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

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Programmer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Bridgend based software de...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Printer

£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A specialist retail and brand c...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

The Business Matrix: Monday 4 July 2011

Opposition mounts tokey train deal

Opposition is building to the decision to award a £3bn contract to build Thameslink trains to Siemens of Germany. Labour frontbenchers John Denham and Maria Eagle have urged David Cameron to review the Department for Transport’s decision, which dealt “a body blow to the UKrail manufacturing sector”.

Npower lined up for sale by RWE

One of the nation’s big energy suppliers, Npower, may be sold by the German giant RWE, reports over the weekend suggest, in a £5bn deal. RWE needs to relieve itself of debts and pay for a strategic commitment for it to invest in a new generation of “green” power stations. Spanish power group Iberdrola is a possible buyer.

WH Smith

WH Smith is expected to reveal on Thursday that it has weathered tough conditions on the high street in its third quarter – driven by a strong performance at its travel sites. The retail sector has suffered a dire run so far this year but WHS has benefited from its move in recent years to rebalance its mix away from DVD and CDs towards higher-margin categories such as stationery and books.

Persimmon

Persimmon will give an idea of how the housing market is faring in its latest update on Tuesday. Analysts at Numis expect the group to report that it has traded well against a difficult backdrop in the first half of its financial year. In April, Persimmon said its order book was little changed from a year earlier at £1.1bn, and the market will be focused on whether this improved in May and June.

N Brown

N Brown delivered record results for the seventh year in May and is expected to have maintained its momentum in a trading update on Tuesday. Despite warnings about a squeeze in consumer spending, the catalogue and online shopping group is pushing ahead with plans to extend its Simply Be womenswear brand to Germany and the US and to turn around its High & Mighty and Figleaves chains.

SIG

The roofing and insulation materials supplier’s last update in May indicated that trading had recovered strongly after a weather-affected period in the previous year. Continental Europe accounts for more than half of SIG’s sales and brokers expect it to reveal on Friday that it saw double-digit growth between January and April, with Britain and Ireland more sluggish.

Anti-bribery law comes into force

The Bribery Act, which covers overseas operations of companies that do business in the UK, has come into force. The law, bitterly opposed by many exporting businesses, means that any company that carries on a business in the UK can incur liability for the corrupt actions of rogue employees or associated third parties.

Firms urged to reveal pay gaps

British business should reveal the disparities between their highest and lowest-paid staff, a leading economic think-tank says today. The New Economics Foundation says gross inequalities in income lead to economic inefficiency, add to financial instability and threaten future crises, quite apart from pure issues of “fairness”.

The Pope’s finances are backinto black

The Vatican has announced that its finances have only recently returned to profit after three consecutive years in the red. The Holy See has reported revenues of €245.2m (£221m) in 2010 against expenditure of €235.3m. But annual donations from churches worldwide fell by nearly $15m (£9.3m) to $67.7m.

Waitrose goes little to grow big

Waitrose has announced plans to open a record number of shops within the M25 next year, which is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs. It aims to open 20 new “Little Waitrose” convenience shops by the end of 2012. It follows a successful trial of the sub-brand at a store in Kensington, west London, opened in January.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence