ASHLEY DOUBLES DOWN
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has almost doubled its stake in five-a-side football firm Goals Soccer Centre. The retailer upped its holding from 4.8% to 9.8% in the East Kilbride-based firm on Thursday. Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United Football Club, has been buying up stakes in several consumer facing firms recently, including Game Digital, Debenhams and French Connection.
PROFITS UP AT ONE SAVINGS
A focus on professional landlords in the buy-to-let market helped drive up profits at One Savings Bank in the first half. The challenger bank reported a rise in profits from £65.3 million to £78.4 million in the period as boss Andy Golding said the firm is well positioned to pick up business from institutional landlords following a stamp duty change last year. The reforms have put amateur investors off from entering the market. The group's loan book rose from £5.4 billion to £6.5 billion.