Business briefs: Profitable Tesco in 20,000 worldwide job boost

Tesco has announced the creation of 20,000 jobs worldwide, about 8,000 of
which will be in the UK. The news came as the supermarket chain announced a
10.8 per cent jump in annual pre-tax profits. The firm also plans to separate
its e-commerce business from the main group. Chief executive Terry Leahy said would be a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary to give it increased
management focus. Expansion plans for this year include the creation of an
extra a 3.5 million sq ft of selling space worldwide.

Arcadia cast-offs to create 3,500 casualties

UK retail group Arcadia is to close two chains with the loss of 3,500 jobs.
The group will close Principles for Men and Richards stores. It aims to achieve
savings of £160m by refocusing its business on womenswear. The restructuring is
expected to cost around £90m. Arcadia’s other brands include Dorothy Perkins,
Principles, Topshop, Burton Menswear and Miss Selfridge. BBC Online

Rolls-Royce ballot as 2,000 jobs earmarked

Staff at UK Aerospace giant Rolls-Royce are to ballot for strike action in
an attempt to save jobs. Rolls-Royce says there is no specific target for cuts,
but unions say 2,000 jobs are at risk. A spokesman said it is hoped all job
losses will be voluntary. Rolls-Royce has a number of plants across the UK
including sites at Derby, Nottingham, Coventry and Bristol. BBC Online

Unilever to acquire Ben & Jerry’s in £203m deal

Unilever is to buy ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s as part of a £203m
deal. Famed for combining a strong business ethic with a social conscience, Ben
& Jerry’s was founded by old school friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield
in the late 1970s. Unilver already owns the Walls brand. A spokesman said Ben
& Jerry’s is an incredibly strong brand name with a unique consumer
message. We are determined to nurture its commitment to community values."
BBC Online

BT to spin off Yellow Pages in major restructure

BT has announced its biggest shake-up in 20 years. The UK telecoms operator
plans to split into four divisions and float its Yellow Pages business before
the end of the year. Over the past few months BT has experienced a sharp drop
in share price.

Border TV goes to Capital Radio for £146m

Capital Radio has bought Border TV for £146m. The possibility of job losses
at the company are being played down by Border TV’s chief executive Paul
Corley. He said, "I would be very hopeful that all the prospects for staff
would be positive." Capital Radio is the UK’s largest commercial radio
group. Border TV is the independent television company covering Cumbria, the
South of Scotland and the Isle of Man, and has been broadcasting since 1961.

Ladbroke-Playboy venture to open London casino

The Hilton Hotel’s Ladbroke Casinos unit is planning to open a Playboy
casino club in London. The venture would see the return of Playboy bunnies to
the capital. Licences for three London clubs were revoked in 1981.The new club
is expected to open in 2001. It will be a joint venture with Ladbroke Casinos
holding 80.1 per cent and Playboy holding 19.9 per cent.

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