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The Business Matrix: Monday 11 November 2013


Pioneer TVs return to Europe

Pioneer is to return to the European television market under an exclusive distribution deal with PC World and Currys owner Dixons Retail. The roll-out will see Pioneer televisions sold in the Nordic region next month and could extend into the UK market in future. It will be the Tokyo-based firm’s first new television launch in Europe in five years.

EE brings Cumbria up to speed

The mobile-phone provider EE has switched on its expanded 4G network in Cumbria, bringing super-fast broadband for the first time to a rural location. The roll-out follows a trial in the area of Threlkeld and has been extended to cover more than 100 square miles, spanning from Wigton in the north to Threlkeld in the south.

M&S customers spending more

New research by Kantar has found Marks & Spencer may be losing customers, but the shoppers it still has are spending more than previously. It found that shoppers aged 55 and over were spending more, and more under-25s were also shopping with the retailer thanks to model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s appearances in the firm’s adverts.

Profit warning on cards at Serco

The outsourcer Serco is expected to announce a profit warning this week when it reports its full-year results on Thursday. It ends a difficult six months for it and G4S, which has been attacked by the Government for alleged fraud over electronic tagging of prisoners. Analysts believe profits will be down £10m more than first thought.

Huge rise in shipping costs

The cost of shipping has soared by more than 900 per cent, according to the shipping-brokerage firm Today Makes Tomorrow. Daily rates from Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia to Chiba in Japan, for example, have gone from less than $5,000 (£3,100) per day in February this year to more than $47,000 today.

Consumer spending eases

Consumer spending eased in October, up just 1.9 per cent year-on-year, according to Barclaycard, as shoppers continued to take a cautious approach to managing their finances and saved up ahead of Christmas. It was the first month since March where spend growth was below the rate of inflation.

Week ahead

Trading update  at Hammerson

Birmingham Bullring owner and property developer Hammerson has a third-quarter trading update today. Investors will be keen to hear about updates on its joint-venture developments in Croydon with Westfield and with Standard Life at Brent Cross. Numis predicts it will perform better than its rivals.

Vodafone set for half-year figures

Vodafone’s half-year results come in tomorrow. Investors will have been pleased with the share-price rise following news of the deal with Verizon, while speculation that AT&T is eyeing the group pushed the price even higher. Oriel Securities questions whether its £6bn investment is enough to “compete successfully” in 4G.

Sainsbury’s could overtake Asda

Sainsbury’s follows rivals who updated last week, and it could overtake Asda. Its first half is expected to have outperformed the wider market. Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald said it shows “signs of a more progressive strategy to maintain sales and profits growth” and they predict a pre-tax profit of £400m.

Last numbers for exiting Ahrendts

Thursday is the turn of the luxury-goods group Burberry to strut its interim figures. After the news that chief executive Angela Ahrendts will leave for Apple next year, these half-year results will need to show she is leaving it in good shape. It has already announced sales for the six months at £1.031bn.