The Business Matrix: Monday 30 September 2013


Mulberry spots a mac opportunity

Luxury brand Mulberry has teamed up with Scottish coat maker Mackintosh to launch a new line to bolster its clothing credentials. The pair have created a £1,750 “Dotty Mackintosh” mac which will be sold through online retailer Net-A-Porter. Mackintosh cloth was created by Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh and items are still handmade in Scotland.

Finance chiefs expect growth

Expansion and growth are back on the agenda at UK corporates – with “appetite for corporate risk” at a six-year high, according to the latest Deloitte finance chiefs survey. Deloitte surveyed 116 chief financial officers, including those from FTSE 100 companies, and found optimism is close to three-year highs. For the first time since 2011 expansion is a priority over cost-cutting.

What the Sunday papers said

Pay curbs to put fat cats on a leash

Vince Cable has vowed that “shareholders will no longer be kept in the dark” over executive pay, ahead of the introduction of binding votes this week. The business secretary said that the votes on pay will be a “powerful tool” in clamping down on the corporate excess that led to last year’s shareholder spring of pay revolts.

The Independent on Sunday

Odeon’s £1.25bn float plans on hold

Private equity veteran Guy Hands has pulled a planned £1.25bn float of the Odeon cinema chain amid weak trading in its Spanish business. Hands, through his Terra Firma funds, has decided to maintain control of the business until trading improves. It is the second time in three years it has pulled the proposed sale.

The Sunday Telegraph

Hedge fund calls for G4S break-up

A powerful investor is pushing G4S to break itself up as the troubled security contractor attempts to recover from a string of blunders. Cevian Capital, chaired by Lord Myners, is pressing for the FTSE 100 company to explore the sale of its “cash solutions” arm, which accounts for 25 per cent of profits.

The Sunday Times

Cable aide warns of Lloyds disaster

Selling Government-owned shares in Lloyds Banking Group could prove as big a mistake as Gordon Brown’s ill-timed gold sell-off of the late 1990s, a senior adviser to Business Secretary Vince Cable warned. The alarm has been raised by Lawrence Tomlinson, a multimillionaire adviser to Mr Cable.

The Mail on Sunday

House in order  at Homeserve

Insurer Homeserve suffered a profit warning in March, but Numis’ Mike Murphy thinks it has been experiencing “stable UK and overseas growth” and thinks its target of 200,000 new customers during the year is on track ahead of its trading update today. But it is still awaiting results of a FSA probe.

Investors to get Wolseley wonga

Wolseley is expected to reveal a £300m dividend for shareholders when it reports strong hald year results – boosted by a US recovery. Panmure Gordon thinks “Wolseley is well-positioned to generate further shareholder value from here given ongoing US recovery coupled with a strong balance sheet.”

Sainsbury’s tipped to outpace Tesco

Sainsbury’s trading update alongside Tesco’s half-year results are on Wednesday, with analysts expecting Sainsbury’s to remain the strongest. Shore Capital predicts Sainsbury’s will report comparable sales growth of 4.5 per cent but analysts warn of problems persisting at Tesco.

Tate & Lyle set  to get sweeter

Tate & Lyle release a trading update on Friday. It has foreign exchange issues and possible problems with sugar tax in Mexico. But Numis says don’t forget about its “revitalisation story”. Chief executive Javed Ahmed “is a man to back, even if he has been grappling at turning a supertanker”.