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[February 01, 2014]


(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Quote of the week goes to Rodney Baker-Bates, former deputy chairman of the Co-op Bank, who told the Treasury select committee why he missed out to Paul Flowers in the battle to become chairman of the bank. He said: "I was told afterwards he did very well on the psychometric tests." A good week for Gavin Patterson, BT Group's chief executive, whose push into football and fibre broadband helped deliver a forecast-beating 2% rise in revenues across the group, with BT Sport attracting half a million extra customers.

Pretax profits grew 8% to pounds 722m in the three months to the end of 2013. However, its retail division, which provides broadband, phone services and BT Sport to UK homes, was hit by the cost of securing Premier League and Champions League rights, posting an 8% fall in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda).

A bad week for Lord Harris, executive chairman of Carpetright, which warned that profits this year will fail to meet City forecasts because of an expected loss at its ailing business in Holland.

He said: "Trading in our rest-of-Europe business continues to be dominated by the extremely difficult economic conditions in the Netherlands. As a result we now expect this business unit to be loss-making for this financial year".

UK trading is also difficult, although UK profits should be in line with expectations.

(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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