Daily Telegraph: A summary of this week's main business stories: Shell declared a 27pc increase in first-half profits to $10.17billion (£5.8billion) but admitted that its oil and gas production had fallen by 129,000 barrels a day over the period.: Saturday 30 July 2005
Sir Tom McKillop, chief executive of Astrazeneca, said he would step down in January and be replaced by US head David Brennan, as second-quarter pre-tax profits at the pharmaceutical giant rose 7pc to $1.75billion (£1billion) on sales up 16pc to $6.13billion.
Glaxo Smithkline, Britain's biggest drug company, reported a 7.8pc rise in first-half pre-tax profits to £1.66billion on sales up from £4.97billion to £5.35billion, despite problems at its Puerto Rico plant which led to the disruption in supply of two key drugs.
Shell declared a 27pc increase in first-half profits to $10.17billion (£5.8billion) but admitted that its oil and gas production had fallen by 129,000 barrels a day over the period.
Telecoms company BT boasted its best quarter of revenue growth for three years - up 5pc to £4.78billion - fuelled by a 48pc leap in "new wave'' revenues from broadband, mobile and big IT contracts.
Legal & General chief executive Sir David Prosser said he believed the Government would force firms to match staff pension contributions as he announced a 28pc rise in first-half sales and a sharp rise in profits.
Mortgage bank Northern Rock defied the slowing housing market to produce a 13pc rise in underlying pre-tax profit to £239.2m in the first half as it increased its share of net UK mortgage lending to 14.2pc - up from 11.2pc last year.
National Express said it had only seen a slight dip in rail passengers in the wake of the bomb attacks in London as first-half profits rose from £16.9m to £39.5m.
The Royal Mail lost more than £200m last year on post that weighed under 100g - the one area where it is regulated.
The maker of Tiny and Time computers, Granville Technology Group, collapsed leading to the closure of its The Computer Shop chain and the loss of 1,500 jobs.
Somerfield could be forced by the Competition Commission to sell 14 of the 115 medium-sized former Safeway supermarkets it bought from Wm Morrison last year.
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