The Business Matrix: Monday 25 June 2012


Click to follow

Households are thinking positive

Households are in the most positive mood over their personal finances for more than two years as the pressure on family budgets from hi gh inflation relents, according to the research firm Markit. The group's latest household finance index, based on a survey of 1,500 households, showed most respondents still expect their financial position to worsen over the next 12 months.

New finance chief checks into Ocado

The online grocer Ocado is set to appoint retail industry veteran Duncan Tatton-Brown as its new finance director this week, after the post has been empty for more than six months. The accountant has most recently held the chief financial officer post at gym group Fitness First, where he worked on the early stages of its restructuring, as well as having been finance director at Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, and of Virgin Entertainment.

Mr Tatton-Brown will replace Andrew Bracey, who quit to join the headhunter Michael Page International in January. Mr Bracey's pay package was £434,000, including a salary of £281,000 and a bonus of £150,000.

Portsmouth naval dockyard at risk

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has been told that the historic Portsmouth Dockyard should be shut down and the Royal Navy's supercarrier warship programme delayed by up to two years. The findings of a report he commissioned into the future of British shipbuilding could put up to 3,000 jobs on the South Coast at risk. - The Independent on Sunday

3i's new chief set to wield axe

Britain's biggest private equity investor, 3i, is set to fire swathes of head-office staff and close overseas offices as part of an overhaul led by its new chief executive, Simon Borrows. The plans are set to be announced at 3i's shareholder meeting this week, as the buy-out firm tries to cut costs and rehabilitate its reputation in the City. - The Sunday Times

Football stars use tax loophole

More than half of England's Euro 2012 team have put their money in investment schemes that contain a loophole to beat the taxman. Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Joe Hart, Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker are among players involved in legal schemes that have been challenged by officials. - The Mail on Sunday

Gatwick in fresh expansion move

Gatwick airport is set to resurrect proposals for a second runway as it attempts to become London aviation's gateway to Asia as Heathrow struggles with capacity problems. Gatwick's chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said Heathrow being full did not mean London was "closed for business". - The Sunday Telegraph

Essar to explain coal supply plans

Essar Energy will issue full-year results but its plans to fuel its power stations will be more interesting. Although it has said it aims to start development at its Mahan mine in India, Deutsche Bank's James Brand points out that "in the interim, the company will need to obtain alternative coal from other sources".

Transport firms to show way ahead

Stagecoach's full-year results tomorrow will be followed by a trading update from National Express two days later. Shore Capital expects the former to post a pre-tax profit of £197.6m. It adds that it should "provide further comfort on the group's ability to offset subsidy pressure" in the UK buses sector.

Greene King in a festive mood

Greene King's final results on Thursday will not cover the the Jubilee and Euro 2012, but the pubs group's bosses have already said retail like-for-like sales should be up 4.6 per cent. Deutsche Bank is expecting profits growth in the mid-teens while forecasting an overall pre-tax profit of £153m.

StanChart to reveal growth

Standard Chartered's update on Wednesday should show the emerging markets lender's revenue grew by about 9 per cent in the first half, says JPMorgan. However, the broker is cautious about short-term expectations, blaming "slowing economic growth in a number of the group's geographies".