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The Business Matrix: Monday 08 July 2013

Australians sign £265m BAE deal

BAE Systems has started a new contract worth up to A$435m (£264.7m) to remain the in-service support provider for the Royal Australian Air Force’s Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter fleet. The five-year contract, with potential extensions out to 2026, will deliver deeper maintenance, engineering, full logistics and training systems support for 33 Hawk fighters.

High-street sales hit by bad weather

Unseasonal weather in June and cautious consumers meant Britain’s high street was still a tough place in which to do business last month. Figures released today in BDO’s monthly High Street Sales Tracker show that overall, like-for-like sales grew by just 0.7 per cent year-on-year in June. However, strong figures in homewares and non-fashion helped.

What the Sunday Papers said

Investors warn M&S boss Bolland

Ahead of this week’s AGM, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland is “in the line of fire”. Institutional shareholders are set to question Bolland’s £829,000 bonus at Tuesday’s meeting atWembley and quiz him over a £2.3bn spend on store refurbishments, logistics and IT systems as part of a three-year restructuring plan.

The Independent on Sunday

Defence giant hit by cyber-attacks

BAE Systems faces sophisticated computer attacks more than 300 times a year, mainly from China. The boss of BAE’s cyber security arm Detica said the firm faces 92,000 “significant security events” a year with 339 classed as “sophisticated attacks”. The company’s products range from submarines to the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The Mail on Sunday

Strike set to shut Jaguar factories

Jaguar Land Rover’s production lines could grind to a halt within weeks after delivery workers voted for a strike. The walkout is threatened by staff of DHL, the logistics giant, which has about 1,800 workers at Jaguar’s three main factories at Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the Midlands and on Merseyside.

The Sunday Times

Heathrow closure would be disaster

David Sleath, boss of property giant SEGRO, has warned that businesses would be damaged and tens of thousands of jobs would be put at risk if Heathrow was closed and Britain’s only hub airport moved to the Thames Estuary. It would be an “economic disaster” that would take 20 years to recover from.

The Sunday Telegraph

Strong update likely by Bovis

Bovis Homes’ trading update today follows peers who gave strong updates last week. It is expected to report strong growth in reservations and sales. Panmure Gordon’s upgraded full-year forecasts to a pre-tax profit £72.1m. But Numis says there are firms with “better growth attractions”.

Marks & Spencer in the spotlight

Tomorrow is a big day for Marks & Spencer because the City and anyone with a passing interest in the high street bellwether will want to see how its new clothing ranges are faring when it updates on its first quarter. The retailer has been losing market share and investors have become concerned.

Eyes on Burberry beauty range

Burberry’s new beauty range and perfume arm will get a lot of attention on Wednesday. HSBC’s analysts upped their rating to buy from neutral because they think the company’s decision to take control of the beauty business in house, expand its accessories lines and streamline its supply chain is paying off.

Sugar beet pricing could sour ABF

How sweet will Associate British Foods (ABF) update be on Thursday? The Primark owner is expected to be effected by sugar beet pricing that has hit the industry recently. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity think there is significant risk that ABF will have to pay more for beet which will hit profitability.

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