City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Wednesday, 7 October 2009 43 Unlimited texts and 200 minutes 10 a month An unbeatable mix of texts and minutes. Plus: 30 day rolling contract Keep your current mobile number Free voicemail within the UK This price requires you to use e-billing. See below for price with paper bill. Price with paper bill is 11.25 SIM Only: Unbeatable texts and minutes claim based on comparison with combination of cross network minutes and texts only, available on standard SIM only 30 day tariffs from other operators for 10 per month or less. This Virgin Sim only tariff is promotional and is only available until 31/10/09. Subject to UK credit check and payment by Direct Debit. Delivery charge of 97p applies to web and phone orders. Unlimited texts subject to fair use policy. UK use only. Minutes and texts are for UK calls to UK landlines (01, 02 & 03 numbers) and mobile networks. Calls to the following numbers are not included in monthly allowance and cost as follows in the UK: 0800/080 no more than 15p per min, 0870/0871/0844 and 0845 no more than 25p per min, and 070 no more than 1.50 per min (see our Tariff Table at for details). Prices shown include 17.5% VAT. A monthly bill credit will be given for the new VAT rate. Pay by Direct Debit & Bundles terms of service apply. Full details at or call. 0800 052 0933 visit Virgin Media stores Hurry! Offer only for a limited period Inbrief Guy told: Hands off, cheapskate l GUY Hands offer to take over one of Britains leading green energy firms was dismissed as a cheap bid. Infinis Energy, owned by Hands private-equity empire Terra Firma, made a 90 million cash offer for AIM-listed Novera Energy valuing its shares at 62p. This time last year, they were trading at 29p. The Novera board said: This offer significantly undervalues Novera. Sportingbets a winner at 31m l SPORTINGBET, the online bookmaker which looked as if it was heading for the glue factory after it was thrown out of the US three years ago, celebrated a 26% rise in underlying profits to 31 million in the year to end-July by reinstating a final dividend of 1p for the first time since 2006. The AIM-listed firm also said it plans a full stock exchange listing within six months. Aer Lingus cuts one in six jobs l A DAY after British Airways boss Willie Walsh sacked 1700 cabin crew, his old airline Aer Lingus revealed plans for larger jobs carnage: slashing one in six of the workforce. The Irish flag carrier plans to cut 676 jobs and reduce wages for its pilots and senior staff earning more than 35,000 (32,000) a year. It has been hit by competition and falling demand. Londonisstill topsinEurope l DESPITE an exodus of cash to escape punitive taxation, the Government says London is still the European city where the global economy wants to work. UK Trade & Investment, part of Lord Mandelsons Business Department, says in a survey of 500 companies: [London] has not lost its position as Europes top business centre. Australia Dollars 1.7061 Canada Dollars 1.6214 Denmark Kroner 7.6805 Eurozone Euro 1.0347 Hong Kong Dollars 11.7400 Japan Yen 135.6500 New Zealand Dollars 2.0251 South Africa Rand 11.1400 Sweden Kronor 10.6500 Switzerland Francs 1.5603 UAE Dirham 5.5009 United States Dollars 1.5242 TouriST rATES down 8.80 at 5128.00 fTSE 100 dow jonES nikkEi -$ UP 131.50 at 9731.25 UP 107.80 at 9799.60 Unchanged $1.5919 >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. not all stocks are available Thorntons looking sweeter The retail climate is improving, according to chocolatier Thorntons, which today posted a 2.3% rise in sales to 46.8million for the three months to October. It said results were particularly good because in the same period last year the now-collapsed shopping chains Woolworths and Birthdays were big customers. Chief executive Mike Davies said Thorntons was in a good position in the run-up to Christmas trading. Neame is showing its bottle Spitfire, Bishops finger and Hrlimann lager brewer Shepherd Neame looks to have emerged from the recession with its glass overflowing. in fact demand for its bottled beers, up 29% in the year to end-June, was so great it had to outsource some of its bottling. that cost it money but kept its shop sales steaming ahead while pub sales fell as more people choose to drink at home. London pubs, including the newly acquired Jamaica Wine House in the City, outperformed the rest of the largely Kent-based estate. the strongest growth came for Asahi Super Dry, the Japanese beer brewed under licence, but Spitfire and Bishops finger kept their top 10 places in off-trade sales. turnover rose 7.6% to 109.5 million on beer volumes up 6.3%. But higher raw materials costs and falling earnings at the smallest pubs saw pre-tax profits drop 20% to 6.9 million. But since the year end the new faster bottling line has come on stream, costs are falling and beer sales are up by more than 10%. Chief executive Jonathan Neame called it an encouraging start to the year. Selling point: Jamie Oliver in ad for the superstore Sainsburys chief sends a warning on the recoveryBY HUGO DUNCANJ SaInSBury chief executive Justin King today sounded a note of caution over the uK economy and warned that recovery from recession will be muted at best. The supermarkets supremo predicted a return to growth before the end of the year but said consumers will feel the pinch into 2010 from high unemployment and rising taxes, whoever wins the general election. It came as Sainsburys, whose ad campaigns are fronted by TV chef Jamie Oliver, kept up the pressure on larger rival Tesco by reporting a 5.4% rise in second-quarter sales. King said: I think we will see that we have officially come out of recession but we went into recession very deep and very fast so in some respects this is an accident of the maths. There will be a little growth in the next few quarters but the direc- tion of travel will be at best flat rather than upwards. It is wrong to call a turn. Taxes are going up. VaT goes up on 1 January and whoever the new Government is after the election we will see more taxes. I dont think we can call the end just yet. It will be a slow, long haul. Same-store sales rose 5.4% compared with a gain of 7.8% in the first quarter. retail analyst nick Bubb of Pali International said the fading sales momentum is a big worry and the shares fell 8p to 315p. King, who joined Sainsburys when it was on its knees in March 2004, said the pace of sales growth was cool- ing across the industry because of falling inflation. Tesco yesterday reported a 3.1% rise in uK sales for its second quarter following growth of 4.3% in the first. Caroline Gulliver, an analyst at execution, said: Falling food price inflation is driving this slowdown and we expect this trend to continue for the remain- der of 2009 and into 2010. 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.html