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The Business Matrix: Monday 24 June 2013
Bank bailout talks to continue
EU countries will meet again on Wednesday to thrash out an agreement on how to conduct bank bailouts after talks collapsed last week. While many nations have agreed to a bailout model based on the Cyprus rescue, which sees larger savers, bond and shareholders hit, countries such as the UK, France and Sweden want more flexiblity to protect savers.
Royal Mail’s boss in line for £1.5m
The Royal Mail boss is set to get a total pay package of more than £1.5m, according to weekend reports, threatening to stoke tensions ahead of plans to privatise the company. Moya Greene’s pay package will soon be revealed in the annual report and make her the UK’s best-paid public sector boss. It is however, nearly £1m less than her predeccessor, Adam Crozier, received.
The department store chain Debenhams will on Thursday warn that the fashion sector has endured tough early summer trading, although it is still expected to have grown sales. Debenhams is set to post like-for-like sales up by 2.9 per cent over the 16 weeks to 22 June, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald say. The City will nonetheless scrutinise comments on margins.
The retailer may be able to justify rolling out a red carpet tomorrow as the rise in housing activity and weather have helped its full-year profits. Analysts at Numis expect the retailer will post annual profits of £9.5m. Gross margins are expected to be inline and it may have made some progress on its weaker overseas business in the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.
Fresh from a flutter at Royal Ascot last week, investors will be keen to hear what the online betting exchange has to say on Thursday after it last month rejected a £980m bid from private equity firms led by CVC. Increasing commission has led to improved revenues and back in May, Betfair forecast its underlying earnings would be £73m this year.
Booming demand for tablet computers and smartphones means analysts at Citi expect the mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse to ring up robust annual profits of £60.3m on Wednesday. The group, which recently called time on its joint venture with US giant Best Buy, saw profits leap 57 per cent higher to £8.3m in the half year after a surge in UK sales.
What the Sunday papers said
The double dip that never was
The Office for National Statistics is set to confirm the economy did not contract at the start of 2012 when it puts out growth data this week. The Q1 revision, up from a 0.1 per cent fall, would put three months of flat growth between two quarters of decline in 2011-2012, meaning the UK did not technically fall back in to recession last year.
The Independent on Sunday
Nationwide looks to raise £1.5bn
The Nationwide building society is planning to raise £1bn-£1.5bn by selling bonds over the summer to strengthen its balance sheet. The move comes after regulators last week ruled that banks needed to hit a 3 per cent leverage ratio, of equity against loans, earlier than expected. Nationwide’s leverage ratio is just 2 per cent.
The Sunday Times
Starbucks pays £5m UK tax
Starbucks will confirm it has paid tax in the UK for the first time since 2008 when it posts its results this week. Although the coffee chain is set to make an annual UK loss of £30.4m, 7.5 per cent better than a year ago, it promised to pay £20m in tax over the five years amid criticisms over its low tax bill.
The Sunday Telegraph
Retailers get to work on safety
A number of European retailers are providing funds to regulate their clothing suppliers in Bangladesh in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory disaster, that killed more than 1,000. Retailers such as M&S, Primark and H&M are co-operating and paying for more rigorous factory inspections.
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