The Business Matrix: Friday 3 October 2014


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The Independent Online

Weather too good, says clothing boss

The founder of Ted Baker, Ray Kelvin, has warned that the weather needs to change soon, otherwise his fashion brand and the rest of the high street could suffer. Mr Kelvin said yesterday: “We haven’t been too badly affected at the moment, but if it’s still 30C in December then we will certainly be in the brown stuff.”

Sports Direct in Debenhams move

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct boosted its stake in Debenhams last night in a move that leaves it controlling 11.22 per cent of the department store retailer. The sportswear empire of the Newcastle United owner first started buying Debenhams shares in January and said it “looked forward to building this relationship”.  

Eight-month high for builders

Builders had a bumper month in September, with the latest activity index hitting an eight-month high. The Markit/Cips PMI Index rose to 64.2, the highest rate since January and ahead of analysts’ expectations. However, job creation and order growth both eased to a four-month low. There was also a rise in input costs.

Tui forecasts annual profit rise

The travel operator Tui said it had almost sold out of summer holidays for its British and German customers and added that annual profit would come in near the top of expectations as a result. Demand for trips to places like Florida, Majorca and Corfu saw Tui’s chief executive Peter Long say: “We’ve had a very good high season.”

Private banks raise high taxes

Britain’s private banking and wealth management industry oversees £524bn and contributes £5.5bn to the economy, according to the British Bankers’ Association. The report said the sector last year paid taxes of £1.2bn, equivalent to £19 for everyone living in the country.

Ofcom’s chief to step down

Ofcom’s chief executive Ed Richards has announced he will step down from his £393,000-a-year role in charge of the media regulator in December. Mr Richards, a former aide to Tony Blair, applied to be BBC director-general in 2012. He said it was “the right time to move on” after eight years.

Carillion fortunes differ to Balfour

Carillion has issued a trading update which one analyst described as “reassuringly dull”. That is in great contrast to former merger partner Balfour, which issued another profits warning and called in accountants KPMG to review its UK contracts this week.

Pizza the action boosts sales

Domino’s Pizza said it had the improving economy to thank for a 13 per cent rise in sales over the past three months compared with a year earlier.The takeaway giant, which will open 50 UK branches this year, said 71 per cent of its orders now came from the internet.

US oil falls below $90 a barrel

Oil prices remained under pressure after price cuts from Saudi Arabia added to worries about supply gluts. Benchmark Brent fell as low as $91.55 a barrel, while US crude prices fell below $90 for the first time in 17 months, hitting $88.

Argentine central bank boss resigns

The governor of the central bank of Argentina has resigned after less than 12 months in the job. Juan Carlos Fabrega is being replaced by Alejandro Vanoli who is seen to be far more in tune with the policies of President Cristina Fernandez.