The Business Matrix: Friday 7 September 2012


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Dixons gets an Olympics boost

Dixons has given further evidence that it is fending off online retailers, with rising sales on the back of a busy summer of sport. Its new chief executive, Sebastian James, said the company sold five times as many 55in TVs this year than it did last, as families boosted their home entertainment kit to better enjoy the Olympics.

Lonmin shares take a leap

Shares in Lonmin, the platinum miner, jumped yesterday after it signed a deal to start wage talks with three unions at its troubled Marikana mine in South Africa. The agreement does not include the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union but it has been asked to join the talks later. Lonmin shares gained 30.5p to 559.5p.

Go-Ahead railway unit falls behind

Go-Ahead posted a 3.5 per cent fall in full-year profits yesterday after parts of its rail business felt the effects of challenging economic conditions. The company, which operates the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland rail franchises, posted a pre-tax profit of £94.2m for the year to the end of June. Revenues rose 5.5 per cent.

Quick exit for May Gurney chief

The waste and recycling company May Gurney gave its chief executive his marching orders yesterday. The shares fell 91p, or 41 per cent, to 130p after the group said two major local authority contracts, outside the capital, had become loss-makers. Philip Fellowes-Prynne, the chief executive, left immediately.

Valiant says it may sell up

The North Sea minnow Valiant Petroleum has admitted it is considering hoisting a for-sale sign after a lack of success with exploration this year. The announcement from the oil and gas company, which has called in Morgan Stanley to undertake a strategic review of its options, came as a surprise.

Fourth JP Morgan trader in probe

A fourth JP Morgan trader in London is being investigated by US regulators over the £3bn losses incurred by the bank's London Whale, Bruno Iksil. Fellow Frenchman Julien Grout worked as a trader in the chief investment office and reported to Mr Iksil. He still works for the bank.

United Drug looks to London

United Drug, the Ireland-based healthcare services group, is to shift its primary stock market listing to London from Dublin. The group, which has operations in 20 countries, believes the switch will help boost the company's attractiveness to international investors.

AIG sells part of its stake in AIA

AIG has begun the sale of part of its stake in Asian insurer AIA in a move that will help it pay off loans from the US government. The New York-based insurance giant nearly collapsed in 2008 before receiving $182bn in the biggest of the Wall Street bailout packages.

Lamprell goes for Saudi scheme

The oil rig engineer Lamprell, which has seen its shares slide this year after a series of profit warnings, has formed a joint venture with parties including Shoaibi Group to establish a business for land-drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia.

Magnox work is worth £288m

Costain and Balfour Beatty have been awarded a contract worth about £288m to work on decommissioning Magnox nuclear power plants. The deal covers the 10 sites operated by Magnox on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.