Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

The Business Matrix: Friday 14 February 2014

Hermès fashions still in vogue

Paris-based Hermès reported a 4.6 per cent rise in fourth-quarter sales to €1.09bn (£895.2m) driven by China’s insatiable desire for top-end handbags, scarves and clothes. But at constant exchange rates it saw an 11 per cent sales rise, down from 12.9 per cent for the previous quarter. The dip was driven by Japan’s yen weakness.

Hornby picks Ames as boss

Hornby, the Airfix and Scalextric toy maker, has appointed a new chief executive, nearly a year after the previous boss retired. Richard Ames will start the huge task of turning around the business, which has issued several profit warnings. His first task is severing ties with a supplier in the Far East, on which it became over-reliant.

Amec eyes bid for rival

Engineering firm Amec has revealed a $3.2bn (£1.9bn) potential offer for rival Foster Wheeler, keeping up this year’s hectic start for takeover activity. Amec’s proposed acquisition of the Reading-based but Swiss-domiciled business will create a company with annual revenues of £6bn and more than 42,000 staff.

KitKat boom lifts Nestlé

Britons’ love affair with KitKats is continuing as sales in the UK were some of the strongest in the world. Parent company Nestlé, which also owns brands including Nescafé, Häagen-Dazs and Smarties, saw sales miss long-term targets because of weak emerging markets. Net profit fell slightly to Swfr10bn (£6.7bn).

Fall in home repossessions

Britain’s rate of home repossessions hit the lowest level for six years in 2013, with 28,900 domestic properties seized against 39,000 a year earlier. That was just 0.26 per cent of outstanding home loans, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said. The number of mortgage arrears is also falling.

Deloitte to vet Bafta votes

Accountants Deloitte will be taking part in Sunday’s annual EE British Academy Film Awards where they serve as official “scrutineers”. “Our role is to make sure the voting process works smoothly,” says Andy Evans, Deloitte director, who described it as a highlight of the working year.

Imps Tobacco is still smoking

Imperial Tobacco, whose brands include West and Davidoff, said net revenues rose 1 per cent in the final quarter of last year, despite a 5 per cent fall in volumes. It reported no change in its expectations for modest earnings per share growth and a dividend rise.

BA owner gets Spanish fillip

British Airways owner International Airlines Group said Iberia was on the path to profitable growth after the Spanish airline reached agreement in principle with its pilots’ union, Sepla, over productivity changes. It said Iberia will become more competitive and cut costs.

Norcros hit by cold shower

Triton shower and Johnson Tiles firm Norcros posted a 4.2 per cent fall in UK like-for-like sales over the 18 weeks to February 2 as it said the retail sector was yet to benefit from the housing market revival and wider economic recovery.

Carney to give TV interview

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, is set to give his major full-length TV interview this weekend as guest on Andrew Marr’s TV talk-show. Canadian-born Mr Carney is under pressure to explain when he will hike interest rates.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution