Business round-up: Four key stories of the day

Tesco's profits tumbled but the grocer said its sales trends were improving
Tesco's profits tumbled but the grocer said its sales trends were improving
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Here are four of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Tesco said its first-half operating profits more than halved to £354 million, but insisted its recovery was on track amid an improving sales performance. Like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland were down 1.3 per cent, compared with a 2 per cent decline in the final quarter of last year.

Beer giant SABMiller rebuffed a sweetened £68 billion takeover proposal from rival and Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, claiming it “very substantially undervalues” the business. The Peroni and Grolsch firm said its board was unanimous in rejecting AB InBev’s latest approach of £42.15 a share – having already turned down two offers of £38 and £40 a share.

Edinburgh-based oil and gas firm Bowleven named former Asco boss Billy Allan as its new chairman. The Africa-focused explorer said Allan, who also sits on the board of Partick Thistle Football Club, has joined as a non-executive director and is poised to replace Ronnie Hanna as chairman at the end of its annual meeting on 16 December.

Energy services firm Wood Group won a “multi-million” dollar contract in Kazakhstan with US civil engineering outfit Bechtel. The Aberdeen-based firm said the deal covered engineering, control hardware and remote instrument enclosures for the Tengizchevroil crude storage capacity project at the Tengiz field.