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The Business Matrix: Friday 13 September 2013

Laundry business boosts Photo-Me

The photo booth operator Photo-Me International said the roll-out of coin-operated laundry machines contributed to a good start to the year as profits leapt more than 10 per cent in the quarter to 31 July. The company has added 52 machines since May, including a formal launch across France. UK profits remained broadly flat.

ENRC bid gets two week extension

Shareholders in Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation have two more weeks to brave their investment. The £3bn bid by the miner’s trio of founders and the Kazakhstan government to take it private had not received enough acceptances by yesterday’s deadline, so the bidders have been given a two-week extension to complete the deal. .  However,  they did not have enough acceptances by yesterday’s deadline and have secured another two-week extension to complete the deal.

China slowdown hits Richemont

Fears of a slowdown in luxury goods sales in China re-emerged yesterday as Cartier-to-Montblanc owner Richemont missed analysts’ forecasts. The Swiss group warned consumers were more “prudent” after “several years of exceptional expansion” as it reported sales growth of 9 per cent for the five months to September.

Sunny weather helps Homebase

Sales at the Home Retail Group’s DIY chain Homebase jumped 11 per cent in the second quarter as the sun came and barbecue and garden furniture sales soared. Its sister company Argos also sold “more desk fans in two weeks than in the whole of 2012,” according to Home Retail’s outgoing chief executive, Terry Duddy.

Dunkin Donuts to roll into UK

Dunkin Donuts is to take another bite of the UK market with plans to open 150 restaurants over the next five years. The US chain pulled out of the UK in the 1990s. The company, which was founded in 1950 and sells 1.7 billion cups of coffee every year, has signed agreements with two franchise groups.

Centaur hails positive outlook

The owner of The Lawyer and Marketing Week shrugged off a huge £39m impairment on its publishing assets as it said the outlook is improving. Centaur Media’s interim chief executive Mark Kerswell described recent trading conditions as the best he had seen in the two years he has been at the company.

Ackerman quits Siemens board 

The former Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann is to step down as deputy chairman of the German engineering group Siemens. It comes weeks after he resigned as chairman of insurer Zurich following the suicide of the company’s finance director.

WPP names new non-executives

The advertising giant WPP has recruited three non-executive directors. John Hood, a New Zealander who chairs the nuclear firm Urenco, will oversee remuneration. The luxury goods executive Daniela Riccardi and Sony lawyer Nicole Seligman also join WPP.

EU ruled against on short-selling

In an apparent victory for Britain, the European Union watchdog has been told that it should not have the right to ban short selling. An adviser to the European Court of Justice said the emergency powers to stop short selling should be removed.

Amec abandons its bid for Kentz

Amec has walked away from a bid for rival Kentz. Kentz rejected Amec’s near-£700m approach last month. It also rebuffed a lower offer from German firm M+W, which has until Monday to make a formal offer or walk away.

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