News in brief

Mitsubishi shut down

Mitsubishi is to close its television manufacturing plant at Haddington, East Lothian, with the loss of 500 jobs. The company blames falling prices for the plant’s uncompetitiveness.

Utilities invest £7bn

Utilities in the UK spent £7.4bn on capital invest-ments in 1997, an increase of 6% over the previous year, according to market researcher MSI. An increase to £8bn is predicted for this year.

AEA restructures

Science and Engineering business AEA Technology has restructured its activities into 11 subsidiary companies. The move aims to give each of its former divisions a clearer identity and more autonomy.

ICI tightens focus

ICI has agreed to sell the Crosfield group to Florida-based WR Grace for $455m (£274m). The sale follows a decision by ICI to concentrate its resources on its other key businesses.

Merger kills 1,500 jobs

Cable & Wireless is shedding another 1,500 jobs in the latest round of restructuring after its merger with three other cable television and telephone groups.

Pay rises steady

Pay awards for managers, technical and administrative staff remained at an average of 3.4% over the past year, according to the latest survey by Reward.

Millennium milieu

Britain’s top companies are failing to take basic legal measures to deal with the year 2000 problem, according to a survey by City law firm Withers. Up to a quarter of those interviewed did not know if they had done a legal audit to establish contractual liabilities.

Car sales surge

New car sales in the UK were up by 18.5% last month compared to March 1997, and 13.1% ahead for the quarter compared with the same period last year.