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The Business Matrix: Monday 13 June 2011

Majestic

Majestic Wine, one of the few AIM-listed stocks to pay a dividend, has not looked back since it cut the minimum order size at its wine warehouses from 12 bottles to six in 2009. Sales at the 161-strong chain have risen sharply while its share price has climbed to a five-year high of more than 440p. Analysts expect it to post a a 22 per cent rise in profits to £19.5m on Monday on the back of a 10 per cent rise in annual revenues to £257m.

Tesco

Analysts will be looking for an update on both Tesco’s UK plans – where the supermarket giant has seen market share plateauing and like-for-like sales growth slowing down – and its embattled US business Fresh & Easy, which saw losses widen last year. Analysts at Nomura are predicting that Tesco will also unveil a 1.2 per cent rise in underlying sales when the supermarket giant reveals details of first-quarter trade on Tuesday.

Carphone Warehouse

Full-year results from Carphone Warehouse are due on Tuesday and the retailer has consistently upgraded earnings expectations this year as its US arm continues to deliver solid sales, driven by demand for smartphones and tablet computers. But a strong US performance has propped up slower growth in its European mobile phone arm, which in the final quarter saw a 1.7 per cent decline in like-for-like sales.

Mulberry

The Luxury handbags firm is expected to post gloom-defying annual results on Thursday after a stellar year boosted by a star performance at London Fashion Week. Mulberry has seen some strong demand in the UK and overseas for its luxury handbags despite the worsening squeeze on consumer spending. It is expected to report profits of about £21.5m in the year to the end of March – up from £6.1m a year ago.

Bank of England is urged to act

The Bank of England must stand ready to rescue the economy from a double-dip recession, a leading accountant warned yesterday. Peter Hemington, a partner at BDO, said fears about inflation were overdone and that the Bank may instead need to inject more money into the economy through “quantitative easing”.

Foyles to open branch at 2012 site

Foyles, the bookseller written off only a few years ago, is continuing its expansion with the planned opening of a new branch at the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, close to the site of the 2012 Olympics. The 25,000-titles store. follows the chain’s first venture outside the capital, with a branch in Bristol.

UK taxes high for rich and for poor

Tax bills for both low and high earners in the UK are among the highest for a major economy, research shows. UHY Hacker Young found the UK had the seventh-highest tax burden for those earning $25,000 (£15,400) a year and people on $200,000. The accountancy firm said the rates risked driving away high earners.

Glazers mull HK IPO for Man Utd

Manchester United’s US owners are considering floating the club in an initial public offering in Hong Kong to tap into the team’s popularity in Asia, it was reported yesterday. Bankers have apparently told the Glazer family the club could be valued at £1.7bn by Asian investors – more than double the price they paid six years ago.

Indonesia backs Lagarde for IMF

Christine Lagarde yesterday added Indonesia to the list of countries supporting her bid to head the International Monetary Fund, making it the first major emerging market to do so. Agus Martowardojo, Indonesia’s finance minister, said Ms Lagarde had “high integrity and skills” and was “very professional”.

Glencore in talks to acquire ENRC

Glencore, the giant commodities broker, is said to be in talks to buy ENRC, the mining company rocked by a boardroom bust-up. Glencore’s chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, is said to have had positive talks with the three billionaires who control 45 per cent of ENRC only weeks after Glencore’s record initial public offering in London.

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