City&FinanceBriefing 38 Monday, 7 September 2009 London Lite Inbrief 10bn choc shock as Kraft puts in bid for CadburyBY SIMON ENGLISH AND JONATHAN PRYNN Sunny weather helps Primark profits shine We got the weather we really wanted when we wanted it, said John Bason, finance director of Primark owner Associated British Foods, as the discount fashion chain revealed same-store sales soared 9% in its second half. Primarks continued ability to outstrip the rest of the High Street, coupled with the first return to growth in European sugar production and strong growth in African sugar profits, saw analysts scurrying to upgrade their profit forecasts for ABF. The firm put it more modestly; We now expect some progress in adjusted earnings for the full year. The shares gained 28p to 840p. On the grocery side, ABF saw strong demand for its home- baking ingredients such as Silver Spoon sugar and Allinson flours. Twinings tea and Ovaltine also showed good growth. Ethnic food business Westmill, which owns brands such as Pataks, Amoy and Rajah, hasnt fared as well. Bason said that supplies to the catering trade had fallen by up to 20% last autumn and hadnt recovered as Chinese and Indian restaurants were still suffering in the recession. Ikea book is green and lean IKEAS 2010 catalogue is out this week and promises to be the greenest yet. The furniture giants book is being printed on smaller pages to cut its carbon footprint. The paper used has been responsibly sourced and less is used thanks to the smaller size. Carbon emissions have been cut due to its lighter weight, making production and transport more efficient. 198 million copies will be produced in 28 languages to be read by more than 400 million people. Australia Dollars 1.8413 Canada Dollars 1.7128 Denmark Kroner 8.0991 Eurozone Euro 1.0914 Hong Kong Dollars 12.0100 Japan Yen 144.0300 New Zealand Dollars 2.2293 South Africa Rand 11.6400 Sweden Kronor 11.2800 Switzerland Francs 1.6502 UAE Dirham 5.6284 United States Dollars 1.5595 TourIsT raTes UP 40.91 at 4892.61 fTse 100 dow jones nIKKeI -$ CLOSED for holiday UP 133.83 at 10,320.84 UP 0.02c at $1.6395 >>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 Top jeweller hit by huge losses l Jeweller to the stars Theo Fennell today revealed losses of more than 3 million. Chief executive Barbara Snoad, who rejoined the firm in May this year having left in December 2007, said bad decisions while she was away, as well as the recession, were to blame for the losses. She promised a back to basics strategy to get the company back on track. Sweet voice: singer Joss Stone, the face of Cadbury Goals scores in the slump l GoalS Soccer Centres today said business is booming as footballers keep playing five-a-side through the recession. Sales at its 33 sites rose 12% to 12.9 million in the first six months of the year with profits up 5% to 3.9 million. Managing director Keith rogers said bookings were at normal levels after a slight softening in activity over the summer. Premier Inns sales crash l wHITBreaD today unveiled a slump in sales at its budget hotel chain Premier Inn. like-for-like sales fell 7.7% in the 24 weeks to 13 august, as business travellers and holidaymakers cut back. In an effort to reduce costs, whitbread has imposed a freeze on staff pay and is delaying fresh recruitment. Chief executive alan Parker said the recession was the worst ever. Credit crunch lift for lawyers pay l THe UKs top commercial barristers raked in an extra 14% in the past year, with turnover hitting 750 million boosted by an increase in credit crunch-related cases, research published today showed. eight london chambers made more than 30 million in 2008-09, according to professional journal The lawyer. CADBURY has received a shock 10 billion takeover bid from a US rival. Kraft, the company behind Oreo biscuits and Terrys Chocolate Orange, said it wants to buy Cadbury to create a glo- bal powerhouse in snacks, con- fectionery and quick meals. The board of Cadbury, which was founded by Quakers 185 years ago, has rejected the approach but may be forced into talks by City shareholders. Cadbury shares increased by nearly 40% today at news of the bid. Kraft, the worlds second big- gest sweet maker, claims it would protect Cadburys heritage and save a British factory earmarked for closure. Cadbury, which makes Dairy Milk, Crunchie, Flake and Creme Eggs, is one of the best known global brands still in British hands, and a takeover attempt is certain to trigger strong oppo- sition. Britains other leading sweet manufacturer, Rowntree, was bought by Swiss company Nestl in 1989 in a bitterly con- tested deal. The prospect of a protracted takeover battle for Cadbury will be greeted with joy in the City which has been starved of lucra- tive mergers and acquisitions work. The advisory and legal fees on a deal of this size will run to tens of millions of pounds. Kraft, a business with sales of 25 billion a year, said it would seek to grow the business and create jobs in the UK. The company has been under fire from health food campaign- ers who claim that its products are part of the reason why the US as well as other countries have so many health problems linked to obesity.