The Business Matrix: Friday 9 November 2012


Dexia gets a third bailout

Belgium and France will pay €5.5bn to take almost full control of Dexia, in the hope this third bailout will be the last for the bank, which was once the world's largest municipal lender. Dexia had relied on long-term lending serviced with short-term borrowing, which dried up in the financial crisis.

Paving-stone slip for Marshalls

Paving maker Marshalls saw revenues for the 10 months to 31 October slip 6 per cent to £279m. The West Yorkshire-based group said sales to the public-sector and commercial-end market fell 4 per cent while sales to the domestic-end market were down 13 per cent.

IAG makes €113m bid for Vueling

British Airways and Iberia owner IAG has bid for the rest of low-cost airline Vueling in a bid to stem losses in Spain and shake up its short-haul business there. IAG made a €113m offer for the 54.15 per cent of Vueling – Spain's No 2 budget airline – it does not already own.

Wing faults cost Eads £160m

Airbus maker Eads, which recently failed in an attempt to merge with defence giant BAE Systems, has seen its finances hit as it fixes faults on its A380 superjumbo. The jet maker yesterday admitted that it had spent €200m (£160m) of an expected total bill of €260m repairing cracks in the aircraft's wings.

RSA to target Latin America

RSA Insurance has fixed its sights on Latin America after revenues grew in the first nine months of the year. The company said income from insurance premiums rose 4 per cent to £6.2bn in the period. Boss Simon Lee said acquisitions in Argentina would boost the insurer's performance.

Eurozone hits Coca-Cola Hellenic

Greece's biggest company has warned of mounting eurozone pressures ahead of its new-year switch to the London Stock Exchange. Coca-Cola Hellenic, which bottles the fizzy, caffeinated drink in 28 countries from Russia to Ireland, announced a flat third-quarter net profit of €155.6m (£124m) yesterday, after violent scenes in Athens.

Opec cuts demand forecasts

The oil cartel Opec has acknowledged for the first time that technology for extracting oil and gas from shale is changing the global-supply picture significantly, and said demand for crude will rise more slowly than it had previously expected. In its annual World Oil Outlook, Opec cut its forecast of global oil demand to 2016 due to economic weakness.

Growth at Howden fits the bill

Howden Joinery Group, which sells around 400,000 kitchens a year via the building trade, said group revenues in the first 44 weeks of its financial year were up 4.3 per cent, rising 2.2 per cent on a same-depot basis. The group said trading was on track.

Repossessions hit five-year low

Repossessions hit their lowest level for five years between July and September thanks to rock-bottom interest rates and breathing space from the banks. The Council of Mortgage Lenders said 8,200 properties were repossessed in the quarter.

Wetherspoon is Olympics star

Unlike many pub companies, JD Wetherspoon had a storming Olympics and Paralympics. While rivals saw customers stay at home and watch the Games from the comfort of their sofas, Wetherspoon saw a well-above-average 7.1 per cent rise in sales from pubs which have been open for at least a year between August and October.