City&FinanceBriefing 30 Tuesday, 3 November 2009 London Lite Inbrief Primark cashes in as shoppers snap up cheaper clothesBY JONATHAN PRYNN Sadie: How I saved my business from disaster ACTRESS Sadie Frost told today how she brought her clothing company back from the brink during the recession. Frost said it was a dark time when her label FrostFrench, which she runs with friend Jemima French, was put into administration last summer with debts of 4 million. But tomorrow they are opening a second London store, in Soho, after buying back the business and committing themselves to a more hands-on role now their children are older. Frost, 44, (right) said: It can be really hard juggling work and being a mother. We were creative directors in the previous company but we had less of a day-to-day input as we each had four kids. She said the label, which has had a store in Islington since launching in 1999, did not collapse because the clothes failed to sell, but because the company expanded as the economy slumped and then a business partner pulled out. It was a pretty dark time, Frost said. Wed taken the company down the path of expansion and we had to scale it back quickly. It was out of our control and very shocking. Frost and French bought back a majority share last September for 100,000 and secured finance from a consortium of Norwegian investors. Sales rise at Boots by 11.6% figures from Alliance Boots today showed that the chemist is on the up. in the six months to the end of september sales are up 11.6% to 9 billion, a result which few retailers can match. The High street arm saw sales rise 5.4% while the wholesale operation -- medicines to hospitals -- is up by 6.7% The company has been rising since it was taken off the stockmarket in a 12billion deal orchestrated by italian private equity king stefano Pessina in 2007. Australia Dollars 1.7191 Canada Dollars 1.6877 Denmark Kroner 7.8835 Eurozone Euro 1.0625 Hong Kong Dollars 12.0700 Japan Yen 140.8200 New Zealand Dollars 2.1209 South Africa Rand 12.1000 Sweden Kronor 11.0800 Switzerland Francs 1.6007 UAE Dirham 5.6560 United States Dollars 1.5672 TouriST raTeS DOWN 75.88 at 5028.62 fTSe 100 dow joneS nikkei -$ UP 76.71 at 9789.44 DOWN 231.79 at 9802.95 DOWN 0.99 at $1.6308 >>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 Stanley carves a merger deal l TWO of the sharpest brands in the toolbox are to merge in a bid to stave off the hammering they are taking in the US housebuilding recession. Stanley Works, the name behind the knife, will merge in an all-share deal with rival Black & Decker for $4.5 billion (2.7 billion). Stanley shareholders will own about 50.5% of the company, renamed Stanley Black & Decker. Chic and cheerful: the Primarni look Blacks unveils restructure plan l OUTDOOr goods retailer Blacks Leisure today set out details of a 42.5 million restructuring plan with its lender, Lloyds Banking Group, which could save nearly 4300 jobs. It involves dumping over 100 closed stores and varying leases or extending rent times on others. Landlords are being asked to agree to financial concessions to help secure Blackss survival. Twinings set to axe 400 jobs l NEArLY 400 jobs are to go at tea producer Twinings. The company said it is closing its Newcastle tea-packing factory with the loss of 260 jobs and 130 more are going at its Andover plant in Hampshire. Production is moving to Poland and China. The business, owned by Associated British Foods, said its premium teas had been hit by the recession. aviva sells off delta for 1bn l INSUrANCE giant Aviva today raised 1 billion (904.5 million ) by selling 63.5 million shares in Dutch arm Delta Lloyd for 16 a share, at the low end of the companys guidance of between 15.5 and 19. Shares began trading this morning on the Amsterdam stock market. The partial float is the biggest listing in Western Europe this year. THe high street Primarni phe- nomenon has boomed in the reces- sion with Britains biggest discount clothes chain today announcing big increases in sales and profits. Primark said its overall takings rose 20% to 2.31 billion while operating profits were up 8% to 252 million. The chain also said it plans to speed up its push into europe with stores in spain, germany, Holland, Portugal and Belgium. it opened 12 new shops during the year, bringing the total to 191. There are plans for another 11 stores, including one in Wood green in nor th London on 12 November. But the results were criticised by charities, which said Primark is only able to achieves such outstand- ing figures by exploiting overseas workers. War on Want claimed employees in three Bangladeshi factories worked up to 80-hour weeks for as little as 7p an hour. simon Mcrae, senior campaigns officer at the charity, said: Primark is booming by keeping clothes prices so low at a terrible cost to its garment work- ers living standards. But in a statement, Primark said: sourcing from developing coun- tries carries with it an obligation to ensure that workers making garments are treated fairly. Primark takes this responsibil- ity seriously and has contributed to the industry-wide efforts to improve labour standards. 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.html