William Hill says profit fell 11pc
BOOKMAKER William Hill said full-year profit fell 11pc after a writedown on its loss-making telephone betting business, which saw a decline in amounts wagered and win margins. Net profit for the year ended December 27 declined to £115m (€135m) from £130m a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sales rose 6pc to £1.14bn. Most of the growth was in the online sector, with turnover there increasing 28pc. In contrast, revenue from its retail business rose only 1pc. Hills pulled out of the Irish retail sector last year but retains an online operation here.
US housing shows
signs of recovery
NEW US home sales fell in January but upward revisions to the previous month's data and a drop in the supply of properties on the market added to signs of a budding housing recovery. In a further boost to the economy, a separate report yesterday showed US consumer confidence hit its highest point in a year this month despite a strong rise in petrol prices. The US Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes slipped 0.9pc last month to a seasonally adjusted 321,000-unit annual rate. However, data for October, November and December were revised to show a much higher sales pace than previously reported, giving the report a stronger tone and putting January's figure above economists' expectations.
ISE admits Global Depositary Note
THE Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) has admitted the first-ever Global Depositary Note (GDN) to a European exchange market. The GDN is in the form of a $70m GDN issued by Citibank and relates to an offering by Petroleos Mexicanos Certificados Bursatiles (Pemex) of seven billion 7.65pc Mexican Peso debt due in 2021. Pemex is the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, and one of the largest companies in Latin America. The GDN security has been admitted to the ISE's Global Exchange Market (GEM). ISE director of International Primary Markets Gerard Scully said: "The listing requirements for GDNs enhance transparency for investors in these securities. As a result, Citibank can offer this GDN security to a potentially wider pool of investors. We are confident following the admission of the Pemex GDN that the ISE can attract additional GDNs to public markets."