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How Totnes won fight to keep Costa out of town

Category : Business

It’s been a six-month David and Goliath fight – and now there’s quiet celebration on the proudly independent Devon high street as coffee giant decides to bow out

Friday was market day in Totnes and in spite of the rain the streets were teeming. The fishmongers, the soap makers and the bakers were doing a brisk trade and the high street’s three butcher’s shops were packed.

The small Devon town of 8,500 people has never really been in the headlines in its near 1,000-year history. The Norman castle has never been the scene of great battles or sieges and the town huddled on its southern slopes has quietly prospered, avoiding the envious eyes of brigands and raiders.

But this weekend the citizens of Totnes are celebrating victory in a rare battle which has grabbed the attention of the country. The town defeated the attempts of the high-street chain Costa Coffee to open a branch and dilute the charms of their independent and colourful high street.

Pruw Boswell, the mayor, was jubilant but slightly tired after her breakfast show interviews. “You don’t mess with Totnes,” she said, as her husband placed her mayoral regalia over her head in preparation for an official engagement. “It might seem like a quiet place where you can roll in and do what you want, but we have shown Costa that we are the mouse that roared.”

Cafe owners were happy that a threat to business has been removed, while citizens enjoyed a local victory. Tony Kershaw, the owner of La Fourchette, a high-street cafe and restaurant, said everybody was pleased at the news.

“There was a definite split in the town, but even people who wanted Costa to come would say that deep down they were pleased with their decision. Although Costa are probably better than most, they still produce a generic coffee. They are the McDonald’s of the coffee world, the lowest common denominator,” he said as he laid out cakes on his counter on Friday.

Costa Coffee, Britain’s largest cafe chain, with twice as many outlets as Starbucks, announced its plans to open in Totnes in May and has faced widespread opposition since. Totnes High Street has a Superdrug and WH Smith, but the vast majority of its shops are independent retailers, a sight rarely seen in Britain today. It also has 42 places which sell coffee, ranging from a hotel to vegan and Middle Eastern cafes.

“We have a tradition of independence and a history of being different. We had to protect the special ambience that visitors enjoy and stop Totnes from becoming just another ‘clone town,’ with identical shops and cafes” said the mayor.

Costa outbid local businesses for a prime lease and boasted of its successes in overcoming local opposition. But Totnes was not deterred. Citizens set up a campaign with a website,, with stylish Trainspotting-style posters. Almost 6,000 people signed a petition and around 300 wrote to the council to object. But South Hams councillors agreed to Costa’s application.

There was nothing to stop Costa opening, but its directors agreed to a suggestion by the local Conservative MP, Sarah Wollaston, to visit Totnes and meet local representatives.

Three weeks ago Chris Rogers, the new managing director of Costa, and two fellow directors arrived at the Totnes Conservative Club, an imposing two-storey building in two tones of blue.

One of the directors began what witnesses described as a “well-oiled” presentation. He told the residents he was not there to placate or persuade them – before trying to do exactly that. He told the meeting of the benefits a Costa cafe could bring. Costa would not threaten existing coffee shops and would add to the vibrancy of the town. The residents had no need to worry about other companies following in the wake of Costa because they would not like the kind of properties available. The new Costa cafe, he said, would provide a place where people could come together. At this point his audience burst into laughter at the director’s clearest demonstration of lack of local knowledge.

The representatives explained to the Costa directors how it could damage the local economy and compromise Totnes’s tourist charms.

Last week, Costa arranged to meet Wollaston at the House of Commons. “When they asked for the meeting I feared the worst, but I was overjoyed with their decision. This was not a campaign against Costa per se, and I think other companies could take a leaf out of their book,” she said.

Rogers said Costa had recognised the strength of feeling and taken into account the specific circumstances. “Totnes is a town with a long and proud history of independent retailers. It has one of the lowest percentages of branded stores of any town of its size in the UK, very few empty shop fronts, as well as a very high proportion of places selling coffee,” he wrote in a letter also signed by the mayor and the MP.

Frances Northrop, head of the local community development organisation, who attended the meeting, said she was surprised Costa had withdrawn. “I thought it was inevitable. When a company has an expansion policy, it’s quite unusual for the community to intervene. The interests of communities and big business are at cross purposes,” she said.

She explained that the opposition was not based on snobbery or aesthetics, but on an understanding of the local economy. “We have brought together a lot of local producers and retailers and we know a lot about the local food economy and how strong it is and also how fragile it is,” she said.

“When Costa put in their planning application, it was obvious the threat to local business was massive, not just the coffee shops but their suppliers as well. It is the nature of Costa that they offer standardised products produced at centralised factories. This is how they drive down their prices to maximise their profits.

“We want to keep money circulating locally. We support family businesses that use a local IT company, buy their food locally. Obviously they don’t get their coffee locally. They are also a family to their staff. They spend their money locally where they live and they send their children to school. It seems like a good system; that’s the beauty of our high street. It’s got more independents than chain stores and that’s part of its charm to visitors,” said Northrop.

Whitbread helped by Costa growth

Category : Business, World News

Whitbread says it has made a strong start to its financial year thanks to growth of its Costa coffee chain and Premier Inn hotels.

Read more from the original source: Whitbread helped by Costa growth

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Totnes: the town that declared war on global capitalism

Category : Business

The locals of the Devon resort have gone to war – with Costa Coffee. But why are they desperate to stop a branch of the giant chain opening up in town? And can they win?

It’s a balmy Tuesday evening in Totnes, the small Devon town that sits just below the south-western tip of the M5. Outside the Methodist church hall, a hand-drawn notice simply says “Adios Costa”. Inside, around 45 people are having an animated discussion about the imminent arrival of the ever-expanding coffee chain. There is a lot of talk about a failure of democracy, and the emptiness of what politicians call “Localism” – but, more interestingly, an emphasis on what might happen when the town’s newest arrival actually opens its doors.

“The idea is to be prepared,” says one of the people behind tonight’s gathering, with some excitement. “So that when they get here, things are organised.”

One man suggests regularly visiting Costa, ordering tap water, and then drinking it very slowly. A woman offers to paste up anti-Costa posters on the chain’s windows, doggedly replacing them whenever they’re removed. A couple of people who live across the street from Costa’s proposed new outlet say they’ll hang protest banners and there is a warmly received proposal of an official day of mourning, “because we’ve lost our democracy”. And on it goes: how about a debate in parliament? Or a vote of no confidence in the local council? Or a simple boycott?

Welcome, then, to another chapter in the ongoing battle between places that pride themselves on their local character, and the great stomping boot of multinational capitalism. That it is happening in Totnes (population: 7,500) is hardly surprising: long renowned as a byword for sustainable living and imaginative local politics, it also the home of the Transition Towns movement, focused not just on the way that people and places use fossil fuels, but how to make local economies more resilient by encouraging independent business, and fighting the kind of big interests that tend to take out more than they put in. Their most famous innovation is the Totnes Pound, a home-grown currency that is accepted by more than 70 local businesses.

Totnes’s local economy looks to be in reasonable health, which is surely down to the fact that it is about as far from being what we now call a “clone town” as could be imagined. The local record shop, Drift, is mind-bogglingly great: the kind of place that you’d think was amazing if you found it in New York. The quality and diversity of restaurants is amazing. Most pertinently, the town has 42 independently run outlets that serve coffee, and – so far – not a single branch of any of the big caffeine-selling multiples.

Now, though, Costa – whose most visible slogan remains “Saving the world from mediocre coffee” – is on its way, as part of programme of expansion that will look either worryingly aggressive or admirably ambitious, depending on your point of view. Certainly, it seems to be bucking the prevailing trend of our flatlining economy, opening scores of new outlets while independent coffee shops are truly feeling the pinch.

A fully owned subsidiary of the food and hospitality conglomerate Whitbread, it currently operates 1,400 British outlets, and recently announced plans for 350 more. Thanks also to a snowballing presence in petrol stations, pubs and motorway services, its logo is becoming inescapable, which is exactly the point: the chief executive, Andy Harrison, has talked about increasing the number of branches to 2,000, and thus making them ubiquitous. “People really don’t want to walk very far for a coffee,” he has said. “We can have them a couple of hundred yards apart on a really busy high street, then another at a retail park and another at the station.”

The fact that Starbucks remains synonymous with the more rapacious aspects of modern business seems to have blinded people to what Costa is doing. But as proved by similar battles in the West Country seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea, Bishops Waltham in Hampshire and the Suffolk resort of Southwold, it is Costa that may soon turn into the biggest signifier – in the UK, at least – for the tensions between local communities and big chains.

In Southwold, in fact, Tuesday night saw a successful appeal by Costa against a previous planning decision that had stopped them opening there, greeted with such fury that 100 people were ordered to leave that night’s planning hearing. Such, say anti-Costa campaigners, are the same basic outlines as you see in battles against the big supermarkets: passionate locals who fear the places where they live being laid waste, a massive corporation that wants to expand – and local politicians who tend to run scared, because of the prohibitive costs of locking horns with such huge companies.

The Totnes story goes something like this. In February 2010, a local wholefood business called Greenlife moved out of the High Street, to new premises on the town’s market square. There were initial rumblings about the site being taken by Oxfam, before a new landlord called London and Western Holdings bought the shop, and it was eventually announced that Costa would be moving in, and opening a 70-seat cafe, in a part of town that regularly swarms with visitors.

This, presumably is why they want a piece of the action. “The bottom of the hill is where most of the tourists arrive,” says Frances Northrop, the manager of Transition Town Totnes (or TTT), and one of the prime movers in the anti-Costa campaign. “They come in on the river, or by train, or into the car park there. So they’ll come straight in, and they’ll see a Costa Coffee. And if people are in a new place, a lot of people think: ‘I’m not going to try the unknown – I’m going to go somewhere that I recognise.’”

In response to unconfirmed rumours that Costa would be moving in, Northrop and scores of people with similar convictions got to work, bigging up Totnes’s cafe society. In May, there was a coffee festival, which offered prizes for baristas, the places where they work, and the slippery discipline of “coffee art” (putting images in the froth). Those opposed to the arrival of a chain pasted up posters modelled on the publicity material for the movie of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, recast as “Clonespotting”. Meanwhile, a petition against the arrival of any big coffee business was in circulation, and quickly amassed 5,749 signatures – 75% of which, say the anti-Costa camp, came from people from Totnes, or its surrounding areas.

In time, the town council voted in support of the campaign, along with all of Totnes’s district councillors. The local MP is Sarah Wollaston, the non-conformist Tory most renowned for her opposition to Andrew Lansley’s changes to the NHS – and she is in full accord. “The strength of feeling on this issue has been evident and it is not too late for Costa to look at local opinion and decide to take their business elsewhere,” she recently said. Plenty of locals say the Costa controversy is proof of one of the serial disappointments associated with the coalition government: there has been no end of Westminster noise about “localism” – but on the ground, the blanding-out of our towns, villages and cities seems to be accelerating, against local opposition.

What was soon named the No To Costa campaign zeroed in on the legal obligation to consider planning applications on the basis of what they will do to a town’s “vibrancy and vitality”, and claimed that if Costa got what they wanted, Totnes would suffer. But on 1 August, the planning committee of South Hams district council approved Costa’s plans by 17 votes to six. As Costa’s local opponents endlessly point out, only four of the councillors who voted actually represent the town.

“It wasn’t just about the fact that we didn’t want a large chain, or not damaging our pretty market town – it’s actually that they’re like Tesco,” says Northrop. “They’re an aggressive, extractive industry. We’ve got 42 coffee outlets, all independently owned, a lot of which are struggling, like anywhere else – and if you bring in a retail unit with the buying power and familiarity of Costa, which is the size of three coffee shops, you’re damaging not only those independent businesses, who might go out of business, but their supply chains: growers, producers, drinks suppliers.”

When I contact it for its take on the Totnes story, a Costa spokeswoman tells me: “Totnes is a thriving tourist town and we appreciate that it has a strong reputation for supporting independent retailers.” She says the company “would like to reassure the people of Totnes that Costa won’t be a threat to the dozens of coffee shops that are already there, but will aim to complement the local offering and support the local community.”

She concedes that “it’s disappointing that there is so much objection”, but says that “we simply want to add to the vibrancy of the town and support the local community.” Costa, she claims, will boost the town’s character “by adding vibrancy, complementing what Totnes currently offers.”

When I ask her for a response on the question of local supply chains, her reply runs thus: “Costa coffee prides itself in using numerous suppliers, large and small, across the UK to produce the products it sells within its stores. For example, we work with a family run bakery to produce our cakes, with dedicated dairy farmers for our milk and use British meat in our savoury lines. At a time when many businesses are closing, we are one of the success stories of British business, creating jobs right across the UK.”

