The Business Matrix: Monday 4 February 2013


Rose to be Fat Face's chairman 

Sir Stuart Rose has added Fat Face, the fashion chain owned by the private equity firm Bridgepoint, to his growing portfolio of chairmanships. The former Marks & Spencer chairman has also accepted the same role at the online grocer Ocado in the past fortnight. He already chairs Blue Inc and is on the board of the property giant Land Securities.

Surveys find rise in confidence

Business confidence is on the rise, fuelling hopes the economy could be slowly turning around. Separate surveys by Icaew/Grant Thornton and Lloyds Bank found that business confidence was improving, and both surveys also predicted that the economy would avoid a triple dip recession, with growth at the start of the year scraping in at 0.4 per cent.

RBS head Hester to remain in post

Royal Bank of Scotland has moved to calm investor fears over the future of its chief executive Stephen Hester, as chairman Sir Philip Hampton promised shareholders Mr Hester will stay well into next year. The news comes as the taxpayer-owned bank is expected to be hit with a £500m fine this week, just as it pays bankers £250m in bonuses.

Independent on Sunday

Mobile giants prepare for float

Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom are close to appointing advisers for the flotation of the mobile-phone operator Everything Everywhere in London. The pair are expected to raise more than £1bn apiece by selling 25 per cent stakes in the group, formed from the merger of their T-Mobile and Orange units.

The Sunday Times

Pressure on bank boss bonuses rises

Bank bosses will come under fresh pressure to surrender their bonuses this week. The chief executives of Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds are due to be questioned by MPs on the Commission on Banking Standards. Lloyds' and Barclays' CEOs have already ruled out receiving a bonus themselves this year.

Mail on Sunday

Osborne fights banks' corner

George Osborne was locked in last-ditch talks this weekend over plans for new powers to split up Britain's banks if ringfencing retail and investment banking divisions is deemed not to have worked. The Chancellor is expected to oppose a "blanket" power for regulators to break up banks.

The Sunday Telegraph

BP will report its full-year results on Tuesday and Iain Reid at Jefferies has had a gander at the group after its latest fine as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Mr Reid thinks there is potential for new, profitable production growth, but the outcome of even a "reasonable" settlement is, he thinks, "not sufficient for a sustainable re-rating" of the oil giant.

Week ahead


Lucozade and Ribena owner GlaxoSmithKline is expected to end a troubled year on a more positive note when it reports its full-year results on Wednesday.UBS predicts sales declines will ease in the final quarter of 2012, down 3 per cent on the previous year to £6.8bn after a 5 per cent slump to £6.5bn in the third quarter, which was dragged down by government cuts.


The online grocer Ocado is set to reveal another multi-million pound loss on Thursday after battling to compete with the major supermarkets last year. The City expects the group to book a loss of £2m to £3m after being hit with the cost of its second delivery centre in Dordon, Warwickshire and seeing sales dented by the Olympics and Diamond jubliee.

Tui Travel

Thomson and First Choice parent company Tui Travel will report on whether the package holiday comeback has continued when it updates investors on its first quarter on Thursday. In December, the group said last year's dismal summer had triggered a surge in bookings for next summer – up 12 per cent – as UK holidaymakers looked to escape to the sun.