City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Thursday, 8 October 2009 41 Inbrief cycling boom boosts Halfords l The surging popularity of cycling helped bike and car parts retailer halfords to post a 2.2% rise in like-for-like second-quarter sales today. The 470-branch chain said half-year profit will be around 60 million. It said the sales momentum in the leisure sector during the first quarter had continued, spurred by growing interest in bikes. carluccios bucks the downturn l ITalIan restaurants chain Carluccios beat the recession with an 8% rise in turnover in the year to September. The business said pre- tax profits from its 45 branches will beat expectations despite 2009 being a challenging year. Carluccios opened six new restaurants during the year and said it plans to open at least five more in the course of next year. c&c is losing its fizz on cider hit l BRITISh drinkers are still calling time on their love affair with Magners cider. Its owner, struggling Irish group C&C, said today UK sales of the brand fell 2% in the six months to end-august as it lost market share to rivals. C&C, which bought Scottish lager brand Tennents in august, posted a 10% drop in headline profits before tax to 54.1 million (50 million). Ted Baker sales looking smarter l TeD Baker today said sales have picked up on the UK high Street as the fashion chain posted an 18.4% drop in profits. Tough trading conditions and a weak performance from its wholesale arm pushed down pre-tax profits for the 28 weeks to mid-august from 7.4 million last year to 6 million. Total sales rose 7% to 76.6 million. Australia Dollars 1.6850 Canada Dollars 1.5976 Denmark Kroner 7.6421 Eurozone Euro 1.0298 HongKong Dollars 11.6700 Japan Yen 133.5200 NewZealand Dollars 2.0124 SouthAfrica Rand 10.9700 Sweden Kronor 10.5600 Switzerland Francs 1.5564 UAE Dirham 5.4683 UnitedStates Dollars 1.5152 TourisT raTes UP 54.11 at 5163.01 fTse 100 dow jones nikkei -$ DOWN 5.67 at 9725.58 UP 32.87 at 9832.47 UP 0.91c at $1.606 >>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 carphone lifts lid on Big Box Charles Dunstone, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse, today revealed that the first two Big Box stores run jointly with massive Us electronics retailer Best Buy will open in the south-east next spring. They wont be in Greater london but within reach of the capital, he said. The demerger of the Carphone shops business, which will be part of Best Buy europe, from the TalkTalk phone and internet service is on track for March. City wary of 25bn fund-raiser by Lloyds CITY investors reacted cautiously today to Lloyds Banking Groups new plans to raise 25 billion. The fundraiser includes a 15billion new share issue -- Britains biggest rights issue -- and selling off some non- core assets such as insurance arm Scottish Widows. The plans, which have been formulated by Lloyds new chairman Sir Win Bischoff and chief executive Eric Daniels, have been shown to the Financial Services Authority and are likely to go before Chancellor Alistair Darling in the next few days. Lloyds is keen to avoid joining the Governments asset protection scheme, which would cost it a 15.6billion fee to insure 260billion of toxic debt and see the taxpayers stake rise from 43% to 60%. Avoiding the asset protection scheme would also place Lloyds in a better light with the European Commission. Poles apart: Bono, below left, and Springsteen differ watchdog pulls plug on tie-up of music giantsBY SIMON ENGLISHa MerGer to create the largest promoter of live music in the world was today blocked by the competition watchdog. The Competition Commission ruled that Ticketmasters plan to join arms with live Nation would give the combined com- pany too much power and lead to higher prices for fans. The merge of the largest ticket seller with the largest concert promoter was instantly contro- versial when unveiled in February. Both firms had already been accused by music-goers of price gouging and of forcing smaller players out of the mar- ket. The deal also split the music industry with Bruce springsteen opposed and the management of U2, whose lead singer is Bono, in favour. springsteen said after a Us ticket fiasco: The abuse of our fans and trust by Ticketmaster has made us as furious as it has made many of you. Today the competition authori- ties in Britain said the merger could severely inhibit the entry of a major new competitor into the UK ticketing market. But the two companies have argued the merger would improve ticket price options, increase attendance at events and make ticket tech- nology better. The combined business would have been v a l u e d a t 1.6 billion. live Nation not only operates most concert venues, it also manages many of the artists who play in them and has signed artists including Jay-Z and Madonna. Ticketmaster chief executive Irving azoff said: Its really good that some of the press and some of the consumer groups that have hated Ticketmaster for the last 20 years have been able to spin all you people. But hon- estly its a line of bull crap. Ticketmaster and live Nation will now have a chance to appeal against the ruling and may sub- mit comments by 22 October. 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