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The Business Matrix: Friday 14 June 2013

Monarch takes flight

The luxury brand Mulberry is pinning its turnaround hopes on new markets in the Far East and US after reporting a 28 per cent slump in annual profits. Mulberry, which has issued two warnings on profits since October, said yesterday that they fell to £26m from £36m the previous year. The company’s sales were down 2 per cent at £165m.

Laura Ashley loses shine

Laura Ashley has blamed the cold weather in March and April for weak fashion sales, which took the shine off a healthy performance from its home furnishings.  Poor trading on women’s clothing dragged down underlying sales at the high street retailer by 0.6 per cent over the 18 weeks to  1 June.

WS Atkins profits fall by quarter

WS Atkins, the 75-year-old engineering consultant that designed Oxford Circus’s diagonal crossing, has seen annual pre-tax profits fall by nearly a quarter. The company made £103.3m off a £1.7bn turnover. The core UK business registered a strong performance, with plenty of work in the rail and water sectors.

Mothercare bosses benefit

The pay of the current and former chief executives of Mothercare was laid bare yesterday. Ben Gordon, who was paid a salary of £600,000 and left in November 2011, walked away with more than £5m after share schemes vested. Simon Calver, the former boss of LoveFilm who joined last April, pocketed £580,000

WH Smith’s profits up, sales down

The last trading update from WH Smith’s outgoing chief executive yesterday had a familiar ring to those throughout her 10-year tenure: sales fell but it touted continued progress made on profit margins. Kate Swann leaves at the end of this month and has been feted for her turnaround at the group.

Mulberry turns eastwards

The luxury brand Mulberry is pinning its turnaround hopes on new markets in the Far East and US after reporting a 28 per cent slump in annual profits. Mulberry, which has issued two warnings on profits since October, said yesterday that they fell to £26m from £36m the previous year. Sales were down 2 per cent at £165m.

Samsung invades Nokia backyard

Samsung Electronics is set to open a new research and development centre in Nokia’s home town highlighting the Korean company’s ascendancy over its once dominant rival.Samsung’s newest R&D facility is located in Espoo, Finland, where Nokia has its headquarters.

Microsoft plans direct sales

Microsoft plans to open 500 special stores within existing Best Buy Co stores in the  United States selling exclusively Windows-based tablets and computers and other Microsoft products in an effort to revitalise sales of its flagship operating system.

Dixy doing  just dandy

Russia’s third-largest food retailer Dixy Group saw revenue grow 25.4 per cent in May, year-on-year. The company generated 15.3bn roubles in sales last month, bringing the five-month result to 71.8bn roubles, a 23 per cent increase.

Richard’s fate  still in balance

The future of France Telecom chief executive Stephane  Richard remained in question after he was put under investigation for conspiracy to commit fraud. The board is set to meet in the coming days to discuss his fate.

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