The Business Matrix: Saturday 3 November 2012


Ikea's six-year high in the UK

The Swedish flat-pack furniture giant Ikea has delivered its best sales growth in the UK for six years, despite the market for big-ticket items remaining in the doldrums. Ikea increased revenues by 6.3 per cent to £1.23bn for the year to the end of August, with its underlying sales up by the same amount.

'Long, dark winter' looms for builders

Builders are heading into a "long, dark winter" as firms cut jobs at the fastest pace for more than a year. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply's latest construction snapshot showed the sector crawling back to marginal growth in October, but new orders are in a sustained decline.

Price war hits car premiums

Britain's two top car insurers, Direct Line and Admiral, have reported weaker quarterly results. Both companies said the price of motor cover was under pressure as insurers compete aggressively for new business. The motor insurance industry has not made a collective underwriting profit in 16 years.