NORTHERN Rock confirmed that its asset management business, which holds most of the mortgages on the former bank’s books, had returned to profit.
Boss Gary Hoffman said pre-tax profits of £167.3m proved that the “bad bank” label given to the business was inaccurate, and that 90% of its customers are not in arrears.
The Alcan aluminium smelter in Lynemouth, Northumberland, announced it was to create 30 jobs as the company looked to return to full production for the first time in two years.
With a revival in global demand for aluminium, and prices having risen 70% from their floor in 2008, Alcan’s parent company Rio Tinto decided to return to full capacity at the country’s biggest aluminium smelter, which is also the county’s biggest private employer.
Two hundred and fifty workers lost their jobs after administrators were called in at Amble-based Northumberland Foods, formerly known as Cheviot Foods, for the second time, only a year after it was bailed out by a taxpayer-funded loan. The factory was later rescued by Tyneside-based Longbenton Foods, with the re-employment of 70 staff.
US flooring giant Armstrong World Industries announced plans to close its Teesside factory, which employs 163 people.
The company is to close its Thornaby linoleum manufacturing facility by the end of the first quarter of next year and dump its European residential flooring business due to reduced demand.