The Business Matrix: Friday 5 September 2014


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The Independent Online

McLaren races back into profit

McLaren boss Ron Dennis’s Formula 1 team (left) may not be having much success on the track, but its finances have rarely been stronger. The company reported a dramatic swing back into profit last year thanks to the rising race revenues and sponsorship. From a £3m loss in 2012 it raced to an £18.8m pre-tax profit.

McCue to be top dog at Paddy

The bookmaker Paddy Power has gone in-house to find its new chief executive. The head of its UK and Irish retail operations, Andy McCue, will take over from Patrick Kennedy when he retires at the end of the year. Mr McCue, who lives in Dublin, has been with the firm for eight years and joined its management committee in 2009.

Threadneedle has rating suspended

The analyst Square Mile Investment suspended its rating on Threadneedle’s UK fund after UK Equities head Simon Brazier and co-manager Blake Hutchins quit. “Brazier’s stockpicking abilities and experience has been key to the performance, and we have suspended the rating as a result,” it said.

Rich getting richer in America

Only the rich in America enjoyed rising wages from the economic recovery during 2010-2013, a Federal Reserve report showed, as pay stagnated or fell for everyone else. Median income rose by 2 per cent to $223,200 (£137,000) for the wealthiest 10 per cent while the bottom 60 per cent saw the biggest declines.

Go-Ahead reports 44% profits boost

Record commuter numbers on the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland rail networks have helped their parent firm  Go-Ahead to lift annual profits by a 44 per cent to £91.2m and pay a bigger dividend. Go-Ahead increased its pay-out by 4.3 per cent to 84.5p as revenues grew by 5.1 per cent to £2.7bn.

UK car sales show no sign of slowing

New car sales in the UK sped ahead again in August producing the 30th consecutive month of growth. Sales were up 9.4 per cent last month from a year earlier. Total sales so far this year were up 10.1 per cent on a year ago. September, when the new registration plate comes out, is expected to be strong.

Superdry sales bounce back

The Superdry fashion chain has got its confidence back after recent struggles with slowing growth, boss Julian Dunkerton said as he revealed a double-digit sales rise. The owner, SuperGroup, said first-quarter sales rose 15.9 per cent to £87m, with retail sales up 13.6 per cent.

EasyJet breaks passenger record

EasyJet soared above rivals as it flew a record number of passengers in August, while today is set to be the busiest day in its 19-year history. The airline expects more than 210,000 passengers on 1451 flights, with families returning home as the school holidays come to an end.

Serco wins tender in Australia

Serco has won a tender to keep running Australia’s onshore immigration detention services, the scandal-struck firm’s biggest contract. Rival G4S has just lost a deal to run a detention facility at the centre of human rights controversies.

Turner boss to run DreamWorks

Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios has named Turner Broadcasting executive Michael Wright as its chief executive, replacing Stacey Snider. Mr Wright will oversee the creative aspects of the company’s film business.