The Business Matrix: Saturday 24 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Cyber-hit Sony delays results

Sony is still suffering from the cyber attack it experienced in November, thought to have been carried out by North Korea in retaliation for the film The Interview. The electronics and entertainment giant said it was delaying its third-quarter results as its financial and accounting software was still not up and running following the attack.

Jets help GE offset weak oil unit sales

General Electric has reported a 9 per cent rise in quarterly profit as its businesses that sell power-generating turbines and jet engines helped offset weak sales in its oil and gas unit. Investors have been concerned that plunging oil prices will hurt GE’s sales of oil equipment if customers slash spending. Orders in the unit also fell.

McDonald’s has little to beef about

McDonald’s has warned that business will be weak in the first half of 2015 and it is cutting its annual construction budget to the lowest in more than five years as it opens fewer restaurants in struggling markets. The world’s largest fast-food chain, with more than 36,000 restaurants, had one of its toughest years in decades.

Box’s IPO sees shares rocket

Shares of online data storage provider Box Inc rose as much as 77 per cent in their market debut yesterday as investors bet on the company’s ability to turn profitable in a highly competitive market. Box’s shares, priced at $14, hit a high of $24.72 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, valuing the company at nearly $3bn.

World Cup boost for Adidas

German sportswear company Adidas has reported a better than expected rise in 2014 sales as it announced the sale of its non-core Rockport shoe brand. The world’s second-biggest sportswear group has been losing market share, but its sales were helped by the German victory at the 2014 World Cup.

Warning over online crime

Britain’s banks must do more to protect themselves and the wider financial system from growing and evolving cyber crime, the Bank of England said yesterday. The bank’s survey of 36 financial firms and banks in Britain found no immediate critical shortcomings in their defences.

Growth stalls for  a second month

China’s manufacturing growth stalled for the second straight month in January and companies had to cut prices at a faster clip to win new business, adding to worries about growing deflationary pressures in the economy, a private survey showed.

Interest shown in Monitise

British mobile banking software maker Monitise said yesterday it has received “a number of expressions of interest” after putting itself up for sale. A former hi-tech darling, Monitise has come up against tough competition from free mobile payment systems.

Overruns cost Thales dear

French defence electronics group Thales has warned that losses at its naval defence and energy unit blamed on contract cost over- runs could shave around €100m off its 2014 earnings. Thales owns 35 percent of DCNS, which builds submarines and ships.

More join race  for Alpari UK

Toronto-based Oanda and Britain’s ETX Capital have joined the race to buy fellow online foreign exchange broker Alpari UK, looking to expand aggressively in the sector shakeout prompted by last week’s turmoil in the Swiss franc.