The Business Matrix: Monday 17 March 2014


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The Independent Online

Jimmy Choo steps up for £1bn float

The luxury shoe designer Jimmy Choo, which began as an east London cobbler and was turned into an iconic brand by Tamara Mellon, is set to hit the London stock market with a valuation of up to £1bn. The business was bought by the London-based fashion house Labelux for £525m in 2011. Its signature high-heeled shoes sell for between £200 and £2,000.

Investor pressure lifts non-exec fees

Fees picked up by non-executive directors have risen more than 8 per cent over the last year as investors demand stronger boards. Incomes Data Services said the average annual fee for a FTSE 100 non-exec is now £65,816, with the remuneration committee chairman picking up a further £21,258, reflecting legislation giving shareholders more say on pay.

What the Sunday papers said

Millions wasted on defence system

The Ministry of Defence wasted nearly £50m on a cancelled cryptographic system to  protect military information from the threat of cyber attack. The Cipher project, run by the French electronics giant Thales, was axed last year after the budget more than trebled from £19m to £66m. The MoD has admitted that it had already spent £46m.

Independent on Sunday

Cut prices, Tesco told by investors 

Institutional investors are putting pressure on Tesco to start major price-cutting after rival Wm Morrison’s promise to plough £1bn into discounting. “Tesco has been in denial and at some point it has to wake up,” one investorsaid. Last month Tesco unveiled a £200m price-cutting programme and its £200m  Clubcard petrol promotion but investors were disappointed.

Sunday Times

Private eyes to probe Co-op leaks

Private detectives have been called in by the Co-operative Group to investigate a series of boardroom leaks which led to the resignation of the chief executive, Euan Sutherland, last week. The private investigation firm Kroll will try to pinpoint the leaks within the 21-strong board. Mr Sutherland said the group was “ungovernable”.

Mail on Sunday

Ann Summers to sell Knickerbox

Ann Summers is putting the underwear brand Knickerbox up for sale as it attempts to revive the more risqué side of its lingerie and adult toys-based business, with observers suggesting the brand could interest supermarkets and department stores. Ann Summers bought Knickerbox in 2000 after it made an annual loss of £5m.

Sunday Telegraph

Week ahead

Sainsbury’s under threat

After Morrisons’ disastrous results last week, investors will be closely watching Sainsbury’s numbers tomorrow. Jefferies is expecting a 2.5 per cent fall in Sainsbury’s sales and warns that it is most vulnerable to competition from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.

Spirit to serve up more good news

Spirit Pub Company serves up its first-half trading numbers on Tuesday. Last time we heard from the pub group it reported strong Christmas trading and Numis is predicting more good news, pointing to a 4.3 per cent rise in sales in the first 20 weeks of the period.

Smiths could be hit by cutbacks

Wednesday sees second-quarter figures from the engineer Smiths Group. Shareholders will be looking to see if divisions such as defence and healthcare have been hit by government cuts and hoping for more news on the sale of its medical devices business.

Next to benefit from recovery

The retail goliath Next will lift the lid on how it’s been trading in the past three months on Thursday. Merrill Lynch expects good news, predicting pre-tax profit above consensus thanks to online strength and benefits from the recovering housing market.