- METRO NET UP 14.8%: The Metro Group raised its sales-growth forecast to over 9 percent based on the retail giant's strong performance in the first nine months of the year. The firm's original forecast called for sales growth of 8 to 9 percent. In the third quarter the company, which operates the globally active Metro Cash & Carry stores, Real hypermarkets and Extra supermarkets, the Media Markt, Saturn electronics stores and Galeria Kaufhof department stores, posted earnings before interest and taxes that gained 14.8 percent to 323 million euros, or $443.9 million, on a group sales increase of 10.8 percent to 15.7 billion euros, or $21.57 billion. Dollar figures are at an average exchange rate.

-TEXTILES AND DUMPING: Textiles had the second-largest number of antidumping measures imposed in the first six months of 2007, a World Trade Organization report said. Chemicals exports were the most affected with 12 of the 57 measures, followed by textiles with 11. Dumping occurs when an exporter sells a product abroad at a lower price than the country of origin or below cost. Products exported from China accounted for 22 of the 57 measures. India reported the largest number of cases in which it imposed antidumping duties with 16. Exports from China were most targeted for the initiation of antidumping investigations, with 16 of 49 cases.

-THE BFC GETS A BOOST: The London Development Agency, which promotes economic growth in the city, has increased its funding for the British Fashion Council to 4.28 million pounds, or $8.8 million, over the next three years. The funding, which has been in place since London's spring shows held in September, is intended to support the city's emerging designers, the implementation of recommendations made as part of the city's Model Health Inquiry and London Fashion Week. Previously, the LDA's funding of 620,000 pounds, or $1.2 million, over three years was earmarked only for London Fashion Week. "The London Development Agency wants to develop London's fashion industry and to promote emerging talent, to maintain London's position as a leading global city," said the LDA in a statement. "London Fashion Week alone brings 100 million pounds ($204 million) to the capital." The LDA plans to draw up an action plan with the BFC, which will include helping to protect models' health and welfare.

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