Whitbread gets coffee uplift
Leisure group Whitbread said its coffee shop operator Costa Coffee is to expand in eastern Europe by buying central European chain Coffeeheaven for £36m. Whitbread said Costa has agreed to pay 24p a share in cash for Coffeeheaven, which the UK firm plans to use as a springboard for growth in the former Eastern bloc. London-listed Coffeeheaven runs a chain of 90 coffee shops across Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia. Costa has 1,000 UK stores and 400 in 25 other countries.

Car registrations up in Europe
Car registrations in Europe accelerated again last month, as scrappage schemes across the continent drove consumers to buy new cars.

November saw a 26.6 per cent surge in new cars registered, year-on-year, compared to a 25.8 per cent drop in the same month last year. November this year had one more working day than last year, the data from European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) showed, which contributed to the increase.