I spend nine hours in Totnes, sped on my way by the borderline anxious buzz that comes from endless cups of coffee, served by people who are, not entirely surprisingly, worried by the prospect of Costa’s arrival. Their stories tend to have a great deal in common: a good deal of the town’s cafe-owners are people new to the trade, who have said goodbye to regular jobs, or time spent abroad, and staked their livelihoods on Totnes’s unique culture.

At the freshly opened Curator cafe, I meet 38-year-old Matteo Lamaro, a native of Ancona in eastern Italy, who moved here after a long spell as youth worker in central London. Lamaro’s cafe looks posh, but is way cheaper than the multiples: a regular cappuccino is £2, and a slice of his delicious marble cake comes in at £1.50: at Costa, the equivalent prices are £2.45 each.

“Costa will affect the ambience Totnes has,” he says. “This is an independent kind of place, offering something different from … normality.”

And will its arrival affect his trade? “It depends on the tourists. Costa is a known place, isn’t it, isn’t it? So if they want a coffee somewhere they know, rather than a place that actually offers good coffee … that’s the main risk.”

At the top of the town, the bustling Green cafe takes its name from 46-year-old Ivan Green, who moved here with his family after living in southern Brittany. They live above the business, and he rises at 5am each day to bake 90% of the bread, cakes and pies that are on sale. He is already preparing for the malign effects of Costa’s opening, having done up the flat that sits behind the cafe, and rented it out. “The problem I have with the multinationals,” he says, “is that it’s just not fair competition.” The more he talks, the more outraged he sounds: like a lot of locals, he says that one of his big fears is Costa serving notice that Totnes is ready to be colonised, and sparking the arrival of Caffe Nero, Subway and all the rest.

Over the road, Martin Turner, 42, runs the Tangerine Tree café. He’s been in Totnes for four and a half years, having run the catering department at the HQ of the Met Office, in Exeter. “It’ll have an effect on footfall coming up through the town,” he says. “We’ve got a lot of loyal customers, but it could stop people coming up here: 70 is a lot of seats. The other thing is, it could put rents up. So we’ll definitely notice it.”

I hear the same sentiments at the Fat Lemons cafe – which is Totnes incarnate, purveying vegetarian and gluten-free food, with artwork from the Who’s Quadrophenia hanging on the wall in the gents – and Olsen, a Scandinavian-themed place run by a half-Danish local called Karl Rasmussen, who offers such treats as home-cured gravlax (“with pickled beetroot, salad, Swedish crispbread and dill and mustard dressing”), and octopus, potato and watercress salad.

Two of his regulars are sitting just in front of the counter. “We’ve got 42 coffee places,” says Ann Rutherford, 71. “Why do we need a 43rd?”

“A coffee shop is where people meet,” says 64-year-old Diana Cusack. “We don’t need Costa to give us a place to meet. We’ve got a surfeit of places in Totnes where people meet to talk. We’re a talking town.”

They both say they’ll go nowhere near Costa, but say they worry about its appeal to the town’s youth, who might be drawn in by the prospect of “two milkshakes and free Wi-Fi”.

By way of walking off the effects of so much coffee, I decide to do a few unscientific vox pops – which is when I meet some of the people I’ve just been talking about. They’re killing time in the market square and their lives, they tell me, are split between education, gap years and low-end jobs. On the face of it, they are the kind of people that Costa and their ilk specialise in attracting.

Round here, though, it doesn’t seem to be working. “I think it’s pretty bad,” says Jesse Tighe, 18. “We don’t really need these chains.”

“If you want to come to Totnes,” reckons 18-year-old Finnegan Travers, “you come to the independent places, don’t you?”

What words, I wonder, do they associate with Costa Coffee?

“Shit,” says one voice. “Corporate,” offers another. “McDonald’s,” reckons a third.

“We’re speaking for every young person here, I promise you. And older people,” says Tighe. He glances up the street, towards a pub-cum-music-venue-cum-cafe called the Barrel House, and down towards the premises where Costa will soon pitch up. “No one in Totnes wants this, do they?”

Governor asks for more time on CA pension reform – San Jose Mercury News

Category : Stocks
Governor asks for more time on CA pension reform
San Jose Mercury News
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The governor asked Tuesday for more time to negotiate public pension reform with state lawmakers, saying such a complex issue can't be resolved before lawmakers begin a monthlong recess at the end of the week. Gov.
Brown's Pension Talks With California Democrats FalterBusinessweek
Gov. Jerry Brown, lawmakers say pension deal will have to waitLos Angeles Times
Gov Brown asks for more time on CA pension
Contra Costa Times
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Coffee shop revolution continues to stimulate the high street

Category : Business

The UK already has 15,000 coffee outlets and is about to get thousands more thanks to our increasingly sophisticated taste

If the Queen ever feels like popping out for a flat white or caramel frappucino she has plenty of options close to home. There are 21 coffee shops along the short stretch of Buckingham Palace Road between the palace and Victoria coach station.

The phenomenon is not unique to the Queen’s neighbourhood – coffee shops are taking over high streets up and down country. Holloway Road, north London, boasts the most at 24, followed by 23 along Gloucester Road, Bristol, according to the Local Data Company.

There are more than 5,000 branded coffee shops in town centres, retail parks, railway stations, airports and even drive-thrus along motorways across the UK, and last year they served up £2bn of coffee – double the sales recorded in 2005. Add in the independently owned coffee shops – another 5,500 – and the near 5,000 that have rapidly sprung up in outlets from corner shops to Wetherspoons pubs, and there are already well over 15,000 places to find a caffeine fix.

And experts say the march of the coffee cups is far from over. Jeffrey Young, managing director of coffee analysis firm Allegra Strategies, predicts there will be more than 7,000 branded coffee shops within the next few years and nearly 18,000 outlets including independent and non-specialist shops. The 12 pubs a week currently closing are being more than offset by coffee shop openings.

The coffee revolution began when Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa opened their first shop on Vauxhall Bridge Road (a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace) in 1978. Costa is now by far the biggest player in the market with almost 1,400 UK stores serving 450,000 coffees a day.

Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, the FTSE 100 company that bought Costa from the brothers for £20m in 1995, this week announced plans to increase the company’s estate by another 350 stores – creating 3,500 jobs – by March 2013.

Even then Harrison won’t be satisfied. He reckons there is the “potential to get to 2,000″ in the next few years. To achieve this, Harrison says, many of the shops will be within spitting distance of each other. “People really don’t want to walk very far for a coffee,” he says. “We can have them a couple of hundred yards apart on a really busy high street, then another at a retail park and another at the station.”

Despite the UK falling into a double-dip recession, consumers are increasingly prepared to pay £2.50 or more for a cup of coffee. In the 13 weeks to the end of May, Costa’s like-for-like sales jumped 8.4%. Last year Costa’s profits rose 38% to £70m.

Harrison says this has been achieved by giving coffee a classless consumer appeal. “The customer profile has massively expanded. There was a time when this was a habit of the middle classes, but now it is a mainstream activity. It has become part of people’s daily lives,” says Harrison, whose own preference is for cappuccinos “with lots of chocolate sprinkles”.

Research by Allegra Strategies found that just 16% of the population shun the coffee shop lifestyle. “It’s amazing how things have changed over such a short period,” Young says. “When we published our first report in 1999 people were saying the market was already saturated with 700 branded coffee shops – now there are 5,000 and we are forecasting there will be 7,000 in the next few years.”

As with wine, upmarket coffee consumers are increasingly snobby about the origins and preparation of their brew. “People know their beans more and more. There is a huge and growing knowledge and interest in the provenance of the bean, where and how it has been roasted, whether it has been washed or not, which sort of machine it has been ground on.”

Despite the expansion of coffee chains, the independents are growing strongly too, largely due to this snobbery. On Saturdays, queues regularly extend out the door, down the road and round the corner at Monmouth Coffee in Borough Market, near London Bridge. Monmouth, which began roasting coffee at its tiny shop in London’s Covent Garden in 1978, allows customers to taste a handful of single estate coffees before buying. “We travel extensively throughout the year, visiting the producers and cooperatives with whom we currently work and looking for interesting varietals of coffee and new farms from which to buy,” says the leaflet handed out with every purchase.

One of the strugglers in the British coffee market has been US group Starbucks, which has consistently failed to turn a profit in the UK. Run in the UK by Kris Engskov, a former aide to President Clinton, the chain is undergoing a radical image overhaul to make it appear more British. It has stripped back its garish logo, doubled the strength of espresso-based drinks and begun to ask customers their names when they order. Sales jumped by 9% the week after the change this year.

