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The Business Matrix: Friday 6 July 2012


Cinema popcorn sales down 2.1%

Movie giant Cineworld yesterday blamed a dramatic slowdown in revenue growth on the "challenging consumer environment". It saw a 2.1 per cent fall in cinema-goers' spending at the popcorn counter in the 26 weeks to July – down from almost 4 per cent growth in the first half of the year. But overall revenues rose 1.1 per cent.

Britons 'don't trust their banks'

Britons trust their banks less than any other nationality apart from the Belgians. The pollster interviewed more than 23,000 people in 24 countries before the Libor-fixing scandal broke. Britons topped the poll of countries whose citizens are calling for more regulation, followed closely by Spain and France.

Registrations for new cars up 3.5%

New car registrations rose by 3.5 per cent on the year in June, propelled by robust demand from private buyers and taking sales ahead of predictions. The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders was not as strong as May's but the market was 5 per cent ahead of expectations for the second quarter.

Meyer raises £5.3m through Ace fund

Julie Meyer, the entrepreneur-turned-investor, has raised $8.5m (£5.3m) through her Ariadne Capital vehicle. The seed capital fund, known as the ACE fund, has raised the money from a number of successful entrepeneurs including Ms Meyer and Clive Jacobs, the founder of the car rental broker, Holiday Autos.

£19bn ready to be spent in London

Demand from new occupiers in London and the flow of money into the capital is showing no signs of ending, according to property company Great Portland Estates. It estimates that only about £4bn of London property is up for sale while almost £19bn of equity is ready to be invested here.

Begbies Traynor declares loss

Insolvency firm Begbies Traynor crashed to a £5.7m loss last year after suffering a hit from selling its tax, offshore and red flag credit information businesses. But it made more money winding-up or resuscitating failing companies, helping its continuing operations to a pre-tax profit of £5.5m for the year to May.

House prices rise by 1 per cent

House prices rose by 1 per cent in June, according to the Halifax, suggesting there is still some life left in the British property market despite falling levels of mortgage approvals. However, the trend over the last three months is flat. The average UK house price is £162,417.

Westfield owners raise £450m

The Australian owner of Westfield London and Stratford City shopping centres has raised £450m to pay down some of its UK debts and release cash for new investments. Westfield returned to the Sterling bond market yesterday with a £450m, 10-year issue.

Rise in revenues at dating group

The online dating group Cupid has reported a rise in half yearly revenues in all its markets, which range from its original bases in the UK and Australia to new ones such as the US, France and Germany as well as India and Brazil.

Ireland returns to debt markets

Ireland has returned to the short-term debt markets for the first time since before its EU/IMF bailout in November 2010, paying less for three-month paper than Spain, which has avoided going to international lenders for a full rescue.