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Manfacturing lowest level for three years, says CBI
OUTPUT in manufacturing hit a three-year low this month as firms became increasingly worried by political and economic problems overseas, a survey said.
An overall balance of three per cent reported a fall in output in the three months to October, the lowest level since October 2009, the CBI said, while total orders also tumbled.
Some 17 per cent of manufacturers reported a fall in export orders, while 11 per cent of firms saw domestic orders drop, the CBI said.
The proportion of firms blaming political and economic conditions abroad for a lack of orders rose from one in four in the three months to July, to one in three in the most recent period.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said the survey reinforced suspicion that the UK still faced a major task in developing sustainable recovery after an expected return to economic growth in the third quarter.
UMBRO SOLD: Football kit-maker Umbro was today sold by its owner Nike to an American clothing giant for £140m.
Cheadle-based Umbro, which was taken private by Nike in a £285m takeover in 2007, will be sold to Iconix Brand Group, the owner of Madonna's Material Girl label and rapper Jay-Z's Rocawear.
Aside from an eight-year stretch between 1974 and 1982, Umbro has made every England football kit since the 1950s, although this contract was lost in August to Nike.
Umbro, which reported annual revenues of £139m last year, also made the kit for the Ireland national team and last season's Premier League champions Manchester City.
Founded in 1924, Umbro has more than 30 licensees in more than 100 countries.
OLYMPIC LIFT: Sports Direct, the retailer majority owned by Newcastle United boss Mike Ashley, reported encouraging results today following a lift in summer trading from the Olympics and back-to-school demand.
The group, which has almost 400 stores and owns brands including Slazenger, Donnay and Karrimor, said total revenues jumped 18 per cent to £402.7 million in the nine weeks to September 30.
This included a rise of 17 per cent to £344.7m in its core sports retail business, where underlying profits increased by a fifth to £142.8m.
The bump came in a period when Sports Direct bought 20 stores from beleaguered rival JJB's administrators, with the closure of another 133 JJB sites and the loss of around 2,200 jobs.
FREE SUPPORT: Equality North East is offering free training sessions to help businesses successfully win public sector contracts by improving equality and diversity policies.
The two breakfast sessions aim to help company bosses understand responsibilities under equality legislation, businesses can be built by improving your policies and practices, and how to win public sector contracts.
The events are Thursday, November 15, 8.30am to 10.30am at Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation, Gateshead College, Washington Road, Sunderland; and Thursday, November 22, from 8.30am to 10.30am at Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics, Gateshead College, 9th Avenue, Kingsway South, Team Valley, Gateshead.