The Business Matrix: Monday 14 May 2012


Mandarin jets into airport role

A former Scottish government mandarin has been appointed as the new chairman of Edinburgh airport. Sir John Elvidge, who was Permanent Secretary until two years ago, has taken the role after the airport was acquired by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) from BAA, which was forced to sell after a Competition Commission ruling. GIP paid £807m for Edinburgh airport and also leads the consortium that owns Gatwick airport.

Shrink space to save, firms told

Companies are wasting £42m a year on office space they don't need. According to a new report by DeVono Property, businesses need much less space as the industry measure usually used is wrong and out of date. Adam Landau, director of DeVono, said: "The industry-accepted standard of 100 sq ft per person when measuring office space is an over-calculation by between 10 and 15 per cent."

New boss to be named at 3i

Britain's oldest venture capital firm 3i is to unveil Simon Borrows as its new chief executive this week. The former investment banker is expected to be presented as successor to Michael Queen who quit in March under pressure from shareholders. Borrows joined 3i in October as chief investment officer. (The Sunday Times)

Warning over banking reforms

The Royal Bank of Scotland has said plans to ringfence its retail operations from the more risky investment banking arm will see the bank pass on costs to businesses and household customers. The chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, said the Government's plans would pile more costs on to the entire system. (Sunday Telegraph)

Travis Perkins builds up hopes

The week begins with builders' merchant Travis Perkins revealing how it managed over the first three months of the year and, having said back in February that 2012 would remain tough, the group is expected to stay cautious. Analysts from Peel Hunt are predicting overall like-for-like growth of 3 per cent.

Gregg's pasty pressure

Greggs' campaign against the so-called "pasty tax" has given it plenty of publicity, but the high street baker's share price has been under pressure. We know like-for-like sales over the first 10 weeks of the current financial year fell 1.8 per cent and Numis Securities expect Wednesday's update to remain negative.

Slow down for pub companies

Updating the market on Friday is All Bar One and Harvester-owner Mitchells & Butlers, whose interim results follow in the wake of figures this week from rivals Enterprise Inns and Marston's. Peel Hunt's Paul Hickman expects the pub company to have seen a slowdown in like-for-like sales growth.