The Business Matrix: Monday 10 June 2013


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The Independent Online

Shoppers ‘likely to spend more’

Shoppers will return to high streets, according to Ernst & Young’s ITEM Club report. Rises in income tax allowance will see basic rate taxpayers taking home nearly £300 extra, while higher levels of employment and the improved housing market will boost confidence. But spending will not return to pre-recession levels for two years, the report predicts.

Bidders for Severn Trent may walk

The bidders for water group Severn Trent could walk away after their latest offer was rejected on Friday. The consortium of foreign bidders, called LongRiver, is weighing up a fourth attempt to buy the FTSE 100 water company, after three rejections. Another offer could come today but the Takeover Panel deadline for offers expires tomorrow.

What the Sunday papers said

Britain’s got talent – so let’s bank it

A coalition of Britain’s biggest manufacturers will call on  the Government to create a national skills strategy to spearhead an overhaul of the country’s training network. Companies including telecoms giant BT and engineers BAE Systems and Siemens have drawn up the Skills for Industry – Bridging the Divide report.

The Independent on Sunday

Royal Mail float hit by pension row

Royal Mail faces a threat to its £3bn float over plans to cut workers’ pension benefits. Union leaders are furious about the move to cap retirement payments for postal staff and have threatened to call a national strike. Industrial action could disrupt one of the biggest privatisations since the 1980s, when BT and British Airways were sold off.

The Sunday Times

Oddbins plans to revamp stores

Oddbins will overhaul its chain this summer as the wine retailer nears a three-year deadline to return to profitability. The £2m refurbishment of the 34 stores by owner EFB Retail, which acquired 109 Wine Cellar stores in 2009, is part of a turnaround strategy that will see the chain open more outlets.

The Mail on Sunday

Banking body urges tough rules

The Banking Commission report on standards in the City, which could be released as early as this week, is to demand a radical overhaul of the punishment of bankers who have overseen failed institutions. It will list a series of recommendations into bank governance and the “approvals regime” on pay deals.

The Sunday Telegraph

The Week Ahead

Solid results for patent specialist

In a world obsessed with brand names and logos, the patents and trademarks business is booming. Patent translation specialist RWS is expected to report another solid set of results today. At its trading update in April, it said sales will be £36.5m. House broker Numis predicts this will have been maintained.

Sainsbury’s faces tougher time

Sainsbury’s has been successfully growing market share while diversifying into non-grocery areas. But analysts expect the last four weeks of the 12-week period that it will report – its first quarter – will show signs of a slowdown. Guidance for like-for-like sales is between 1-1.5 per cent in the year to mid-March 2014.

PZ Cussons will focus on Nigeria

Investors in the soap maker PZ Cussons will want to hear an update on its Nigerian operations when it produces its trading statement on Thursday. The group has suffered due to civil unrest in the country, but its southern Nigerian operations have been largely unaffected.

Polar explores fund launches

The specialist asset management group Polar Capital plans to launch its £100m Polar Capital Global Financials Trust on the London Stock Exchange later this month, focusing on the equity and debt of financial stocks. Ahead of this launch, Polar is expected to report final results in line with expectations.