Business in brief: LV | Playstation 4 | Audi

INSURANCE firm LV blamed a price war in the car market for a 35 per cent plunge in first-half profits, but chief executive Mike Rogers described its performance as “reassuring”.

The banning of commission for advisers also contributed to a 14 per cent drop in life insurance sales to £74.3 million.

Underlying profits at the UK’s third-largest car insurer fell to £48.2m for the six months to 30 June, from £73.8m a year ago.

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Rogers said the results were “reassuring given the backdrop of weakening motor rates, intense competition and low investment returns”.

Sony gadget misses Christmas in Japan

SONY’S Playstation 4 won’t go on sale in its native Japan until February, missing the key Christmas sales rush.

The company said that it was waiting for the release until titles are available for the games console, which is due to go on sale in Europe and the United States in November.

But Stuart Miles, founder of the gadget website Pocket Lint, cast doubt on this explanation and suggested the delay was arranged to give Sony time to produce more consoles. He said: “It looks like demand is so high they can’t make enough of them to service the home market.”

Audi sales driven by demand from China

DEMAND in China led to a near-10 per cent rise in Audi sales last month, according to parent company Volkswagen.

A total of 118,650 vehicles were sold in August, up 9.8 per cent year-on-year, boosted by a 21.5 per cent jump in the United States, where the A6 and A7 models proved popular.

Audi said that it was on track for reaching its target of achieving 1.5 million deliveries by year end, thanks to double digit sales growth in North America and Asia-Pacific. During the first eight months of the year, the company has sold more than one million cars.

Industry veteran joins Dana as COO

ABERDEEN-based oil and gas producer Dana Petroleum has appointed Graham Scotton as its first chief operating officer.

Scotton, who has worked in the industry for more than 36 years, will report to the company’s group chief executive Dr Marcus Richards and has also been appointed to the board. He joins Dana, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Korea National Oil Corporation, from his previous role as country manager for Cobalt International Energy in Angola and has also worked for BP and BG Group in locations including Angola, Egypt, Norway and Venezuela.