The Business Matrix: Friday 13 June 2014

 

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Profits down 46% at Mulberry

Sales are continuing to slide at Mulberry as the handbag designer battles to win back customers. After issuing three profit warnings and losing its chief executive and top designer in the past year, the group posted a 46 per cent plunge in annual profits to £14m yesterday. Since its March year end, underlying sales are down 15 per cent.

Von Schirnding to leave Asia post

Nick Von Schirnding – the man at the centre of the highly public battle between Nat Rothschild and the founding Bakrie family of the Indonesian miner Bumi – is to step down as chief executive of Asia Resource Minerals, the new incarnation of Bumi. He will be replaced by the current independent non-executive director, Amir Sambodo.

Hitachi enters into Alstom joint bid

Hitachi has joined Mitsubishi and Germany’s Siemens in a joint bid for the French  group Alstom. It is believed  that Siemens would take Alstom’s gas-turbine and transport businesses while Mitsubishi, which already has a joint venture with Hitachi, would acquire the steam-turbines operations.

Profits up at Home Retail Group firms

Argos, the retailer that was once seen as obsolete on the high street, has posted its eighth consecutive quarter of growth, with profits up  4.9 per cent at £868m.  Homebase, Home Retail Group’s other business, also saw its sales rise 7.9 per cent to £445m as they were boosted by good weather.

Green light for North Sea field

The Government has given the go-ahead for one of the biggest developments of a new oilfield in the North Sea. The Catcher field is 50 per cent owned by Premier Oil and 30 per cent by Cairn Energy. It contains some 96 million barrels of oil and at its peak is expected to produce 50,000 barrels a day.

Atkins a blue-chip index contender

WS Atkins, the engineering consultant behind the Dubai metro and the Falkirk Kelpies, could become a FTSE 100 company in the next decade, according to its chief executive, Uwe Krüger. He said the firm could “absolutely” join the index as results showed a 17 per cent rise in annual profits to £114.2m.

Tible to leave Kingfisher chains

Philippe Tible will step down as head of Kingfisher’s French Castorama and Brico Dépôt chains next month. Daniel Bernard, Kingfisher’s chairman, said a new leader was needed to aid expansion. Castorama and Brico Dépôt’s heads will move up to Kingfisher’s executive board.

Sikka takes the reins at Infosys

Infosys has picked an outsider as its chief executive for the first time, as the Indian IT giant seeks to boost sales and stem a staff exodus. Vishal Sikka, a former executive at Germany’s SAP, will replace the current chief executive and Infosys co-founder, SD Shibulal.

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