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EchoBusiness [Northern Echo (England)]
[February 25, 2014]

EchoBusiness [Northern Echo (England)]

(Northern Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aiming to reach their dream FOUR aspiring entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges in the hope of scooping a dream prize worth [pounds]100,000. The winner of the Achieve Your Dream in 2014 competition, organised by The Hub Partnership, based at The Hub Workspace, on Aycliffe Business Park, will win office space, marketing and social media strategies, training, PR and mentoring support to develop a strategic growth plan. The bidders include: Bryce Wilcock, from Ryhope, with a clothing company called SX Clothing; Gavin Baxter, from Newcastle, with Operation Fitness; Cath George, from Northumberland, with Legit Enterprises; and Clare Owen, from Durham, with Lostbox Ltd. For more details, go to achieveyour dream2014. co. uk PROFITS RISE: Housebuilder Bovis said pre-tax profits rose 48 per cent to [pounds]78.8m last year after it achieved a 19 per cent increase in legal completions to 2,813 homes.

Its average sales price rose 14 per cent to [pounds]195,100 as a result of it selling more larger homes and a greater proportion of higher value southern sites.

SHREK PLAN: Merlin Entertainments, which owns Madame Tussauds and Sea Life, has signed an agreement with DreamWorks Animation to create Shrek's Far Far Away Adventure. The first attraction will open on London's South Bank next summer, with six sites planned in total in the next nine years.

REVENUES UP: Bunzl, which supplies packaging and other materials for the food, cleaning and healthcare sectors, said revenues increased 12 per cent to [pounds]6.1bn last year, despite challenging conditions in many of its markets. Profits were 17 per cent higher at [pounds]372.2m.

SALES ROLL: United Carpets, which trades from 59 stores, said results for the year to March 31 will be much better than expected, with like-for- like sales for the second half of the period up 5.4 per cent against a year ago, when snow impacted sales. Chief executive Paul Eyre said he was increasingly optimistic about prospects.

RAIL CONTRACT: Engineering firm Costain has been awarded a further electrification contract by Network Rail as part of a [pounds]650m alliance to improve the main EdinburghGlasgow route. Chief executive Andrew Wyllie said the repeat appointment reflects the success of longterm, strategic partnerships with its customers.

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