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The Business Matrix: Friday 4 July 2014


Switchers boost Poundland

Sales at Poundland jumped 13 per cent to £998m in the year to 31 March as the retailer said shoppers had switched to discounters permanently.  Its shares, which were listed at 300p in March, rose 4 per cent to 341.9p, cementing its position as one of the few winners among  the slew of retailers that have floated recently.

Asda set to axe 1,360 managers

Asda is to cut up to 1,360 jobs as the supermarket restructures management at its 578 UK stores. The grocer, part of the US giant Wal-Mart, said in May that it was planning a new structure that would remove some departmental managerial roles. Asda said it would now have 1,662 section managers and 4,008 section leaders.

Sweet result for Thorntons

Thorntons has reported a rise in annual profits as its business supplying chocolate to supermarkets and other retailers continues to grow. The company said it recorded a positive performance in the year to 28 June and profits are in line with expectations of £7.1m, up from £4.7m in the previous year.

ECB holds rates fast at -0.1%

The European Central Bank has held interest rates in negative territory, a month after introducing the monetary stimulus. The main deposit rate will remain at -0.1 per cent, with lenders charged for parking money at the eurozone’s central bank. Annual inflation in the eurozone in June came in at just 0.5 per cent.

Austerity easing as growth returns

Ireland’s economy grew by 2.7 per cent in the first quarter and new European Union rules on calculating output significantly increased the size of the economy, raising the chances of Dublin easing its austerity measures later this year. The country received a EU/IMF bailout in 2010.

Great Portland rental result

Property giant Great Portland Estates let another 177,000 square feet of space in the last three months, generating an extra £6.1m or rental income. Chief executive, Toby Courtauld, said: “We have begun this financial year as we finished the last, attracting numerous businesses.”