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The Business Matrix: Friday 12 July 2013

SuperDry enjoys a super set of results

The founder of the high street retailer SuperGroup claimed yesterday that his company had “proved the doubters wrong” following a rocky few years since its IPO in 2010. Julian Dunkerton hailed a “return to form” as the group’s results beat City expectations and he outlined plans to spend £30m boosting sales of its SuperDry brand.

Jobless in Greece hits a record high

Unemployment in recession-crippled Greece has hit a record high, according to data published yesterday. The troubled country’s jobless rate rose to 26.9 per cent in April, up from 26.8 per cent the month before, in the highest reading since statistics service ELSTAT began publishing jobless data back in 2006.

Bumi chairman is to raise his stakes

A “furious” Nat Rothschild is set for a showdown with Samin Tan after the chairman of the miner Bumi agreed to raise his stake in the beleaguered business to nearly 50 per cent. The purchase is worth nearly £150m, which the Bakries intend to use towards buying back Bumi’s stake in one of their own businesses.

Employers take on more temps

The UK jobs market is looking up but companies are looking for temps rather than recruiting permanent staff, recruitment firm Hays said yesterday. The company managed to increase net fees from its UK & Ireland business 7 per cent in the three months to June – the first growth it has seen for two years.

Ashmore struck by Fed’s uncertainty

Uncertainty over the Fed’s money printing programme hit Ashmore’s returns during the second quarter of the year, the fund manager said yesterday. Weaker returns from its core emerging market funds outweighed strong inflows of client cash in the three months ending June.

Balfour holding out for second half

Balfour Beatty, the struggling builder that is converting the M25’s hard shoulder into an extra lane, is relying on a radically improved second half to offset earlier losses in the UK. Balfour said that new UK head Nick Pollard would recoup losses through improved operational performance and cost-saving initiatives.

Centaur to refocus as revenues slide

Centaur Media yesterday admitted underlying revenues fell 3 per cent in the year to June and vowed to “refocus” on four customer groups. The events and publishing company is still without a permanent chief executive after Geoff Wilmot resigned in May.

Bloomsbury sees a magical 19% boost

Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury yesterday showed how having a couple of big bestsellers can have a dramatic effect as first-quarter revenues leapt 19 per cent, with both print and e-book sales up. Bloomsbury’s print revenues increased by 16 per cent according to the company.

Damages claim is stalled by Office

The Serious Fraud Office defence against a huge damages claim from the Tchenguiz brothers over its botched investigation into the property tycoons faced more disarray yesterday as it asked for an extra four months to review 1.4 million documents.

BT must cut prices charged to rivals

BT has been ordered to cut the wholesale prices it charges other phone providers to use its landline and broadband network by between 6 per cent and 12 per cent over the next three years. Media regulator Ofcom trumpeted the price cuts.

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