News in brief

Imperial is still on

The practice of using Imperial and American measurements for goods alongside metric denominations will be extended for another 10 years, if a proposal from the European Commission is accepted by EU ministers.

Rise in exemptions

Thresholds for financial reporting requirements on small and medium firms those with less than 50 and 250 employees respectively are likely to rise shortly by 25% under European Commission plans. Firms with balance sheets under e3.125M (£2.165m) and e12.5m (will be exempt. Turnover limits will be e5m and e25m respectively.

Engine life support

Rolls-Royce this week signed a £150m contract for through-life support of the Adour engines which will power the Australian air force’s Hawk.

Go ahead for TRW

TRW said this week that its $7bn acquisition of LucasVarity had cleared both US and European Commission regulatory waiting periods. The offer for at least 90% of LucasVarity will now proceed, with a 9 March expiry date.

Radars for all 620

Marconi Electronic Systems this week won a BAe contract for a first tranche of 147 ECR90 radars, worth over £250m, which will equip UK, German, Italian and Spanish Eurofighters. The ECR90 programme for all 620 planes for these nations is worth over £1bn.

Bright initiatives

The DTIhas called for industry backing for three new initiatives in photovoltaics: a 100-home field trial; component development projects; and a showcase demonstration.

Cuts for Cookson

Industrial materials group Cookson is cutting 700 jobs world-wide. Most will go from North America but about 240 jobs are expected to be lost in the UK.