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The Business Matrix: Friday 21 June 2013


Stylish boost for Ted Baker

Ted Baker said was delighted with the performance of its retail stores after it grew revenues by 32.7 per cent on a year earlier in the 20 weeks to 15 June. The fashion retailer increased store space by 13.4 per cent in the period, including through a new store at Gatwick and outlets in Shanghai, Beirut, Adelaide and Kuwait.

Ryanair pleases shareholders

Ryanair has set out plans to return €1bn (£850m) to shareholders over the next two years, just hours after confirming a massive order for planes worth almost €16bn at list price. The budget Irish airline set out plans for at least €400m in share buybacks during this year, and as much as €600m in either special dividends or buybacks.

Balfour wins Qatar contract

Balfour Beatty has snaffled a £56m highways contract in Qatar. The Gulf state has asked Balfour’s professional services division, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to design 16 miles of expressways, including bridges and interchanges. The construction giant has previously bagged roads, drainage and rail work in the country.

Walsh finds his way to Compass

Paul Walsh, the Diageo chief executive, has confirmed he is to be chairman of Compass, the catering group. Mr Walsh, who will be replaced at Diageo by Ivan Menezes in July after more than 12 years at the helm of the maker of Guinness and Tanqueray gin, will join Compass as a director next January and become chairman on 6 February.

Jaeger appoints Henry from Esprit

The fashion retailer Jaeger has hired a new chief executive,  following its acquisition last year by Jon Moulton’s private-equity firm, Better Capital. Colin Henry, who was the chief product officer at the clothing chain Esprit, will join the 129-year-old retailer next month. He succeeds Stewart Binnie.

Buses pick up speed at Go-Ahead

Go-Ahead said its bus services will account for a greater proportion of profits in the year to 29 June, having seen a better than expected performance while its Southern and London Midland rail arm is impacted by cost pressures. Growth in rail passengers and revenues have improved in recent weeks.

Attempt to protect Swiss banks 

The Swiss government is expected to make a last-ditch bid to protect its banks from criminal charges in the US by issuing an executive order allowing them to pass data to US authorities, a day after parliament blocked a bill that would have allowed banks to do just that.

Shake-up at Heinz after acquisition

Heinz has announced the departure of 11 executives in a management shake-up less than two weeks after its new owners, 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, closed their £18bn acquisition. The changes see Heinz UK boss Matt Hill promoted to run Heinz Europe.

France cracks down on Google 

Google faces big fines unless it changes its privacy policy, a French regulator has warned. The CNIL said the internet giant’s policy was violating the country’s laws and could be hit by a first fine of up to €150,000 and a second of €300,000.

Thomas Cook to raise more cash

The holiday company Thomas Cook said its £305m fund-raising rights issue, which is part of a wider £1.6bn refinancing plan, was backed by shareholders owning 97 per cent of the company. Shares in Thomas Cook closed down 2p at 124.5p.