Punch cuts debt by 1bn, shares jump

Punch Taverns, the leading pub owner in Britain, has seen signs of improvement in the pub sector. 

Shares in Punch Taverns, which operates about 8,000 pubs, soared 22 per cent as over the last 12-month period the company chopped its net debt down to £3.5 billion from £4.5 billion.   

It may be noted here that the company raised £400 million from disposals and £350 million via a share placing.

Insurer Admiral Posts 5% rise in first-half profits

UK insurer Admiral Group has reported an 18 per cent increase in the number of customers to 1.92 million for the first half of the present year.

Diamond and car insurer Admiral has said that its half-year profits soared 5 per cent to settle at £105.3million. The company hiked interim dividend from 26p to 27.7p.

Henry Engelhardt, Chief executive of the company said the overall business continued to show strong growth and described Admiral as 'recession resilient'.

Legal loophole makes 1984 Video Regulations Act unenforceable

In UK a number of prosecutions have been dropped after the Department for Culture Media and Sport came to know that the 1984 Video Regulations Act had not been properly approved.

Illegal downloaders may lose web access

The British government is getting tough on piracy as it has plans to axe the internet connections of those who illegally download music and files.

Minister for Digital Britain, Stephen Timms, said government’s current move would allow quicker as well as more flexible measures to crack down on piracy.

The government could resort to blocking access to download sites plus temporarily suspending user’s account.

Britain to emerge from recession soon

Business confidence in Britain touched its highest level in the past two years, indicating that British economy is close to the end of world's worst recession since Second World War.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has forecast that Britain's GDP will soar by 0.5 per cent during the third-quarter.

The institute surveyed over 1,000 chartered accountants across England, Wales and Scotland.

The confidence level jumped from minus 28.2 in March to 4.8 on June 30.

Persimmon posts fall in H1 profit, sees improving market

Persimmon, the British house-builder, has said it had seen signs of improvement in the housing market, with sales prices stabilizing across the country.

The York-based Persimmon has posted a pre-tax profit of £9.8 million for the period of six months ended June 30, down from £36.9 million for the same quarter in the previous year.

The aforementioned figures include a positive reassessment on the value of its land. Excluding this the company's loss stood at £18.1 million.