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The Business Matrix: Friday 14 October 2011

Airbus factory will sustain 5,000 jobs

Airbus has opened a £400m factory in Wales to produce the wings for the company’s new A350 aircraft. The facility is the largest factory to be built in the UK in the past five years. About 650 people will work at the Airbus North Factory in Broughton, Flintshire. A further 5,000 jobs will be supported across the wider supply chain.

Taxman targets HSBC customers

Some 6,000 Brits with Swiss bank accounts are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs. The taxman has given the account-holders with HSBC Geneva a month to come forward or face investigation. Their names were passed on to tax authorities by a disgruntled former worker at the bank, Herve Falciani.

Air Partner aided by Arab Spring

The Queen’s official chartered aircraft supplier today said contracts to fly 12,000 evacuees from countries caught up in the Arab Spring revolution helped it double annual profits to £5.3m. Air Partner, which arranges commercial, private and freight jets for clients worldwide, said it was also involved in aid flights to Japan and New Zealand.

JPMorgan income slumps

JPMorgan Chase blamed a 4 per cent fall in income on weaker investment banking and trading results and a loss in its private equity division. The group, the first big US bank to post third-quarter figures, also set aside $1bn for litigation tied to poorly-written mortgages and securities. The bank earned $4.3bn, compared to $4.4bn a year ago.

Plans to help manufacturers

Mark Prisk, the minister for Business and Enterprise, is to announce a renewed focus on job creation in the manufacturing sector today. Mr Prisk will travel to the Midlands to reveal the Government’s plans at a visit to Arrowsmith Engineering in Coventry, including a new Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Hargreaves revenues rise

The investment fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown said revenues for the quarter to 30 September were 27 per cent higher at £57.2m after an inflow of new business assets of £680m. The total value of assets under administration fell 9 per cent to £22.3bn due to a decline in stock markets in the period.

Record iron ore sales at Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian miner, posted record quarterly iron ore sales of 60 million tonnes, as it worked at full capacity to satisfy China and other fast-growing economies. The results were welcomed by the markets as evidence that economies such as China were not slowing as much as feared.

Glencore in talks on Bumi stake

Glencore, the world’s biggest commodities trader, is in advanced talks to lend Indonesia’s Bakrie brothers about $900m (£572m). The deal could give the Swiss-based, London-listed trader a stake and preferential trading rights in Bumi, the Indonesian coal firm formed by the brothers and Nat Rothschild.

WH Smith to sell Kobo e-readers

WH Smith is to start selling electronic books and readers after sealing a distribution deal with Canadian firm Kobo. Smiths announced the deal as it reported a 4 per cent rise in annual profits to £93m, despite underlying sales falling 5 per cent. Its travel outlets, in airports and stations, reported record profits.

Poundland makes a lot of pennies

Poundland, Europe’s biggest price discount retailer, posted a record £32m profits as its sales rose 26 per cent to £642m. The firm, which has more than 360 stores in the UK, and was bought by the private equity firm Warburg Pincus last year, sells a range of 3,000 products at the fixed price of £1.