The Business Matrix: Saturday 12 November 2011


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The Independent Online


Hornby Tornado boosts sales

Hornby reported its new "lower-spec" Tornado locomotive had been a hit with customers as it posted a 4 per cent rise in half-year sales yesterday. The Airfix and Corgi firm said profits rose 80 per cent to £1.2m. It was particularly encouraged by orders from China, where interest in items linked to the London 2012 Olympic Games is strong.

Barclays sells off private equity

Barclays Private Equity is being bought out by its own management team and will be relaunched as Equistone Partners Europe, the bank said yesterday, adding that the value of the assets being sold was set to be about £45m. Barclays has been selling off non-core assets in an attempt to improve its overall returns.

Universal spends £1.2bn on EMI

Universal, the world's largest music group, has acquired EMI's recorded music business for £1.2bn, while the British company's music-publishing assets are set to be sold to Sony. France's Vivendi, which is the parent of Universal, has purchased EMI's recorded music division – whose artists include Katy Perry, The Beatles and Coldplay. MORE

Telefonica cashes in on smartphone

Telefonica, the Spanish telecoms group that owns O2, said UK customer numbers returned to growth after it introduced a new smartphone tariff structure at the end of August. Mobile phone customer numbers at O2 rose by 71,000 to 22.2 million in the three months to the end of September after a decline in the previous quarter.

Rolls-Royce sees strong year

Rolls-Royce said it had performed well in the third-quarter and expects to deliver strong growth in full-year profit. Rolls, the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind General Electric of the US, said it had continued to make progress since the half year, helped by a continued flow of orders.

Autumn sales rise lifts Galliford Try

Galliford Try said it has been encouraged by the performance of its housebuilding business after the autumn selling season resulted in 38 per cent growth in sales reservations or completions at £430m. Its construction arm is benefiting from long-term frameworks, particularly for the water industry.

Sharkey stands down at UK Music

Feargal Sharkey is stepping down as head of UK Music, the British trade body, after three years as chief executive. The former Undertones singer said he "wanted to continue on other journeys". The trade body campaigns on behalf the UK music industry, especially on issues such as digital rights.

Irish billionaire loses the lot

Ireland's former richest man, Sean Quinn, has been declared bankrupt after having bet the family fortune on the shares of Ireland's most notoriously profligate bank just before it collapsed. Mr Quinn, 64, developed a quarrying operation in Fermanagh into a €4bn fortune, before investing in Anglo Irish. MORE

IAG predicts surge in profits

International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways, has said it expects profits to soar over the next four years as it benefits from its merger with Iberia. IAG, which was formed in January, expects operating profits of €1.5bn (£1.3bn) in 2015. The figure compares to forecasts of €450m for 2011.

Fewer fly from UK as economy bites

Passenger traffic at BAA airports fell last month, compared with October last year, as demand softened, reflecting weakness in the economy. The company said 9.6 million passengers flew from its UK airports, down 1.3 per cent on the same month last year. Heathrow saw its first fall since last December.