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The Business Matrix: Friday 10 August 2012


Profit at French Connection dips

French Connection warned of a £7m decline in profit yesterday as the beleaguered fashion chain was forced to cut prices to shift its summer ranges. The company, which warned in May that its full-year profit would miss market expectations, said that sales between February and July fell by 7 per cent.

TUI toasts soggy British weather

TUI Travel's summer holiday bookings are up as rain-soaked Britons seek out package deals. The owner of Thomson and First Choice said it had sold about 86 per cent of its summer holidays by the end of June and had fewer left to sell compared with the same point last year.

BT staff dial up £8,000 pay day

About 20,000 staff at telecoms giant BT are celebrating an average tax-free windfall of £8,000 each after their save-as-you-earn share scheme vested. The payout by the Olympic sponsor totals about £240m. The three-year share-saving scheme involved an average investment of £12,000 a person. 

Britain's overseas orders tumble

A dramatic collapse in exports left Britain with a £10.1bn goods trade gap in June, dealing a blow to the Bank of England's hopes for a rebalancing of the economy. It follows the Governor Sir Mervyn King's warning that shifting the nation towards exports "will require patience".