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The Business Matrix: Friday 16 May 2014


Burberry hands new boss £7.5m

Burberry has handed its new chief executive, Christopher Bailey, up to £7.5m in long-term share awards. He remains the brand’s creative director and also enjoys an £8.1m annual package including £1.1m salary, up to £2.2m bonus and a £440,000 allowance for clothes and other items. He will give 10 per cent of his pay to charity.  

Regulators fine RP Martin £1.35m

British and US regulators have fined the brokerage RP Martin $2.26m (£1.35m) over claims that traders manipulated Libor interest rates. RP Martin is paying £630,000 pounds to the British regulator and $1.2m to US regulators to settle claims its brokers helped rig the benchmark London interbank offered rate. 

Turmoil in Egypt hits Cook’s profits

Political turmoil in Egypt took the shine off Thomas Cook’s first six months even as the travel group trimmed its  pre-tax loss by 28 per cent to £366m. Unrest in the country, where Cook’s used to have 250,000 holidaymakers a year against just 50,000 this Easter, sliced £131m off revenues and £14m off first-half profits.

Card Factory slides after IPO

Shares in the greetings card retailer Card Factory fell 11 per cent on its stock market debut yesterday, despite being priced at the bottom of expectations. It floated at 225p as it raised £90m. Management, who keep 19.2 per cent, and the private equity firm Charterhouse (41.3 per cent), sold £236m of shares. They closed at 201p.

TalkTalk hails TV investment

TalkTalk hailed its first annual rise in sales in four years yesterday as a sign that its investment in TV is paying off, even as profits slumped by three-quarters to £31m. Turnover rose 3.4 per cent to £1.73bn in the year to March. TV customers rose 185,000 in the past quarter and hit one million this week.

Rupert to rejoin Richemont

Net-a-Porter and Cartier owner Richemont is to welcome back chairman Johann Rupert in September after a year-long sabbatical. The Swiss-based luxury group said profits were broadly unchanged at £1.97bn. Jewellery and watch sales offset weaker sales at its fashion labels and pen brand Montblanc.

National Grid posts profits rise

National Grid has posted a 2.2 per cent rise in annual profits to £2.6bn even after investing £3.4bn in infrastructure. A year ago the energy distributor complained the regulator’s new pricing regime was “lacking the essential investments to provide safe, reliable networks”.

New beers boost for Marston’s

A thirst for new beers provided an extra fillip for brewer and pubs owner Marston’s, which has launched a New World Pale Ale and a seven strong range of Revisionist beers. Half-yearly profits at Marston’s rose 9 per cent to £29m on sales up 4.5 per cent at £374m. 

13% jump in new business for Aviva

Aviva has seen a 13 per cent increase in the value of new business in the first quarter of the year, its sixth successive quarter of growth. However, the figure in the UK declined 22 per cent following a 43 per cent slide in annuity business.

Mecca to open more bingo halls

Rank said like-for-like revenues at Mecca bingo halls fell by 4 per cent in the 19 weeks to 11 May, an improvement on the first half of its financial year. The gaming group, majority owned by Malaysia’s Guoco, plans to open three new venues in Britain.