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The Business Matrix: Saturday 21 April 2012


Chinese Gieves move doesn't suit

Three directors have left the Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes, days after it was taken over by a Chinese buyer. Nigel Ling, the retail director, designer Barry Tulip and the head of marketing, Carlos Singh, have all left. Gieves is being bought by Trinity, owned by the Li & Fung group, for up to £92.5m.

William Hill toasts Apple downloads

William Hill's first-quarter revenues increased 12%, outstripping rival Ladbrokes' 9% rise. Chief executive Ralph Topping said Hills had a "very good" Cheltenham and Grand National. Online revenues were up by a third and its free app has been downloaded by 190,000 punters using the Apple App store.

Tate & Lyle in Colombian deal

The sweeteners giant Tate & Lyle has agreed to sell its 50 per cent stake in Sucromiles, its Colombian citric acid joint venture, for $31.5m (£19.5m) to its long-standing partner, Organisacion Ardila Lulle. Tate will continue to distribute Sucromiles citric acid products outside Colombia following the sale.

Under-fire Tesco's credit rating cut

Moody's has cut the credit rating for Tesco following this week's recovery plan from the supermarket giant. Tesco's long-term rating was cut one level to Baa1 following the £1bn plan to invest in staff, stores and online operations to revive growth in the UK. Tesco's rating is now below Moody's rating for Morrisons.

Swiss tax avoider clampdown by UK

Tax-avoiding Britons with money stashed away in anonymous Swiss bank accounts will have to pay more tax under a deal wrested from Bern by the British Government. Switzerland will levy withholding tax of 21-41 per cent, compared with 19-34 per cent under a previous deal.

Busy Glaxo in £164m brand sale

GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceuticals giant currently in the midst of a £1.8bn takeover bid for its US partner Human Genome Sciences, yesterday sold its over-the-counter brands in overseas markets for £164m. Included in the sale to Aspen Pharmacare are Zantac, Solpadeine and Dequadin.

MF Global victims get first payouts

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has made its first payout to victims of the collapse of MF Global. It has paid £130,000 to customers of the broking firm, but has received more than 4000 claims from victims and did not reveal how many of these were accounted for in the first payout.

Daily Mail group out of FTSE lists

Daily Mail and General Trust will be dropped from the London stock market's FTSE indices in June after a change in rules disfavouring companies with non-voting shares. Viscount Rothermere and his family control most of the voting shares in DMGT while others can usually buy only non-voting shares.

Engineers power ahead in oil boom

Perhaps George Osborne's talk about a "march of the makers" is not a myth: three engineers posted strong first-quarter sales thanks to the booming oil industry. Rotork, which makes valve controls, reported a 26 per cent rise; Spectris, a maker of testing equipment, gained 5 per cent; and diverse IMI 8 per cent.

GE's energy arm beats finance

General Electric, the US giant economic bellwether, said its energy business, making gas turbines and other big machinery, had surged ahead in the first quarter, taking up the slack left by a flat financing division. Overall profits rose just under 1 per cent to $3.59bn (£2.2bn).