But it’s not just the coffee itself that has changed. The word barista is in growing usage for the counter staff (Britain boasts two world champions) serving a range of coffee from flat white (an antipodean version of the latte in which the steamed milk is served from the bottom of the jug) to cortado (an espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity). According to Starbucks the average barista is aged 24 and works 30 hours a week.

“It’s similar to when cooks became chefs; you don’t ever see people call anyone a cook any more,” Young says. “They [baristas] are highly trained. People used to just work in a coffee shop and do everything from wiping the floors to cashing up. Now they aspire to be a dedicated barista. Careers in coffee are now a reality.”

Retailers keep heads above water as recession-hit Britons buy cheap treats

Category : Business

Whitbread pledges expansion programme for profitable Costa and Premier Inn chains, while Starbucks records its 11th quarter of growth in the UK

Britons are still seemingly splurging on affordable luxuries such as takeaway coffees and budget hotel breaks, despite the national squeeze on living standards.

Whitbread, which owns the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee chains, is pressing ahead with an ambitious UK hotel and coffee-shop opening programme that will create 10,000 jobs, despite the country having tipped back into recession.

Chief executive Andy Harrison said the economy had been “going sideways for a while” but that Whitbread was still prospering, with profits up 13% to £305.8m in the past year. Trading was “variable” from one month to the next, he said, with the volatility expected to continue this year owing to the timing of the summer bank holidays and the Olympics. The figures, which were better than expected, sent the shares up more than 6% to £19.21, the biggest riser in the FTSE 100.

Costa had had an “outstanding” year, he reported, with like-for-like sales – which exclude gains from new stores – up 5.5%. Premier Inn finished up 3.2%.

Costa’s US rival Starbucks also reported that trading had held up in the first three months of the year. Its UK arm recorded its 11th consecutive quarter of underlying sales growth, partly as a result of promotions such as free extra shots with coffee drinks. Kris Engskov, Starbucks’ UK and Ireland managing director, said: “There’s no doubt that British customers are under real pressure right now, so offering more value has proved very popular.”

However, households are being forced to cut back as higher food and fuel bills eat into their spending power, and one survey has already signalled a weaker retail sales climate in April. Nearly 40% of store owners experienced a drop in sales, according to the CBI’s monthly survey, while 33% saw an increase.

“The situation on our high streets remains fragile,” said Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI’s distributive trades panel and Asda’s chief operating officer. “Consumers are still holding off from buying bigger-ticket items and opting to spend on smaller ‘treat’ purchases that give them a lift without breaking the budget.”

Some areas of the high street held up better than others – clothing and footwear chains saw “solid” growth.

Fashion website Asos, which targets 16- to-34-year-old women, said UK sales increased 4% in the most recent three months, a figure below some analysts’ expectations. The slowdown worried investors with shares dropping more than 12%, to close down 202p at £13.95.

Costa Concordia salvage set to begin in May – CNN

Category : Stocks

The Guardian
Costa Concordia salvage set to begin in May
By the CNN Wire Staff The salvage process to retrieve the wrecked cruise liner Costa Concordia is expected to take at least a year, according to the ship's owner. (CNN) — Removing the wrecked cruise liner Costa Concordia from the coastal waters off an
Costa Concordia to be salvaged in 1 pieceBusinessWeek
Costa Concordia salvage set to begin next monthLocal 10
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Allin Corp. (ALLN: OTC Link) | Allin Interactive Announces ITV Contracts for Carnival, Costa and MSC New Builds

Category : World News

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Carnival loss from Costa disaster

Category : Business

Carnival loses $139m in the first quarter and says profits could be wiped out this year due to the Costa Concordia sinking.

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Stricken Costa cruise ship off Seychelles changes route – BBC News

Category : Stocks

BBC News
Stricken Costa cruise ship off Seychelles changes route
BBC News
The Italian cruise ship left adrift with more than 1000 people on board after a power failure now faces a longer journey before reaching land. The Costa Allegra is being towed to the main island in the Seychelles, rather than a nearer island,
Carnival Cruise Ship Allegra Towed to SeychellesBloomberg
Cruise line: Crippled ship to reach land ThursdayCBS News
Disabled Italian cruise ship gets a tow to SeychellesCNN

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