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The Business Matrix: Friday 17 May 2013

Demand for gold hits three-year low

Demand for gold tumbled to a three-year low during the first quarter as hopes of a recovery in the global economy outweighed a surge in buying from China and India. Global demand fell to 963 metric tons in the quarter, according to the World Gold Council, down from 1,107.5 tons a year earlier. Prices had risen significantly over the past few years.

Pru investors attack pay report

Prudential was hit by a minor revolt at its annual meeting yesterday as investors criticised the company's decision to pay £30m to directors last year. Almost 12 per cent of the Pru's shareholders opposed the group's remuneration report – nearly as many as the number of shareholders who rebelled against pay at Aviva's AGM this month.

TalkTalk boosts internet TV sales

TalkTalk showed yesterday that Britons are embracing internet-connected TV in their droves. The telecoms provider revealed that it is signing up 12,000 customers a week, a rate that looks more than a match for rival BT. Chief executive Dido Harding said the company had sold 150,000 YouView set-top boxes in its first quarter.

'Lower prices' help drive Asda sales

Asda said it had "lowered prices" on everyday groceries in its stores and online to drive improved sales. The grocer increased underlying sales by 1.3 per cent over the 14 weeks to 12 April, compared with 0.1 per cent in the previous three months. Revenue from online grocery at the UK's second-biggest supermarket rose 16 per cent.

Dixons profits set to sail near £85m

Dixons chief executive Sebastian James says he has "wind in his sails" as the recovery at the electrical retailer continues and the City is beginning to believe the story. Yesterday the company that also owns PC World said profit for the year would be at the top end of City forecasts of between £75m and £85m.

CPP's cost-cutting to include top jobs

The chief executive and finance director of troubled credit card insurer CPP have decided that cost-cutting across the company will have to include their own jobs. Hundreds of CPP's 1,200-strong UK workforce are likely to lose their jobs after the company was hit by more than £50m of claims for mis-selling.

3i boss baffled by Bramson's shares

The chief executive of the private equity group 3i has admitted he has no idea why the activist investor Ed Bramson keeps buying his company's shares. Mr Bramson's Sherborne Investors has built a 4.9 per cent stake in 3i, but has so far remained silent about its intentions.

Eurostar's driving seat goes to female

Eurostar appointed its first female chairman yesterday. Clare Hollingsworth is expected to take over from Richard Brown in June. Ms Hollingsworth was chief executive of the private hospital group Spire Healthcare, and was managing director of Caledonian Airways.

Investors balk at Trinity Mirror deal

Trinity Mirror's decision to cut the basic salary of its new chief executive, Simon Fox, by a third and introduce a more stretching bonus scheme failed to satisfy some shareholders. Nearly 9 per cent voted against the remuneration report.

Aviva hails rise in new business

Aviva has taken tentative steps towards a recovery by posting a steady set of first-quarter numbers. The troubled insurer said new business sales had risen by 18 per cent to £191m thanks to increased demand for products in UK and Europe.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment