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Volume 6 No. 215


Lotus F1 team Owner Gerard Lopez has revealed the team has £114M ($186M) of debt, but "insists their future is not in doubt," according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. Lopez, co-owner of the Genii Capital investment company that runs Lotus, said that "most of the debt is internal." He added driver Kimi Raikkonen, who quit two races before the end of last season because of non-payment, had "got part of his salary and will get the rest." Lopez told Germany's Auto Motor Und Sport magazine, "We have around £114 million of debt, of which more than £80 million debt is with ourselves (Genii). Why would we demand the repayment of these (internal) debts? That makes no sense. We reconciled the money as marketing expenses. At the moment, it is important that the team goes forward." Lotus has "yet to announce an engine deal with their supplier Renault," but Lopez insisted that they "would continue with the French company and that negotiations had been delayed because of the complications of the working relationship between the two entities" (BBC, 1/15).

The Olympics-inspired cycling boom "continues to power cycle sales," according to Verity Ratcliffe of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Bike brands fronted by Olympians Victoria Pendleton and Chris Boardman "have performed particularly well at Halfords." Halfords CEO Matt Davies said, "We saw 137 percent growth across Pendleton [bikes]." Boardman sales "doubled in the three-month period." Halfords reported "strong Christmas trading figures as cycle sales continued to boost overall performance." Like-for-like sales rose 5.2% in the 15 weeks to Jan. 10. Like-for-like cycle sales were nearly 20% higher at the end of last year. Premium bike sales rose 31%, while children’s bike sales increased nearly 15%. Halfords expects sporting events this year "to have a similar effect on sales." Davies: "It’s going to be another strong year of cycling for us. We’ve got the Tour de France in Yorkshire and the Commonwealth Games coming up. We’re setting ourselves up to really take advantage of that" (FT, 1/16).