The Business Matrix: Friday 21 September 2012


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The Independent Online

iPhone 5 tacked on to lawsuits

Samsung is planning to add Apple's iPhone 5 to its existing patent lawsuits against the US tech giant. The two companies are locked in global patent battle in 10 countries, and Samsung said it had "little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights".

China growth still slowing down

China is on track for its seventh quarter of slowing growth, according to the latest HSBC manufacturing survey of the country. The HSBC pmi index, where any value below 50 indicates a contraction, inched up to 47.8 from 47.8 in August, fuelling fears Chinese growth will fall below 8 per cent this year, a level last seen in 1999.

Morgan Sindall wins £1bn project

Construction firm Morgan Sindall has been named preferred partner for Slough Borough Council's £1bn, 15-year regeneration project. The first phase of development includes a library and community facility, with plans also for a secondary school and a leisure centre with an ice rink.

Centrica in deal to supply Gazprom

Centrica has signed three-year deal with the UK arm of the Russian export monopoly Gazprom to supply 2.4 billion cubic metres of gas. Deliveries will begin from 2014 and will be priced against the UK's freely-traded spot gas market.

Thorpe lights up its balance sheet

The lighting specialist FW Thorpe has reported a 9 per cent rise in operating profits to £11.9m in the year to 30 June. The group, which owns Thorlux Lighting, Compact Lighting and Philip Payne, said revenues had increased by 5 per cent over the period to £55.6m

AkzoNobel Italian deal is blocked

The Competition Commission has blocked Dulux paint-maker AkzoNobel's attempted acquisition of the 51 per cent stake it doesn't yet own in Italian coatings firm Metlac. AkzoNobel inherited its 49 per cent share of Metlac Group from its acquisition of ICI in 2008 and wanted to exercise an option to buy the rest.

Ricardo profits rise by 14 per cent

Ricardo reported a 14 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for the year to 30 June to £197m. The engineer, which employs 1,700 consultants, engineers, scientists and support staff, said it saw a strong performance for its technical consulting and performance products with high levels of delivery for Foxhound and McLaren engines.

Amazing profit jump for Hasgrove

The digital and communications services group Hasgrove, which owns the PR firm Amaze, has reported a sevenfold increase in pre-tax profits to £700,000 in the six months to 30 June, compared with £100,000 the previous year. Revenues were up 16 per cent to £12.2m.