Helping hand

REDCAR and Cleveland Partnership’s Local Enterprise Growth Initiative is offering free support for people thinking of starting up their own businesses.

REDCAR and Cleveland Partnership’s Local Enterprise Growth Initiative is offering free support for people thinking of starting up their own businesses. Drop-In events, in an informal setting with an enthusiastic team of approachable specialists, have been organised for Thursday, October 4, at Loftus Town Hall, from 1pm-7pm, and on Tuesday, October 16, at Coatham Memorial Hall, Redcar, from 10am-3pm. For further information, call 01642 495755.

Quiet times

MUSIC publisher Chrysalis is expecting a weaker first half of the current financial year after a ‘‘relatively quiet’’ release schedule since August. But the London-based firm, which sold radio stations including Heart and Galaxy in July, said the second half would be buoyed by releases from artists including Gnarls Barkley, Feeder and David Gray.

Bank boost

BANK of Ireland expects to grow pre-tax profits by 12% in the six months to September 30 despite turmoil in global markets having a ‘‘modest’’ financial impact on the group. The Dublin-based bank said it had no direct exposure to the US sub-prime mortgage market, with indirect exposure of less than 10 million euros (£7m).

Feeding growth

THE Co-operative Group hailed a market-beating performance from its food retailing business after new premium ranges and a store overhaul boosted sales. The Manchester-based Co-op saw like-for-like food sales growth of 5.2% in the 28 weeks to July 28, helped by new Truly Irresistible and Healthy Living product ranges.

In fashion

MENSWEAR retailer Moss Bros said its new-look stores were producing good returns after delivering half-year results in line with expectations. The group said like-for-like sales rose 3% in the six months to July 28. Moss met City expectations with half-year losses of £800,000. The group also trades through the Savoy Taylors Guild and Cecil Gee fascias, with 154 stores in total.

£91m deal

SOCIAL housing maintenance firm Connaught has paid £91m for health and safety testing company National Britannia. Connaught, which also announced a £57.9m rights issue to help fund the deal, said Britannia would boost its presence in a market worth £4.6bn a year.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer