Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Salesforce Developer

£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Sales Executive

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Finance / Accounts Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...

The Business Matrix: Friday 20 May 2011

Profits up 83% at Richemont

The world’s second-biggest luxury goods company, Richemont, said strong demand for its jewellery and watches had produced an 83 per cent surge in its annual profits to €1.28bn. The Swiss group, which owns the Cartier jewellery, Montblanc pens and Chloe fashion brands, expanded its sales in all regions but growth was strongest in Asia-Pacific, with exceptionally high demand in China.

Demand for gold rises by 11%

Demand for gold remained strong over the first three months of the year, rising by 11 per cent to 981.3 tonnes, according to figures from the World Gold Council. The rise came as investors bought coins and bars, demand for which was up by 52 per cent to 366.4 tonnes over the quarter. Gold exchange-traded funds, on the other hand, witnessed their first net quarterly outflows since mid-2007.

Fewer cars built, but outlook good

The number of new cars built last month fell by more than 12 per cent compared with a year ago but the outlook for the motor industry remains “extremely good”, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. There were 86,306 vehicles manufactured in the UK in April after output was hit by parts shortages due to the Japanese earthquake.

Manufacturers’ confidence rises

ACBI survey reported a more confident manufacturing sector and stronger order books. A balance of -2 per cent of companies said order books were higher than normal this month, the CBI survey said, up on April’s -11 per cent,while 20 per cent expected a rise in output in the next three months.

Phone operators in rates appeal

Three of the UK’s mobile operators have appealed against Ofcom’s decision to cut mobile termination rates, designed to reduce the cost of calling users on other networks. Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Three have lodged appeals with the Competition Appeal Tribunal. O2 chose not to appeal. The companies raised different issues with the ruling.

TalkTalk admits customer slump

TalkTalk has admitted it is continuing to lose broadband customers but predicted the slump would reverse as it got to grips with service issues stemming from its 2009 Tiscali takeover. TalkTalk, spun off from Carphone Warehouse, said annual profits rose 25 per cent to £276m as cost and job cuts saved £40m.

Virgin Rail in extension talks

Virgin Rail is in talks with the Department for Transport about an extension to the West Coast rail franchise. The franchise, which is currently run by Virgin Rail – a joint venture between Virgin and SouthWest Trains operator Stagecoach – was due to expire next March but could run until December.

Fall in rail orders hurts Invensys

The technology and engineering group Invensys warned its order book had fallen 1 per cent due to fewer large orders at its rail business Invensys Rail. The group reported a 21 per cent rise in net profit to £181m in the year to 31 March, but said its order book stood at £2.45bn, compared to £2.47bn a year earlier.

Unite gets more students in rooms

The student accommodation provider Unite Group said 73 per cent of its rooms for the 2011-12 academic year had been reserved, against 71 per cent at this stage last year. The company, which provides homes to some 40,000 students in the UK, said it was on track to meet its pipeline of 2,800 beds in London.

London weighting helps Grainger

The UK’s largest residential landlord, Grainger, saw its profits surge in the six months to 31 March to £65.2m, from £3.5m a year earlier. The group, which operates in Britain and Germany, said the gains were driven by the rising value of its London and South-east-weighted portfolio.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss