News in brief

SUPERMARKET Morrisons has signed up Geordie duo Ant and Dec to front its 2013 advertising campaign. The Bradford-based firm has agreed a deal to sponsor hit shows featuring the television presenters, including Britain's Got Talent and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. The advertisements with push the chain's fresh food offering and come as part of a drive to revive flagging sales.

SALES TURNAROUND: Johnson Service Group said its dry-cleaning division returned to like-for-like sales growth for the first time in a "number of years" after overhauling the business. The group has axed a more than a fifth of its 460 Johnson Cleaners stores as part of a restructuring, shutting 103 loss-making outlets over the past year. John Talbot, executive chairman of Cheshire-based Johnson, added he was "pleased" with trading across the group and expects annual results for 2012 to be in line with forecasts.

CONTRACT CHEER: Aerospace multi-national Rolls-Royce, which employs 445 at its Sunderland plant, has won a £32.5m contract from the US Marine Corps and Air Force to provide repair and support services for aircraft engines. Work will be carried out at Rolls-Royce facilities in Indiana, California, as well as fleet support at customer bases.

COSTS CUT: Online travel group Travelzest, which owns sites including holiday.co.uk and flight.co.uk, said underlying pre-tax earnings rose to £4.6 million in the year to October 31 from £3.2 million a year earlier after action to slash operating costs. The group also notched up a record £224.9 million in transactions.

SILVER SERVICE: A sales director from a Newton Aycliffe based manufacturer has celebrated 25 years of service. Marc Teasdale, of Bishop Auckland, joined shower manufacturer Roman in January 1988 as one of the original sales managers, when the company was approaching its third birthday. He has since worked his way up to sales director and now focuses on his relationships with the firm’s key residential builder and merchant clients. Gerry Osborne, the company's chairman, said: "Marc is our longest serving member of the team, having joined us almost at the beginning. It has been fantastic to see him grow and flourish with the business. The feedback we receive from customers who work with Marc is always extremely positive and they have nothing but praise for him. He has become trusted and well respected both within the business and with our customers."

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