The Business Matrix: Friday 14 November 2014


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The Independent Online

ITV loses 5% of its viewing share

ITV’s recent golden run came to a halt yesterday as the broadcaster of The X Factor said its share of viewing figures had slumped by 5 per cent and it said advertising revenue for the last three months of the year had fallen in. The flagship ITV channel suffered less than its wider family of channels, which includes ITV2 and ITV3.

Oil price sinks below $79 a barrel

Oil prices slumped below $79 a barrel after Chinese data showed a continued economic slowdown, Saudi Arabia kept silent about a possible cut in production and crude stocks built up at a key US delivery point. Benchmark Brent crude dropped as low as $78.65 after falling below $80 for the first time in four years.

SABMiller loses its fizz in China

Poor sales figures in China, Romania, Italy and Australia hit SABMiller’s half-year performance. The Grolsch and Peroni brewer blamed poor weather in China, competition in Australia and weak sales in some European countries for lager volumes falling 1 per cent. Pre-tax profit rose by only 2 per cent to $2.9bn (£1.8bn).

5,000 fewer people lose their homes

House repossessions are still falling steadily, along with the number of homeowners in arrears on mortgage payments, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said. Repossessions fell to 5,000 in the three months to September, from 7,200 last year. The number significantly behind on payments was down from 149,400 to 125,100.

Russia hoards 55 tonnes of gold

Russia is buying twice as much gold as any other central bank as the country looks to shore up a weak rouble, according to the latest figures from the World Gold Council. Russia bought 55 tonnes of gold in the quarter to September, compared with 28 tonnes bought by the next-biggest buyer.

LSL suffers after lending shake-up

The owner of the estate agents Marsh & Parsons and Your Move sent another chill wind through the market yesterday as it warned it was “cautious” about its prospects for next year. LSL Property Services blamed tighter lending rules for “recent lower activity levels across the market”.

Struggling Rolls sticks to forecasts

Rolls-Royce said there was no change to its guidance for 2014 and 2015, providing some reassurance that there has  been no further deterioration in the three weeks since the engine maker issued a shock profits warning and announced 2,600 job cuts.

‘Sledgehammer’ drives into AA

The AA, the breakdown recovery specialist, has appointed a private-equity deal-maker nicknamed “the Sledgehammer” as its new finance director. The company said the former Permira partner Martin Clarke would replace Andy Boland.

Rolet: LSE profits will shift to the US

Up to 40 per cent of the London Stock Exchange’s profits will come from the US once it seals a £1.7bn takeover of Frank Russell, its CEO said. Xavier Rolet added that operating profits rose 24 per cent to £286m in the half-year to September.

Game Digital’s profits rise by 17%

Game Digital, which has more than 300 stores across the UK and 200 in Spain, said yesterday that its quarterly revenues were up 17 per cent compared with a year ago – stronger than the growth in the video games market in the UK and Spain.