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The Business Matrix: Friday 24 January 2014

Eurozone on track for 0.5% growth

The eurozone in on course for its strongest growth in three years, according to the financial-data provider Markit's latest snapshot of private-sector activity. It shows growth of 0.5 per cent across the bloc, the best since the beginning of 2011. But ECB president Mario Draghi said: "The risk of setbacks is large."

LSE revenues soar by 48% to £309m

Buouyed by share flotations and revived equity trading, the London Stock Exchange saw revenues in the final three months of last year soar 48 per cent to £309m. That quarter saw the £3.4bn initial public offering of London Eye-owner Merlin. More IPOs are due this year, including Fat Face, Saga, Poundland and Just Eat.

Aviva exec moves Down Under

Aviva's finance director Pat Regan ended months of speculation about his future today by quitting the insurer for a new life in Sydney at the Australian insurer QBE. Regan missed out on becoming Aviva's chief executive in 2012 after former boss Andrew Moss was ousted from his job earlier that year.

Record funds for St James's Place

The upmarket wealth manager St James's Place grew its funds under management to a record £44.3bn last year as it gained independence from Lloyds Banking Group. The company, which sells investment, insurance and pension products, attracted £865.2m of new business in 2013.

Strong appetite for MacDonald's

Strong burger sales in the UK, France and Russia helped to offset a fall in revenues across McDonald's restaurants in Germany. The fast-food chain said worldwide sales were up 2 per cent in 2013 to $28.1bn. Sales in Europe were up 1 per cent in the final quarter.

Chemring in better shape

Chemring, the maker of bomb-detectors and munitions, said it was more resilient after a restructuring that saw it offload non-core operations and target non-Nato markets. Tough conditions in the US resulted in an annual loss of £56.6m as profit fell 25 per cent to £52.4m.

Smooth running for Nationwide

Nationwide Accident Repair Services, a provider of crash repair services, has reported an improved trading performance in the second half of the year. It has benefited from measures to boost efficiency and increasing success in the fleet market.

New chief for comparison site

Bruce Carnegie-Brown is to chair the price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com, replacing Gerald Corbett. He has been chairman of Aon UK since 2012 and has held roles at private equity firm 3i as well as JP Morgan.

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