And in the real world... British Gas, Nintendo, Volkswagen and more

LONDON - Today's round-up of the biggest business stories.

World news... round-up
World news... round-up

British Gas has announced an 80 per cent year-on-year increase in profits to £299 million for the first half of 2009. However, despite the rise, the company's parent, Centrica, has shrugged off calls for consumer price cuts. Source: The Times

Nintendo has seen sales of its Wii console fall by 57 per cent in the April-to-June quarter, due to the combination of the global downturn and lack of blockbuster games being released. Sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 also dropped by 31 per cent for the same quarter. Source: The Times

Volkswagen, the third-largest automotive company in the world, has said that it is preparing itself for "zero growth" in the car market next year. Source: Financial Times

National Express, the debt-laden bus and rail operator, has been dealt a major blow after its auditors said that there is growing uncertainty about the group's ability to continue as a going concern. Source: Daily Mail

House prices have a "reasonable chance" of ending the year higher than where they started, a report by the building society Nationwide has said. The prediction comes after prices rose for the third month in a row during July. Source: Daily Mail

EBay has admitted that its plans to float its Skype internet telephone business next year could be under threat due to a legal dispute over the technology that makes the system work. Source: The Daily Telegraph