The Business Matrix: Friday 13 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Aggreko to pocket £50m from Games

Aggreko, the generators giant, will pocket £50m from providing the temporary power for 39 venues in seven different locations at this summer's Olympic Games. Its generators will power the London venues including the velodrome and the aquatics stadium as well as stadiums in Cardiff, Coventry, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Weymouth.

Total pulls out of £70m Wessex punt

Total has pulled out of a £70m takeover punt at Aim-listed oil prospector Wessex Exploration. The French oil giant was looking to increase its stake in a huge field off the coast of French Guyana, which is already 25 per cent – less than rivals Shell and Tullow. Wessex owns 1.25 per cent of the project, as well as onshore licences in Hampshire.

Portland sold to Omnicon for £10m

Tony Blair's former adviser Tim Allan is set to rake in as much as £10m after selling City and political PR firm Portland to the US marketing giant Omnicon. Portland – which was founded 11 years ago and counts major blue-chips such as Coca Cola, Apple, Tesco and Vodafone among its clients – has offices in New York, London and Nairobi.

Hays boosted by German jobs boom

Germany's booming jobs market is set to see annual profits at Hays come in at the top of forecasts. Shares in the white-collar recruitment group jumped nearly 9 per cent to 88.5p yesterday after it reported record fees in Germany, up 36 per cent, in its third quarter. However, Hays' net fees in the UK and Ireland fell 5 per cent.

Parsons checks out of Travelodge

Grant Hearn, the executive chairman of Travelodge, is to resume the role of chief executive at the budget hotel chain after its CEO Guy Parsons checked out yesterday. The debt-laden company is being bought from Dubai International Corporation by two US vulture funds and Goldman Sachs.

Online shopping helps UK Mail

Britons' growing love for online shopping helped demand for parcel deliveries at UK Mail, the private post deliverer, leap 10 per cent in the first three months of this year. Overall, its revenues rose by 14 per cent in the first three months of 2012, helping its earnings rise 8 per cent in the year to April.

Melrose execs sell £68m of shares

Top executives in the engineering turnaround group Melrose have placed some £68m worth of shares to pay their tax bills on the £126m of free stock they received under a five-year incentive plan. Unusually the company's share price rose – gaining 12.8p to 418.8p.

Goldman Sachs fined for huddles

Goldman Sachs has been landed with another fine by US regulators, this time for "trading huddles", where its top hedge-fund clients could have got access to market-moving secrets from the bank's research analysts before they made "buy" or "sell" recommendations on stocks public.

Norcros expects 5% rise in profits

Johnson tiles and Triton showers supplier Norcros expects profits to rise about 5 per cent to £10.7m in the year to 31 March, on revenues slightly up at about £200m. UK sales rose 4.1 per cent, although revenues at Triton were slightly down.

AKQA sees profits jump to £5.4m

AKQA, which claims to be the world's biggest independent digital advertising agency, saw UK profits jump 29 per cent to £5.4m last year, thanks to the boom in online ads and smartphones. Recent projects included apps for Nike and Heineken.