Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

The Green Recruitment Company: Operations Manager - Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...

Recruitment Genius: Account Director - OTE £60,000

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Inbound Sales Executive

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Inbound Sales Executive is required t...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

The Business Matrix: Saturday 21 January 2012

Price-slashing saves December

Desperate price-slashing helped retail sales rise 0.6 per cent in December, as an extra weekend shopping day on Christmas Eve and milder weather helped the high street. Official figures showed prices rose by just 2.4 per cent year on year in December, the slowest annual rate in 18 months.

Ikea puts together 10% profits surge

Ikea, the flat-pack furniture giant, has posted a 10 per cent leap in global profits, driven by market share gains in most of the countries in which it operates. But the retailer's sales fell 3 per cent in the UK in its last financial year, as it was hit by the downturn in consumer spending and the moribund housing market.

STV gears up for new licence bids

The Scottish broadcaster STV has renewed its £70m banking facility for two more years at a cost of an extra £1m a year in interest charges. The broadcaster said that the extension meant it now had the certainty to concentrate on negotiating the renewal of its two ITV licences in Scotland.

Tesco director builds up shares

Another director of Tesco has picked up shares just days after a profits warning knocked their price down by nearly 20 per cent. Non-executive director Ken Hydon, the former finance director of Vodafone, spent £96,000 buying 30,000 shares at 320p. That lifts his total stake to 182,000 shares.

Google still finding success in the UK

Google's relentless growth in the UK is continuing as its revenues surged by an estimated 20 per cent to pass £2.5bn last year. The internet search giant, the biggest advertising business in the UK, according to analysts, posted a 21 per cent rise in UK sales to $1bn in the fourth quarter.

German firm near to Bmibaby deal

Bmibaby is set to be sold to new German owners rather than to British Airways as part of the sale of its parent, bmi. Lufthansa is expected to sell the budget arm of bmi to the German turnaround business Intro Aviation, the latter's chief executive told Bloomberg. BA's owner IAG has already agreed to buy bmi.

Close Brothers has patchy period

The financial services group Close Brothers said its securities division had been hit by "very difficult market conditions" in the five months to 31 December as investors made smaller trades on the stock market. However, its banking and asset management divisions performed well.

A festive fillip for Poundland

The budget retailer Poundland said it enjoyed a strong festive period, selling 24.5 million Christmas cards, one million advent calendars and 10,000 miles of wrapping paper. It said sales increased by nearly a quarter in the five weeks to 1 January, helped by ambitious expansion plans.

Barbican makes bid for Omega

Barbican Insurance has made a fresh takeover approach for its rival Omega Insurance, reigniting bid interest in Omega after potential deals to buy the company collapsed last year. The privately held Barbican said it had sent a letter which outlined an indicative merger proposal for Omega this week.

Unite now the only player in its village

The student accommodation developer Unite Group has taken full control of its Unite Student Village (USV) joint-venture with Parkmetro for £6.2m. USV owns the Forge, a 1,381-bed development in Sheffield city centre, near the Sheffield Hallam campus.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent