PROFITS FALL: Aerospace company BAE Systems has blamed contract delays and weak global demand after seeing its full-year profits drop.

The firm saw profits fall to £1.37bn from £1.47bn, with sales dropping to £17.8bn from £19.1bn, for the year ending December 31 2012.

Last year, the company won a £2.5bn contract with the Sultanate of Oman to build 12 Typhoon fighter jets and eight Hawk Advanced Jet trainer aircraft, but a deal to supply Saudi Arabia 72 Typhoons has stalled.

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MERCEDES FINED: German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz and commercial dealers Ciceley, Road Range and Enza have been fined a total of £2.6m after admitting breaches of competition law.

The Office of Fair Trading said infringements, including market sharing and price co-ordination, had taken place between 2008 and 2010.

OFFICE DEAL: Stationery retailer Office Depot has agreed to buy US rival OfficeMax for about £785m.

Office Depot, which is the parent company of Viking Direct, said the deal would allow it to create a “stronger, more efficient global provider better able to compete in the office solutions industry.”