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The Business Matrix: Saturday 15 June 2013

McCartney signs P&G perfume deal

Stella McCartney has switched the licence to make her perfume from the French beauty group L'Oréal to Procter & Gamble, owner of the Head & Shoulders and Gillette brands. The British designer's fashion and accessories business made a record £3m profit last year. She took a similar amount in salary and dividends.

Morrisons' pay deal sparks revolt

Morrisons suffered a minor rebellion from shareholders over executive pay at its annual general meeting. Some 12.8 per cent of investors voted against the supermarket chain's remuneration report, while a further 2.4 per cent abstained. The revolt follows an 8 per cent fall in annual profits to £879m.

HMV poised for Oxford St return

HMV is poised to return to its original flagship store in Oxford Street, central London, just two months after being rescued from administration. The restructuring specialist Hilco, the entertainment retailer's owner, is in negotiations to move into the 20,000 sq ft store at 363 Oxford Street, now occupied by Foot Locker.

Allianz expects €500m flood bill

Allianz, the German insurance company which employs more than 4,000 people in the UK, said yesterday that it expects the floods across central Europe to cost it about €350m (£298m). The company is likely to pay out more than €500m to its policyholders, although about €150m of this will be passed on to reinsurers.

Fastjet cleared for African routes

The budget airline Fastjet, which is backed by easyJet's founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has been granted permission to launch international flights from Tanzania to South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda, marking a major step towards establishing the first low-cost pan-African airline network.

Weekly sales fall 5.2% at John Lewis

John Lewis's sales fell by 5.2 per cent in the week to last Saturday as it came up against tough comparisons with last year's extended Diamond Jubilee bank holiday and half term. The chain's sales figure was 12 per cent higher than two years ago, when the fall of the calendar was more similar.

Builders stabilise despite sharp fall

The construction sector appears to be stabilising, despite a sharp contraction in activity in April. The Office for National Statistics said output in April was down 6.5 per cent on last month, and 1 per cent lower than a year ago, the smallest annual fall since the end of 2011.

Walker Crips rosy despite £1m loss

The City stockbroker Walker Crips made an operating loss of £1m last year but said yesterday it had consistently run at a profit over the past few months. The business was transformed last year when it sold Walker Crips Asset Management, making a profit of £11.7m, most of which it returned to shareholders through a one-off dividend. It has also sold its corporate finance business Keith Bayley Rogers.

Post Office staff to strike on two days

Post Office staff are set to strike on two days later this month over closures, job security and pay after talks between executives and the CWU broke down. The union said staff would walk out for half a day on 20 June and all day on 29 June.

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