Business news in brief: Haynes | Eland | Leiths | Mitchells & Butlers

CAR manual specialist Haynes has blamed a 10 per cent decline in UK and European revenues on the runaway success of racy fiction from rival publishers.

Sales of its maintenance guides fell 12 per cent in the 13 weeks to the end of August, while its other titles suffered a 21 per cent drop compared with the same period last year.

The firm, which is increasing its range of manuals available online, said: “There is little doubt that during the period retail purchasing budgets were tight and that much of those available budgets went towards the phenomenally successful Fifty Shades series.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Eland cuts its interim losses

Eland Oil & Gas, the Aberdeen-based company which floated on Aim earlier this month, yesterday reported a narrowing of interim losses.

Pre-tax losses of $5.4 million (£3.3m) were seen for the six months to the end of June, down from $9.7m a year ago.

Leiths digging in to steady performance

Quarrying and civil engineering group Leiths (Scotland) saw turnover and profits rise in 2011 as it recovered from the impact of bad weather the previous year.

The acquisition of Inverness-based sand and gravel supplier Alexander Ross also contributed to the Aberdeen group increasing turnover by 19 per cent to £63.4 million during 2011. Pre-tax profits rose to £3.08m from £505,854.

M&B weathers the stormy summer

Mitchells & Butlers, which trades as All Bar One, Harvester and Toby Carvery, said summer trading held up despite adverse weather, with like-for-like sales up 3 per cent in the nine weeks to 15 September.

In a trading update ahead of its financial year end, the group said it had seen no impact on overall sales from the Olympics and Paralympics, although some businesses located near games venues did benefit.