BLU-RAY SALES FAIL TO OFFSET DECLINE OF DVD
Hollywood’s expensive bet on Blu-ray technology has failed to prevent a sharp decline in home entertainment sales, dealing a blow to the film industry as it grapples with the global economic downturn. The industry’s revenues fell by more than $2.6bn in 2008 as sales of standard DVDs tumbled, according to a new report from Screen Digest, a research group.
TNK-BP ACTS TO HIRE FOREIGNERS
TNK-BP, the oil major’s Russian joint venture, is hiring foreign technical experts as it starts to reverse the exodus of non-Russian staff following last year’s bitter battle for control of the company. BP and its Russian partners, the Alfa-Access-Renova group of tycoons, have backed the recruitment of “tens” of foreign staff to provide skills needed to sustain production and to develop new field
AIRBUS SET TO GAIN AID FOR A350
European governments are set to agree within weeks on providing about €3.5bn (£2.9bn) of repayable launch aid to Airbus to help finance the development of the A350, a new family of long-haul jets. The move supported yesterday by France, Germany and the UK reignites the bitter dispute between the European Union and the US over claimed illegal subsidies for the development of big jets.
HOLCIM BUYS CEMEX’S AUSTRALIAN ARM
Holcim, the world’s second biggest cement maker, yesterday bought the Australian operations of Mexico’s Cemex. The deal confirmed speculation that Holcim, one of the sector’s best capitalised groups, would exploit problems among highly indebted rivals for selective acquisitions.
TESCO TO BUILD CHINESE SHOPPING CENTRE
Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, is building its first shopping centre as part of its expansion into China. The company, which has 64 stores in China, is building a development in Fushun, an industrial city of one million in the northeast of the country, which is expected to be a trailblazer for future developments.
EYES DOWN AS GALA CORAL MULLS BINGO HALL CLOSURES
Britain’s biggest bingo club operator has decided that the numbers no longer add up for several of its least profitable clubs, after a tax increase that could spell closure for at least another 100 bingo halls across the industry. It is understood that Gala Coral Group, is preparing to consult staff on the closure of at least six of its 156 clubs, threatening 180 jobs.
The Daily Telegraph
STRUGGLING CHARITIES HIT BY RECESSION TWICE OVER
A survey of 280 charities shows more than 40 per cent are having difficulty delivering service. Charities are facing a double squeeze from lower interest rates and higher bank charges as they struggle to maintain income and services during the recession, says CAF Bank, the not-for-profit bank run for charities.
UNIVERSAL MUSIC AND VIRGIN MEDIA JOIN TO FIGHT ILLEGAL FILE-SHARING
Groups hope to take wind out of pirates’ sails with unlimited download scheme. Universal Music, the world’s largest record label, and cable group Virgin Media have joined forces to combat piracy by offering unlimited music downloads for a monthly fee. The announcement, comes the day before the Government’s Digital Britain report.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
GPS-DEVICE MAKER TOMTOM TO SELL NEW SHARES
TomTom NV, a Dutch navigation-products maker, plans to raise about €430m (£363m) by selling new shares to alleviate a heavy debt burden. TomTom said that it plans to sell a roughly €100m stake to Cyrte Investments BV, a Dutch technology investor, and Janivo Holding BV, an early investor in a predecessor of the company. It will also tap existing shareholders in a so-called rights issue.
EXTENDED STAY HOTELS SEEKS CHAPTER 11
Extended Stay Hotels, saddled with a huge debt burden from its $8 bn (£4.9bn) top-of-the-market buyout, filed for Chapter 11 protection yesterday, in one of the largest bankruptcy filings by a commercial real-estate company.