The Business Matrix: Monday 28 April 2014


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The battle of the handbags continues this week when US leather brand Coach reveals its third-quarter results tomorrow. Investors are braced for a weak update as the competition has hotted up with rivals Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Kate Spade all taking market share globally. In January, it reported its worst same-store sales in 13 years.


An update on the nation’s caffeine addiction comes on Tuesday in the form of annual results from Costa owner Whitbread. The company, whose boss Andy Harrison has taken its coffee chain international in recent years, also owns budget hotel brand Premier Inn and restaurants including Brewers Fayre.

What the Sunday papers said

City ‘let off hook’ on Royal Mail deal

The Government has made no attempt to contact the handful of big City investors given preferential treatment in the Royal Mail flotation fiasco. Some broke an apparent gentleman’s agreement to go on and sell millions of pounds worth of shares, even after the process was criticised this month in a National Audit Office report.

The Independent on Sunday

Bailed-out RBS snubs bonus ban

Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland will sidestep a cap on bonuses imposed by George Osborne by handing top bankers free shares worth millions. The giveaway, designed to supplement basic salaries by up to 200 per cent, will massively embarrass the Chancellor. RBS is planning to almost treble the number of bankers awarded shares.

Mail on Sunday

Premier Oil rejects £3bn merger offer

Ophir Energy has made two secret takeover approaches to rival Premier Oil in a bid to create a £3bn explorer with operations from east Africa to the Falklands. An all-share merger proposal was rejected by Premier’s board a fortnight ago. A tie-up would create the fifth-largest oil explorer listed in London.

The Sunday Times

Bookmakers up in arms at local veto

The Government is to hand local councils the power to veto the opening of new betting shops in response to concerns about the effects of electronic gaming machines. David Cameron is this week set to announce a new planning class to make openings by chains such as Ladbrokes and William Hill harder.

The Sunday Telegraph

Two-thirds of City staff change jobs

Two-thirds of City workers have changed jobs in the past three years, highlighting the scale of the challenge facing investment banks and other Square Mile firms to retain staff. Recruiter Astbury Marsden said that cuts in bonuses, wage freezes, fewer internal opportunities for promotion and increased workloads had prompted more staff to quit.

Bosses struggle to find ‘right talent’

A new technology boom has turned into a hiring headache for British bosses. Some 94 per cent of respondents to a survey by Silicon Valley Bank said it was “challenging to find the right talent they need to grow”. However, 84 per cent still think they will expand their workforce this year, according to the global report that quizzed more than 1,200 executives.