The Business Matrix: Monday 9 June 2014


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The Independent Online

Nestlé may be in acquisitions mood

Paul Bulcke, the chief executive, of consumer goods giant Nestlé, has described premium chocolate as “my small, intimate frustration”, raising speculation the KitKat owner could make acquisitions in the sector. A number of firms have been investing in high-end food, with packaged food sales in Europe and North America sluggish since the  global recession.

Entrepreneurs in recruiting drive

Research by accountants EY shows that, globally, three-quarters of entrepreneurs plan to hire new staff this year, compared to only 31 per cent of chief executives running large companies. EY said small businesses in Europe are particularly confident about their hiring prospects. Eight in 10 with hiring intentions  want to capitalise on investments they have made in new technology.

What the Sunday papers said

Scots vote worries  submarine firms

More than 10 engineering groups which are interested in bidding for a contract in Devonport near Plymouth and Rosyth on the Firth of Forth to support the dismantling of 27 nuclear-power submarines have told the Ministry of Defence that they are worried a vote for Scottish independence could delay the project by years.

The Independent on Sunday

Shell starts search for new chairman

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has hired headhunters to look for a replacement for chairman Jorma Ollila. The 63-year-old Finn has been in the role for eight years, during which time shares in Britain’s largest company by market value have risen by nearly 30 per cent. However, in January it issued its first profit warning in a decade.

The Sunday Times

EE could end link with Carphone

EE is considering ending its link  with Carphone Warehouse in a move that could endanger the retailer’s planned £3.6bn tie-up with fellow high street chain Dixons. The mobile operator is conducting a review of its retail strategy, and pulling out of its relationship with Carphone Warehouse is a potential conclusion.

The Sunday Telegraph

William Hill set to name Henderson

Britain’s largest bookmaker, William Hill, is close to appointing its operations director, James Henderson, as the successor to outgoing chief executive Ralph Topping. It is believed the firm has found it hard to attract outside candidates. Henderson is a veteran of the company, having joined 29 years ago as a trainee.

The Mail on Sunday

Pricing range for TSB flotation

How much will TSB be worth on the stock market? The answer to that question is set to draw nearer this week, with Lloyds expected to reveal the pricing range for the float of the challenger bank, as well as a prospectus, as early as today. TSB could reportedly be valued below its book value at up to £1.44bn.

Slew of results  to be unveiled

Tomorrow brings final results from plastic product supplier Carclo, gas-metering company Energy Assets, high-tech X-ray firm Oxford Instruments, IT group Phoenix and radio specialist Sepura. Pub group Spirit will also be discussing the nation’s drinking habits over the last  six months.

Spotlight on 2013 performance

Gambling exchange Betfair talks 2013 performance come Wednesday, as does regional airline flybe, Castings, Creston and design and engineering group Hyder Consulting. In addition, Sainsbury’s will be report its quarterly trading figures, hoping to put rival Tesco’s dreadful performance in the shade.

Pets at Home and Boohoo finals

Retail chain Pets at Home and online fashion group Boohoo will be hoping to prove doubters wrong on Thursday as the pair deliver their first set of finals as public companies. The recently floated firms have both seen shares fall below their offer prices, with sceptics claiming they are overvalued.