What the papers say - June 28, 2007

By Eleanor Goodman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Smoking ban, Tony blair, Smoking

Sales of anti-smoking aids, such as nicotine patches and gum, in the UK are set to break through the £100m mark this year, says a new report. The...

Sales of anti-smoking aids, such as nicotine patches and gum, in the UK are set to break through the £100m mark this year, says a new report. The boom will hit England following the smoking ban in pubs and other public places, according to market analyst Mintel. Growth will continue over the next four years, with sales predicted to hit £140m by 2011 - Daily Mail

Drinks group Diageo, the maker of Smirnoff and Baileys, said that double-digit growth in Asia and strong trading in the US have helped drive sales this year. The company reiterated its guidance of 8pc organic growth in operating profits for the year to June 3 - The Daily Telegraph

Shares in chocolate-to-fizzy drinks group Cadbury Schweppes, dropped 5.5p to 660.5p as Merrill Lynch was said to have been placing 9.8 million shares in the company at 665p-a-share - The Daily Telegraph

Casino and bingo club operator Rank has warned that the smoking ban coming into force next month is likely to hurt profits in the second half of the year. The owner of Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos said it had seen a "solid start" to the year with 5pc growth in like-for-like sales in the 25 weeks to date. Operating profits also rose, helped by cost cutting. However, the impact of the smoking ban is "likely to hold back profit performance in the second half of the year", the company said - The Daily Telegraph

Hollywood is pinning its hopes on 3-D cinema to vanquish the video pirates who are raiding its profits and often trade their wares in pubs. Pirate copies of blockbusters, bought on DVD in the back of a pub or increasingly downloaded over the internet, hit the black market at the same time as, or even before, the film's official release, siphoning off a vast proportion of its takings. The Motion Picture Association of America said that more than 90 per cent of these pirates "can be sourced to a single illegally camcorded movie from a movie theatre", which is where the studios believe that a new digital version of 3-D film can save them - The Times

Tony Blair returned to Sedgefield to pay tribute to the supporters who had made his ascent and transformation of the Labour party possible before he and his wife Cherie headed for the Dun Cow in Sedgefield village, his favourite local pub. Last night John Burton, his agent and close friend, said Mr Blair was looking forward to a pint of Black Sheep - The Financial Times

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