The Business Matrix: Monday 22 April 2013


Coal use hindering reduction of CO2

The development of low-carbon energy is progressing too slowly to prevent devastating levels of global warming, the International Energy Agency warns in a new report. With coal continuing to dominate power generation, especially in rapidly growing economies, climate scientists warn the target of keeping global warming to 2C this century is increasingly out of reach.

Dividend payouts slump on last year

Payouts to shareholders plunged by a quarter in the first three months of the year. But the dividends slump is down to a distortion caused by massive special payouts awarded last year. The latest Dividend Monitor from Capita Registrars published today reveals payouts between January and March totalled £14.1bn, compared to £18.8bn in the same period in 2012.

What the Sunday papers said

ENRC bidders put forward cash plan

The three tycoons behind a possible bid for ENRC, the FTSE 100 mining giant, are examining an audacious plan to take it off the stock market for a small cash payment. Alexander Mashkevitch said last week that he and the two other founders were considering a bid for the troubled £3.7bn miner. The shares have halved in the past year. (Sunday Times)

Energy groups ‘masking profits’

Power companies may be hiding their profits from energy regulator Ofgem and understating how much they make from consumers, shadow Energy Secretary Flint has warned. She said that accounting methods could be obscuring how much energy groups earn from UK households.  (Mail on Sunday)

Bupa patients hit out at care quality

Bupa patients have launched a series of astonishing attacks on the medical insurer during a Competition Commission probe into the £5bn private healthcare industry. The investigation is looking into whether the apparently overwhelming dominance of just five private-sector hospital operators distorts competition. (Independent on Sunday)

Walsh attacks landing costs hike

The chief executive of International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways, has hit out at proposals to increase landing charges at Heathrow by 6 per cent above inflation. Willie Walsh said the proposals by Heathrow Airport Holdings would be damaging for passengers and would only serve the interests of its shareholders. (Sunday Telegraph)

Week ahead

Dettol owner to  re-focus on home

Today, owner of Durex condoms and Dettol cleaner, would rather investors focus on its household brands rather than its pharmaceutical division – home of its troublesome opiate addiction treatment Suboxone. Consumer goods-to-medicine company Reckitt Benckiser is to update the market on its first quarter.

Carpetright on a £10m profits roll

Carpetright may be able to roll out a decent trading update tomorrow now that the UK housing market is showing signs of recovery. Analysts expect the pre-close update to show it is on track to deliver a full-year profit of £10m, ahead of the £4m of 2012. But Canaccord Genuity’s analysts think the “stock is highly valued”.

All City eyes on Barclays’ results

On Wednesday, the City will be focusing on Barclays’ first-quarter results and how chief executive Anthony Jenkins’ strategic review and cost-cutting plan is working out. But those with an interest in mid-cap stocks will take a look at set-top box maker Pace, which is expected to reveal a strong start to the year.

WPP growth a sign of global recovery

Sir Martin Sorrell’s advertising giant WPP is expected to report organic growth of 2 per cent to £2.5bn for the first quarter. Numis’ Paul Richards views WPP “as a key play on global recovery”. He notes its balance sheet provides scope for good income, and he rates the shares a buy with a 1,270p target.