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The Business Matrix: Monday 13 February 2012


London pays £1 in £5 to regions

One pound in five earned in London subsidises the rest of the UK, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Its survey found that Ireland, Wales and North East receive more than a fifth of their income from outside the region, with London and the South-east accounting for the bulk of stamp duty receipts and the 50p tax.

Energy minnow seeks big name

The energy supplier First Utility is looking for a big-name chairman to help the Morgan Stanley-backed group to crack the dominance of the "big six" within three years. First Utility, with fewer than 100,000 customers and £60.5m in sales, last month signalled its intentions for rapid growth by appointing Ian McCaig as chief executive.

The Sunday Times

Vodafone may bid for Cable & Wireless Vodafone is plotting a £700m bid for the embattled telecoms firm Cable & Wireless Worldwide. Vodafone has been tempted into a possible offer by the recent collapse in CWW's share price since its demerger in 2010 and could make a move if chief executive Gavin Darby stabilises the firm. Apax Partners is also said to be considering a bid.

The Independent on Sunday

Glencore chief woos investors over merger Glencore's boss Ivan Glasenberg will champion the commodity trader's proposed $90bn (£57bn) mining merger with Xstrata this week in a roadshow designed to win over doubtful City institutions to the deal. Mr Glasenberg has raised the hackles of some investors by not making himself available to assuage doubts over the merger.

The Mail on Sunday

EDF complaints soar as staff face IT glitches Customer complaints to French-owned energy supplier EDF have soared as staff battle with a new computer system, with some grievances taking as long as eight years to address, a whistleblower reveals. EDF is already under investigation by the regulator, Ofgem, for the high level of customer complaints.

The Sunday Telegraph

RBS bankers arrested in tax investigation Royal Bank of Scotland has been drawn into a criminal tax investigation after five current and former investment bankers were arrested over allegations that City financiers have been using film finance schemes to avoid paying taxes. More than 15 people are thought to be have been arrested in HMRC's on- going tax evasion investigation.

Intercontinental upbeat on 2012

InterContinental's investors could be in line for a treat tomorrow. Many in the City believe the strength of the hotel group's balance sheet means additional cash returns could be on the horizon, either through a share buyback or increasing the dividend. Its final results are expected to be upbeat on 2012.

Sports Direct to see sales growth

Since dropping to an eight-month low just before Christmas, Sports Direct has been on the rise ever since. The retailer updates on its third-quarter on Wednesday and is expected to reveal that its retail sales growth – especially in the UK – has continued to be strong with some suggesting a rise of 13 per cent.

Domino's may have a tough year

The preliminary results on Wednesday of Domino's, the pizza delivery company, are likely to be in line with expectations. Collins Stewart's Wayne Brown expects margins growth to not be as strong as it has managed before. He warns this year "could prove equally challenging" with sales growth "difficult".

BAE Systems armed for 2012

BAE Systems, the arms dealer, will reveal its full-year results on Thursday. Espirito Santo is expecting the group's revenues to have dropped nearly 12 per cent during 2011 to £19.8bn, although the broker also believes the figures will "establish a template for resumed earnings growth from 2012 onwards".

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