City&FinanceBriefing 40 Thursday, 24 September 2009 London Lite Inbrief Lillywhites and Sports Direct a tragedy: JJB boss BY LUCY TOBIN M&B toasts the staycation A CRASH in lunchtime and after-work boozing in the Square Mile has been offset by a return to suburban eating and drinking in the local Toby Carvery or Harvester, pubs giant Mitchells & Butlers reported today. Evidence that Britons are continung to spend their way through the recession down the pub was revealed when M&B reported a 2.6% rise in like-for-like sales in the 10 weeks up to mid-September -- double the rate of growth seen earlier in the year. Food sales leapt 5.8% while drinks sales rose 1.2%. We have benefited from the staycation of people -- people staying at home this summer, said M&B chief executive Adam Fowle. What we are seeing is the return of the family Sunday lunch at the pub. Jobs axed at Stock Exchange THE spectre of rising unemployment stalking the City struck at its very heart today, as the London Stock Exchange said it is making job cuts, hitting one in eight of its staff, or 133 people. The staff were on average paid more than 80,000 a year, and will get pay-off cheques of more than 100,000. Half the jobs are going at the Stock Exchanges Paternoster Square headquarters, with the remainder cut at its Borsa Italia sister exchange in Milan. Australia Dollars 1.7726 Canada Dollars 1.6647 Denmark Kroner 7.8318 Eurozone Euro 1.0552 HongKong Dollars 12.0300 Japan Yen 141.6000 NewZealand Dollars 2.1002 SouthAfrica Rand 11.3300 Sweden Kronor 10.6600 Switzerland Francs 1.5938 UAE Dirham 5.6356 UnitedStates Dollars 1.5615 TouriST raTES DOWN 40.69 at 5098.68 fTSE 100 Dow JonES nikkEi -$ DOWN 81.32 at 9748.55 UP 173.68 at 10,544.72 UP 0.09c at $1.635 >>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 7m puzzle of easyJets Stelios l EASYJET tycoon Stelios Haji- Ioannou today raised 7.5 million by pledging two million of his shares in the budget airline to an unnamed City institution -- but his spokesman declined to comment on why he is raising the money. He has raised the cash through a liquidity collar transaction, which means he has not sold the shares but can use them as security. Wrong image: Sport Directs Mike Ashley is under fire insurance chiefs fraud warning l LLoYdS of Londons chief executive Richard Ward today warned the deep recession would increase fraudulent claims made against the insurance market. Meanwhile, as cash-strapped companies and households view insurance policies as a source of easy money, premiums remained low, he added, with prices flat to down on some cover. king calling for an exports drive l BRITAInS economy is showing signs of recovery, but any improvement is likely to be small compared with the sharp drop in output caused by the global financial crisis, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said today. Theres no doubt that what we need to see now is a shift of resources into net exports, he said. Canary wharf owner cuts loss l SonGBIRd Estates, the owner of Canary Wharf, today reported narrowing losses and revealed the governments of Qatar and China own nearly 60% of the business after a 1 billion fundraising. It saw losses of 110.9 million for the six months to the end of June compared with 418.2 million in the same period last year. JJB Sports boss Sir David Jones today branded Mike Ashleys Sports Direct chain and the flag- ship Piccadilly Circus store Lillywhites in particular a complete and utter tragedy as half-year losses at his own sportswear chain soared 230% from 13.9 million to 42.9 million. Jones said he didnt want JJB stores to look anything like the pile-it- high, f log-it-cheap style of Sports Direct. Rather than emulate, were looking to be unique. We dont wa n t w h a t h a p p e n e d t o Lillywhites to happen to us. Its a complete and utter tragedy, and looks like just any other Sports Direct shop, he said. But JJB is still struggling, and faces stock shortages due to suppliers being very uncertain about the groups future. That contributed to a 42.5% slump in like-for-like sales. Even taking out the effect of the chains closure of 96 stores, sales were still down by almost a third. Jones said the stock position would not get back to normal until Christmas next year. But he added: Were still here. A lot of people would have bet against that. JJB, which this month blew the whistle on Sports Direct for alleged price-rigging, kicking off an Office of Fair Trading inquiry, said the retail environment remains chal- lenging. But it said recent weeks had shown early signs of improvement. Jones also warned that shoppers looking for Slazenger tennis gear or Everlast boxing kit may have to go elsewhere in the future. The brands are some of those control- led by Sports Direct in Britain, which were the subjects of the OFTs price-fixing investigation. He said that JJB had held a mas- sive sale to get rid of the rem- nants of the brands that we dont want to feature going forward. Jones added: The bulk of the brands that Ashley sells at dis- counted prices in his own stores are not part of the image that I want in JJB stores. (But hes the man who has just lost 43m) 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.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html