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The Business Matrix: Friday 2 March 2012

Greece to receive cash on 20 March

Greece is set to receive the first tranche of its latest €130m bailout on 20 March, the EU said yesterday, after a bond swap that will slash its debt. Experts warned yesterday this bond swap could count as a "credit event" that would would see $3.25bn worth of credit default swaps – a kind of insurance available for bondholders – pay out.

House profit rise for LSL Property

LSL Property Services, whose brands include Your Move and Reed Rains, said its estate agency division increased profits 42 per cent to £10.3m in a year when house purchase approvals rose by 3 per cent. The group, which also offers surveying and valuation services, saw overall profits fall slightly to £31.1m in 2011.

John Lewis staff bonus reduced

John Lewis Partnership, the group behind the eponymous department store and Waitrose, is expected to unveil a lower staff bonus next week. JLP is set to hand its 76,500 employees a bonus of about 16 per cent of their annual salary on Wednesday. Last year's payout was 18 per cent.

Robert Walters posts £15m profit

Robert Walters posted a 15 per cent rise in 2011 profits as net fees grew across turbulent markets, and said it was well placed for the challenges ahead. The white-collar recruiter, which places people in accountancy, banking, IT and marketing jobs, said its annual profit was £15.1m.

Production costs hit Kazakhmys

The copper miner Kazakhmys posted a flat core profit for 2011, as stronger metal prices were offset by an 18 per cent rise in production costs, including soaring wages for skilled workers in Kazakhstan, home to its core operations.

IMF warns G20 on growth

The probability of a sharp, global slowdown has eased due to eurozone measures to tackle its debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday, but it warned risks to world growth remain "squarely to the downside". The IMF said the eurozone should act decisively on multiple fronts to resolve the sovereign debt crisis.

New top dog at Pets at Home

Pets at Home, the private equity-backed retailer, has hired Nick Wood, the head of American Golf, as its new chief executive. The retailer of pets accessories had been searching for a new boss since its current chief executive Matt Davies decided to step down in the autumn after 10 years at the 308-store chain.

Howden returns to dividend list

Howden Joinery, a remnant of the MFI Furniture business, said it would pay a first dividend in four years, reflecting confidence its future even though it is cautious on the immediate prospects for big ticket spending. The firm is a supplier of kitchen units and joinery to about 250,000 small builders.

US manufacturing sector slows

The pace of growth in the US manufacturing sector unexpectedly slowed in February after three consecutive months of gains in a reminder of the bumpy nature of the recovery. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of factory activity fell to 52.4 from 54.1 the month before.

Sale of Cove Energy to be taxed

Mozambique is looking to impose a capital gains tax on the sale of Cove Energy, the Africa-focused gas explorer at the centre of a bidding war involving Shell, Thailand's state oil group PTT and the Indian oil and gas groups ONGC and Gail India.

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