RUSSIA: X5 retail group has announced a loss of $2.28bn for the fourth quarter of 2008, as the financial crisis caused the company to write down the value of its assets. The $2.25bn charge mostly related to the merger of supermarket chains Perekriostok and Pyaterochka that formed the company in 2006. Sales rose 41% to $2.4bn and EBITDA was up 19% to $225m.

"In 2009, we will work to further enhance X5's value proposition , while building financial strength," said chief executive Lev Khasis. "Our ultimate goal is long-term outperformance, and we believe focused execution of X5's multi-format strategy offers our shareholders the best opportunities for durable, profitable growth."

JAPAN: Aeon has reported its first annual net loss in seven years, after it was hit by a sales slump. Japan's second biggest retailer, which runs Jusco and Maxvalu stores, posted a net loss of 2.76 billion yen (£18.7m) for the year ending 20 February, down from a profit of 43.93 billion yen a year earlier. The company predicted a net profit of 7.5 to 15 billion yen for the current business year.

THE NETHERLANDS: PZ Cussons has joined the shortlist of bidders for the European household and personal care business of US consumer goods group Sara Lee, which was put up for sale earlier this month, according to reports. Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive are also interested. Sara Lee owns brands including Ambi Pur, Sanex and Radox and trades with more than 150 countries. It has sales in its household and personal care business of $2.3bn, and is reported to have put a price tag on the business of between $3bn and $3.5bn.

USA: PepsiCo is suing Coca-Cola over adverts for a new version of Coca-Cola's sports drink Powerade. PepsiCo produces rival sports drink Gatorade. Coca-Cola's new ad campaign for Powerade Ion4 claims it is better than Gatorade, which does not contain calcium or magnesium. PepsiCo says there is no evidence the new Powerade is better than Gatorade, and contains magnesium and calcium only in trace amounts.