The Business Matrix: Friday 14 September 2012

 

Windfall for Dunelm founders

Home furnishing firm Dunelm's founding Adderley family is set to pick up a £53m windfall after a 21.7 per cent hike in the dividend and an extra £65.8m capital return. Like-for-like sales at the retailer grew 3.1 per cent in the year to 30 June.

UK woes dent Investec profits

Investec, the Anglo-South African bank and wealth manager, expects flat first-half profits due to lower UK investment and trading income. Investec said the 15 per cent fall in the rand against the pound would also hit results.

HSBC's UK boss jumps ship

The boss of HSBC's UK bank, Joe Garner, is stepping down from the role after less than two years. Garner – who will be succeeded by the British lender's European retail banking and wealth management chief Antonio Simoes – will leave in October. before exiting HSBC early next year.

BT price hike stings millions

Ten million BT customers are being told that phone and broadband bills are to rise by up to 6 per cent. BT is hiking its prices from 5 January, with phone calls, line rental and broadband rising by up to 5.9 per cent – more than twice the rate of inflation. People signing up to the group's cheapest television package will see bills rise 25 per cent.

Goldman tell-tale wins book deal

Greg Smith, the banker who said Goldman Sachs clients were referred to as "muppets" has a $1.5m (£930,000) book deal. His memoir, Why I Left Goldman Sachs, is out next month. He quit via a New York Times article, claiming the bank put profit before principle, with clients mocked.

Tiger battle hots up with new bid

The battle for Tiger beer stepped up a gear as Thai Beverage made a $7.2bn (£4.5bn) offer for drinks conglomerate Fraser & Neave, part-owner of Asia Pacific Breweries. This countered an earlier offer from Heineken, which, through its 80-year relationship with Fraser & Neave, has a 41.9 per cent stake in APB. Heineken offered $4.5bn to buy the rest.

Epilepsy move for cannabis firm

Cannabis-based drugs maker GW Pharmaceuticals has revealed it is planning to use a new component of the plant to create a treatment for epilepsy, adding to its growing use as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and pain relief for cancer patients. It follows research into the previously ignored cannabidvarin which occurs naturally in cannabis.

Barclays offloads student stake

Barclays has sold its 60 per cent share of the UK's second-largest student-housing operator to a Dutch pension fund manager in a deal valued at £840m. Although PGGM of the Netherlands did not disclose what it paid for the stake in UPP, it did say the company was worth £1.4bn.

Cautious savers spread the cash

British savers are spreading their money between different banks and building societies to guard against losing out in a Northern Rock style run. A Financial Services Compensation Scheme survey found 43 per cent of savers have changed banking habits since the run in 2007, with 17 per cent banking with more than one institution.

German growth hopes trimmed

German think tank IfW cut its 2012 growth forecast for Europe's largest economy by 0.1 per cent to 0.8 per cent today as global conditions remain poor and companies put off investments. The IfW also cut its 2013 forecast to 1.1 per cent from 1.7 per cent in June.

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