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

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

The Business Matrix: Monday 5 September 2011

JD Wetherspoon

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon will disclose on Friday whether its recent slowdown in sales growth has worsened amid the economic gloom. Annual profits are expected to have fallen 6 per cent to £66.5m as it struggles to pass rising prices on to cash-strapped consumers. But at its last update, in July, it reported an “encouraging” performance by the latest pubs it had opened.

Thorntons report

The chocolatier Thorntons will reveal on Wednesday whether there has been any let-up in the poor trading that has forced it to hatch a turnaround plan. The retailer, which is expected to reveal a £3.2m annual loss, said it will close up to 180 stores following a strategy review led by its new chief executive Jonathan Hart. The planned closures could put up to 1,125 jobs at risk.

Redrow

Redrow is expected to reveal on Thursday that its recovery since founder Steve Morgan returned to the housebuilder’s helm has continued. Mr Morgan, owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers, has focused on building more family homes to reduce its exposure to first-time buyers struggling to get mortgages. Annual sales are expected to be up 11 per cent at £442m, with profits of £18m.

Morrisons

Morrisons will shed light on how consumers are reacting to higher grocery prices when it posts half-yearly profits on Thursday. The Bradford-based chain is the only one of the big four supermarkets to have continued to grow market share in recent weeks, helped by new stores down south and promotions. Analysts expects profits to rise 7 per cent to £440m.

HMRC targets bankrupt firms

Small businesses which are tempted by bankruptcy as the solution to their difficulties are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs officials in a clampdown on unpaid taxes. The law firm Wedlake Bell warned that HMRC was now taking a much tougher line with bankrupts who have failed to pay their taxes by invoking rarely used powers.

Battle over public sector contracts

Complaints made by those firms which challenge decisions on public sector procurement have risen to the highest since before the recession as contractors battle for business, according to the UK law firm McGrigors. Disputed public sector contracts jumped to 73 in the last year, up sharply from 47 disputes in the previous year, the law firm said.

Cantor Fitzgerald plans flotation

Cantor Fitzgerald, the US investment bank that lost two-thirds of its workforce in the September 11 attacks, is planning a flotation that would end its 66-year-old partnership status. The public offering will raise funds for acquisitions and to reward staff, who have supported dead colleagues’ families with $180m of partnership profits.

Flowers sweetens Rock deal terms

JC Flowers, one of the bidders for Northern Rock, is reported to be working on a complex deal structure that would allow the Government to keep a stake in the nationalised bank after it is sold. The deal could let the Government recoup its expected £400m loss on the sale. JC Flowers tried to buy Northern Rock before it was nationalised.

Ritblat homes in on Plantation deal

Jamie Ritblat is set to secure the control of Plantation Place – the City office building that his father, Sir John, built – in a deal valuing the property at £500m. Mr Ritblat is reported to be in exclusive talks with Plantation Place’s owners after sweetening his recent takeover approach for the 550,000 sq ft building, which Sir John built at British Land.

Vivendi lines up for See Tickets

Vivendi, the French media giant, is buying Britain’s second-biggest ticket agency for almost £80m. See Tickets is being sold by Parcom Capital, a Dutch buyout firm. The agency, once part of Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Really Useful Group, has 20 per cent of the UK market and covers events such as the Reading music festival.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on