The Business Matrix: Friday 13 December 2013


Show's over for Blockbuster chain 

Blockbuster will disappear from the High Street this weekend. The remaining 91 branches of the film rental chain will close on Sunday with the loss of some 808 jobs. Administrators Moorfields could not find a buyer and said business rates had partly contributed to Blockbuster's collapse having cost £3.8m on turnover of £40m last year.

Imperial boss sees her pay fall

Imperial Tobacco chief executive Alison Cooper saw her pay package decline from £2.8m to £2m last year as the FTSE 100 boss missed out on share options, the firm's annual report showed. Top bosses will also swallow a pay freeze this year as the Lambert & Butler and Davidoff maker clamps down on costs, the report said.

JPMorgan to settle Madoff claim

JPMorgan Chase, is on the verge of reaching a $2bn (£1.2 bn) settlement with US prosecutors and regulators over its relationship with convicted Ponzi fraudster Bernard Madoff. Federal prosecutors are set to agree a deferred prosecution agreement and fine the bank around $1bn, according to The New York Times.

Snapchat raises $50m in funding

Photo-sharing service Snapchat has raised $50m (£30m) in the latest sign that investors can't get enough of companies involved in mobile and social media. Snapchat has no revenues but tens of millions of users who can send photos that vanish a few seconds after viewing. Snapchat recently turned down a $3bn bid from Facebook.

Hilton Worldwide IPO raises $2.34

Hotel giant Hilton Worldwide has raised $2.34bn (£1.42bn) through an initial public offering, returning to the stock market six years after private equity firm Blackstone took it private at the height of the boom. Hilton priced its shares at $20, giving the world's largest hotel operator a market value of $19.7bn.

KPMG last despite record revenue

KPMG has trailed in last of the Big Four accountants in terms of worldwide results, despite record-breaking revenue of $23.4bnn (£14.3bn). This put KPMG narrowly behind third-ranked EY. Deloitte overtook PwC as the world's biggest number-cruncher earlier this year with turnover of $32.4bn.

Profits warning hits Wood Group

Shares in energy services firm Wood Group plummeted nearly 11 per cent after the company warned of probable profit hits in two of its main divisions. Earnings from its engineering business will fall around 15 per cent next year as spending on offshore projects is cut.

Southern set to beat forecasts

A push into smartcard ticketing and more passengers for Go-Ahead's Southern franchise have put the rail and bus operator on track to beat City forecasts, the firm said. Southern, which runs services out of London Bridge and Victoria, has been stronger than expected.

SuperDry sales soar overseas

Supergroup, the owner of the SuperDry label, has seen online overseas sales overtake UK web sales for the first time. The firm saw sales soar 21 per cent to £192.1m in the six months to the end of October. Pre-tax profits fell 29 per cent to £9.9m.

Sharp gain in retail spending

US consumers ramped up spending in November on cars, appliances and furniture and made more purchases online, signalling growing confidence at the start of the holiday season. Retail sales rose 0.7 per cent, the biggest gain in five months.