PRESS DIGEST – British business – Feb 2

The Independent

VIRGIN MEDIA ON DEMAND VIEW FIGURES RISE BY 50 PER CENT

Hits at Virgin Media’s Video on Demand service grew by 50
per cent last year – fuelled in part by demand for shows such as
the X-Factor and Eastenders. On demand is one of the few areas
where Virgin Media [VMEDL.UL] trumps rival Sky (BSY.L: ) and up to
60 per cent of the group’s TV customers are now using the
service as more programming becomes available and awareness of
the service grows. Cindy Rose, one of the company’s executive
directors, is quoted as saying that the company had “helped
redefine the viewing habits of millions of people by freeing
them from the TV schedule”.

LOW SPIRIT SALES OVER CHRISTMAS HIT BLAVOD

Blavod Wines & Spirits issued a profit warning after
suffering from heavily discounted lines offered by rivals during
the Christmas period. The company, whose brands include Blavod
Black Vodka, Borghetti Sambuca, and Cockspur Rum, said that it
expected to break-even with sales over the three months to
December 31, being “well below expectations.” Blavod also
indicated that it had suffered from the impact of exchange
losses and one-off costs.

INVESTMENT COLUMN

Cranswick (CWK.L: ) (buy)

Renold (buy)

Galliford Try (hold)

The Guardian

WIND POWER GRANT COULD CREATE 300 NORTH-EAST JOBS

One of the recession’s hardest hit regions looks set to
benefit from a share of a three million pound government grant
which it is hoped will kick start the UK’s renewable energy
industry. Xanthus Energy has already received a proportion of
the funds available for those who wish to develop wind turbine
technology in the UK. The company plans to build a factory in
the north east, potentially creating 300 jobs, which will design
and build turbine foundations on land, far cheaper than the
current imported designs which are assembled on the seabed.

Investment Tools

Prepared for Reuters by Durrants
($1=.6278 Pound)

PRESS DIGEST – British business – Feb 2