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The Business Matrix: Monday 6 January 2014

Hammond in fresh reform bid

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has privately started his latest attempt to reform the agency that buys the armed forces’ food, vehicles and weapons. Some of the biggest suppliers have been asked to talk to officials about how they would manage Defence Equipment & Support’s IT systems, human resources and other specific projects.

Litigants flock to London

High Court disputes over trademarks leapt more than 30 per cent to 114 cases in 2013, according to an analysis by the law firm RPC. The British courts have become a favoured battleground for international businesses to fight for protection of their global intellectual property rights. Court cases over major copyrights also jumped by 9 per cent.

What the Sunday papers said

Google to pay £24m in back tax

Google expected to pay at least £24m in backdated tax, the first internet behemoth to be hit by an HMRC crackdown. The charge comes after widespread outcry that Google,  Facebook, Amazon and Apple paid just £14m in UK corporation tax in 2012 despite an  estimated combined turnover  of £16.6bn.

Sunday Times

Co-op Bank funds use tax havens

Nearly all of the 20 hedge funds that own 30 per cent of Co-Op Bank hold their investments through tax havens. Companies House documents reveal  that 18 of the hedge funds own the “ethical” bank through vehicles based in the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, the British Virgin Islands and Jersey.

Mail on Sunday

Nuclear operators face lawsuit risk

British nuclear operators face being sued for billions of pounds by the Irish Government and Irish victims of any radioactive damage they cause under international legal changes this year. Anyone affected in Ireland by a nuclear accident that originates in the UK will be able to sue in the High Court for up to £1bn.

Independent on Sunday

Scottish Power trims bills

Scottish Power is set to cut household bills by 3.3 per cent, becoming the fourth major energy supplier to pass on savings from cuts to green levies. This will typically save the electricity and gas group’s 2.2 million customers on variable tariffs more than £40 a year on their dual fuel bill. 

Sunday Telegraph

Week ahead

Too much red at Dunelm?

A swathe of red blocks signalling 20 per cent off homewares currently dominates the front page of the Dunelm website. Investors will be hoping for very little red in tomorrow’s trading statement, though, particularly after Dunelm failed to pay thousands of staff last week due to “administrative error”.

Persimmon to reveal sales rise

Numis analyst Chris Millington expects residential developer Persimmon to confirm strong trading for the end of 2013 on Wednesday, with some house price inflation also helping the figures. However, he still thinks that the stock is “expensive relative to peers”, with shares valued at well over £12 a pop.

Cracks widen at retail giants

All eyes will be on Marks & Spencer and Tesco on Thursday, as the empires of the high street and supermarkets are expected to confirm yet more cracks in what investors had long believed were indestructible foundations. M&S is forecast flat or worse sales in clothing, footware, and homewares.

Tesco meat supplier reports

A day after Tesco reports what is likely to prove to be a miserable festive season, its meat packer, Hilton Food Group, issues a trading report. Last month, Hilton announced a new agreement as a supplier to Tesco that runs to February 2019 and has improved analyst forecasts for the coming years.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?