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The Business Matrix: Friday 14 March 2014


Tube cleaners’s successful IPO

Shares in ISS, the Danish outsourcer that helps to clean the London Underground and is best known for its failed merger with G4S, jumped 14 per cent on their first day of trading in Copenhagen yesterday. The largest company ever to list in Denmark priced its offering at 160 kroner a share, valuing it at 29.6bn kroner (£3.3bn).

Mittal paid £1.76m by his steel empire

Lakshmi Mittal, one of Britain’s richest men, was paid $1.76m by his global steel empire ArcelorMittal last year, accounts for the company showed today. That was broadly flat on the previous year’s package. The company recently announced a dividend that will pay him and his family’s Cayman Islands trust $131m in dividend payments.

First-time buyers see the benefit

First-time buyers benefited from easing mortgage conditions in January as banks lent £3.1bn to those getting on the first rung of the ladder, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said. The amount advanced was 55 per cent ahead of a year earlier and marked the best January for loans to first-time buyers since 2007.

Bupa sees 57% rise in client base

The private healthcare group Bupa increased its client base by 57 per cent last year after splashing out on international acquisitions. The company spent £1.3bn on deals to increase its presence in markets such as Australia, Hong Kong, Poland and the US. Pre-tax profits fell 12 per cent to £514m in 2013.

Funds pull-out hits F&C hard

F&C Asset Management has warned it faced “significant headwinds” after clients pulled out billions from its funds last year.  The company, which is being sold to the Bank of Montreal for £708m, saw its assets under management fall from £95.2bn at the end of 2012 to £82.1bn a year later. 

Interest rates  are raised

New Zealand raised interest rates and signalled further rises through early 2014, taking the lead among developed economies in tightening monetary policy as it tries to quell inflation pressures in an outperforming economy. The central bank lifted rates by 25 basis points to 2.75 per cent.

SIG boosted by buoyant market

The building materials distributor SIG posted a 5 per cent rise in its 2013 profits to £88m thanks to buoyant conditions in the housebuilding sector, particularly in the second half. Like-for-like sales fell 0.2 per cent over the full-year, but rose 2.2 per cent in the last six months.

Nichols hails ‘excellent year’

Vimto maker Nichols hailed “another excellent year” as underlying profits jumped 10 per cent to £23m on sales up 2 per cent to £110m. Vimto is sold in more than 65 countries and the group’s portfolio also includes brands such as Levi Roots, Sunkist and Panda.

Capital expansion for YO! Sushi 

The Japanese restaurant group YO! Sushi plans to open five sites in London as it steps up expansion across the capital following a decade-long drive to boost its presence elsewhere across the UK. The firm now has 67 sites in the UK and 11 overseas.

Restructuring hits TT annual profits

The electronic parts maker TT Electronics suffered a 17 per cent drop in annual profits to £18.3m after counting the cost of a major restructuring and investment programme. But the group said underlying profits grew 17 per cent to £30m.