea power station is in peril over huge debtsBY HUGO DUNCAN Numbers give a spur to hopes for recovery Hopes that the recession is coming to an end were given a certain momentum today after figures showed the economy did not shrink by as much as had been feared earlier this year. economic output fell 0.7% in April, May and June -- marginally better than the 0.8% initially reported a month ago. It followed a shocking slump of 2.4% in the first three months of the year which itself followed nine months of decline last year. The news was welcomed in the City but it was still an embarrassment for prime Minister Gordon Brown who boasted the UK was better placed than other countries to deal with the downturn. While output in the UK is still falling, France, Germany and Japan emerged from recession at the end of March. Alan Clarke of BNp paribas said: It seems we have turned the corner and we are emerging from recession. But this is still pretty bad. France and Germany expanded in the second quarter of the year. It is hoped the UK economy will show growth for the current third quarter. Diners are lovin it cheap Customers are still flocking to a cheap meal. the restaurant Group, which owns Garfunkels, Frankie and Bennys and Chiquito said today that pre-tax profits for the six months to end-June rose 3% to 21.7 million. Chief executive Andrew Page claimed the success was in spite of the recession. But Greg Feehely of Altium securities said: trG is significantly outperforming a challenging market. the interim dividend was maintained at 1.4p. Australia Dollars 1.8557 Canada Dollars 1.6958 Denmark Kroner 8.0497 Eurozone Euro 1.0849 Hong Kong Dollars 11.9200 Japan Yen 144.3700 New Zealand Dollars 2.2230 South Africa Rand 11.8900 Sweden Kronor 11.0700 Switzerland Francs 1.6496 UAE Dirham 5.5836 United States Dollars 1.5471 TourisT raTes UP 44.56 at 4913.91 fTse 100 Dow jones nikkei -$ UP 37.11 at 9580.63 UP 60.17 at 10,534.14 UP 0.21c at $1.6304 >>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 Growth stalls at stagecoach l THE depths of the crisis at South West Trains was laid bare today as operator Stagecoach admitted underlying revenue growths for May, June and July shrank to 0.9% from 6.2% for the previous 12 months. What is hurting the Waterloo-based SWT is the disappearance of first-class passengers and the sharp decline in leisure travellers. Danger: the landmark is in doubt as Tincknells REO struggles walters damps talk of recovery l THE City recruitment market has improved in recent weeks but it is not a recovery, says veteran headhunter Robert Walters. It is more a correction from the overfiring that we saw earlier in the year, said Walters. His recruitment firm Robert Walters reported a pre- tax loss of 2.6 million in the first half. A year ago it made first-half profits of 9.8 million. Capital place for entrepreneurs l ALMOST a fifth of Londoners are considering starting their own business because of the recession, a YouGov survey revealed today. The poll of 2500 Britons reveals that Londons workforce is the most entrepreneurial in the country, with 19% having started or looking to start a new business in the downturn, compared with 11% in Scotland. johnston: cut the BBCs fee l THE chief executive of regional newspapers giant Johnston Press, John Fry, today called for the BBC licence fee to be cut by a third to stop it creeping into local news. The firm gave some rare relief to the sector with a refinancing of its 424 million debt facility. Operating profits in the past six months dived from 81.6 million to 38.2 million. 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! the future of Battersea Power station was in doubt today as crippling debts and the slump in the property market left its owner fighting for survival. real estate opportunities, which plans to redevelop the London landmark, was told by its auditors at KPmG that its 1.62 billion debt pile and the collapse in property values could sink the com- pany. It came as losses at reo increased from 66.5 million in the first half last year to 200.5 million this time around after its property port- folio in the uK and Ireland fell 15% in value to 1.62 billion. the value of Battersea Power station also fell 15% in the first half. there are a number of mate- rial uncertainties which may cast doubt on the ability of the group to continue as a going concern, KPmG said. the warning raised fresh doubts over the future of the power station which has seen ideas for redevelopment come and go since it stopped generat- ing electricity in 1983. the latest masterplan by reo, an offshoot of Irish property group treasury holdings led by managing direc- tor robert tincknell who is a director of reo, includes 3700 new homes, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 500,000 sq ft of shops, restaurants, a hotel and leisure facilities. Initial plans also involved a 984-foot glass tower but this has been scaled down after opposi- tion. It is hoped the scheme will act as a catalyst to the regenera- tion of the Nine elms area. reo is in talks with its banks. Chairman ray horney said: We remain confident that in the event there are any breaches, we can renegotiate. 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