Harvey Norman in 2.2pc profit rise
Australian retailer Harvey Norman posted a 2.2pc rise in sales in the nine months to the end of March, the company said yesterday.
Sales in Australia, Ireland, Slovenia and New Zealand were A$4.64bn (€3.2bn). Like-for-like sales were 1.4pc higher. Harvey Norman said it will stay in Ireland despite heavy currency exchange losses.
EMI seeks €411m to pay off debts
Guy Hands's Terra Firma Capital Partners may ask clients for triple the amount it initially sought to help EMI meet its debt obligations until 2015, sources said yesterday. Terra Firma plans to raise £360m (€411m) by the middle of June. The record label of Coldplay, Queen and Pink Floyd had previously considered seeking £120m.
Swine flu boosts Novartis' profits
Novartis said first-quarter profit climbed by half, boosted by sales of swine-flu shots. After-tax profit rose to $2.93bn (€217bn) from $1.96bn a year earlier, the Swiss company said yesterday. Sales increased by a quarter to $12.1bn. Swine-flu vaccines added $1.1bn in sales.
German investor confidence jumps
German investor confidence jumped in April as falling unemployment and a weaker euro improved the economic outlook. The Mannheim-based ZEW Centre for European Economic Research said its index of investor and analyst expectations rose to 53 from 44.5 in March.
Beijing gets strict with developers
China ordered developers not to take deposits for sales of uncompleted apartments without proper approval and barred them from charging "abnormally high" prices, stepping up efforts to prevent a property bubble. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development promised to punish developers that "artificially" create supply shortages.
Bond movie held up by MGM sale
The next James Bond film will be delayed indefinitely due to "uncertainty" from the still-unfinished auction of MGM. The as-yet-untitled movie, which will be the 23rd in the series, had been due for release in 2011 or 2012.