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Ladbrokes shares hit by digital slump

SHARES in Ladbrokes fell the most in three years after the bookie said a decline in online profit will be worse than expected.

Digital profit in the first half will be about half the amount achieved a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Ladbrokes had anticipated lower internet earnings on digital investments, marketing spending and international licence changes, and that has been "exacerbated" by tight margins and slow technology upgrades, chief executive Richard Glynn said.

Veolia sells water unit in UK for £1.2bn


VEOLIA Environnement sold a UK unit to a Morgan Stanley-backed venture for about £1.2bn as the French water company cuts debt.

Veolia, which also operates in Ireland, will retain 10pc of the UK regulated-water business for at least five years. Veolia boss Antoine Frerot plans to cut debt by €3bn by the end of next year to make the company more profitable.

Mr Frerot said last month he wants to focus on "promising" countries and will pursue asset sales in the US and UK.

Unemployment rate up in Germany


GERMAN unemployment climbed in June for the fourth month this year as the debt crisis in the euro region weighed on companies' willingness to create jobs.

The number of people out of work rose a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 2.88 million, the Federal Labour Agency said yesterday.

The adjusted jobless rate held at 6.8pc after last month's rate was revised up from 6.7pc.

India faces risk to financial stability


INDIA is exposed to high inflation risks from supply bottlenecks and lingering threats to economic expansion, the Reserve Bank of India said.

"Threats to stability are posed by the global sovereign debt problem and risk aversion, domestic fiscal position, widening current-account deficit and structural aspects of food inflation," the central bank said in its Financial Stability Report released in Bombay yesterday.

While India's financial system "remains robust," challenges to stability have increased since the last assessment in December 2011.

Irish Independent