Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

The Business Matrix: Monday 31 January 2011

BP

BP will take another step in its rehabilitation on Tuesday if it reinstates dividend payments as expected alongside its full-year results. The payout, suspended after the Deepwater Horizon Gulf disaster this summer, used to account for an estimated one in every six pension pounds invested. Analysts are expecting underlying full-year profits of $21bn.

Ocado

Tuesday will see Ocado post its maiden full-year results since it listed in July. The upmarket online retailer, launched 10 years ago, has yet to report a profit, and analysts are expecting another loss – of about £9.7m – this time. But the day also marks an important milestone for the shares, since John Lewis can reduce its 11 per cent stake in Ocado after the results.

Shell

Royal Dutch Shell has had a more sedate year than its FTSE 100 rival BP, and analysts are forecasting annual profits of $30bn (£19bn) when it posts results on Thursday. The Anglo-Dutch oil major has also benefited from the ever-increasing oil price over the past year and a hike in production levels, as well as a $3.5bn cost-saving plan, which saw 7,000 jobs go.

Unilever

Rising commodity costs are expected to hit Unilever, whose products range from Dove soap to Ben&Jerry’s ice cream, over the coming year. But the 2010 figures from the world’s second largest consumer goods group, due on Thursday, are seen as being largely unaffected so far by soaring costs. Analysts are expecting profits of £5.2bn on sales up 3.9 per cent.

GlaxoSmithKline

Full-year results on Thursday from pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline are expected to be hit hard by multibillion-pound legal charges relating to its controversial diabetes drug Avandia. Most analysts now expect profits to have almost halved to £4.6bn in 2010, from £8.7bn in 2009, owing to the legal costs. Sales are forecast to have held at £28.4bn.

Ryanair

Analysts have been changing their forecasts for Ryanair, the low-cost airline that reports third-quarter figures on Monday, ever since Easyjet warned last month’s snow and strikes would cost it £30m. Ryanair is, however, believed to be better hedged against rising oil prices than its rival. The impact is still expected to see third-quarter losses widen to €25m (£22m).

Jones Bootmaker sold to Macintosh

One of the high street’s oldest shoe-shop chains has been snapped up by a Dutch retail giant after a five-month sale process, landing its owners an estimated £40m payday. Jones Bootmaker, which can trace its roots back more than 150 years, yesterday confirmed that it had agreed to a takeover approach tabled by Macintosh Retail Group. The Dutch company also owns the Brantano chain in the UK.

HgCapital mulls sale of Americana

The private equity group HgCapital is believed to be considering a sale of Americana International, which owns popular fashion labels including Bench. The group has called in the investment banking adviser Rothschild to find a buyer, according to reports over the weekend. The Manchester-based Americana,which also owns the Hooch brand, was set up in 1998, and developed a cult following in the UK.

Wigley named as Skrill chairman

Bob Wigley, the former chairman of Merrill Lynch in Europe, has been named chairman of online payments group Skrill Holdings, it emerged over the weekend. The move comes as the company lines up for a possible flotation this year. Sources close to the company said that should the group choose to float, it would be valued in a range of between €400m and €500m.

Origo looks to raise $80mto expand

Origo Partners, an Aim-listed private-equity group, hopes to raise up to $80m (£50m) to expand in Mongolia. It is to raise the capital through convertible preference shares. Origo’s head, Chris Rynning, said it “will strengthen our balance sheet, broaden our shareholder base and enable us to accelerate our strategy of investing in new and existing opportunities in China and Mongolia”.

Earlier date for Spanish funding

The Spanish government will offer state funding to struggling savings banks that are unable to raise financing from the private sector from March. The state was to step in from September, but following fears that some of the smaller lenders would not make it that far, decided to bring the deadline closer.

RBS launches ‘low risk’ retail funds

Royal Bank of Scotland will today launch a significant push into retail-fund management, as it looks to become one of the biggest players in a £40bn market. The bank is to target the popular “cautious managed” and “balanced managed” funds following criticism that the existing vehicles are too volatile and potentially risky.

Private sector jobs rise, but wages fall

One of the UK’s leading recruitment agencies has reported stronger-than-expected growth in private sector jobs – but many of those jobs are poorly paid and insecure, according to the Reed Job Index. The index rose by nine points in January as employer demand rebounded from the trough following the poor weather.

‘Recession hits the poor the hardest’

The Work Foundation, a leading think tank in the world of employment, warns that the “bottom 10 million” are still suffering from the weak economy. The Foundation says in a new report entitled Welfare to What? that the Government must “expand opportunities” for those already struggling on less than £15,000 a year.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker