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The Business Matrix: Saturday 6 April 2013


Brazil navy tests new BAE vessel

The Brazilian Navy's latest warship, built by BAE Systems, has set sail for the first time. The ocean patrol vessel Araguari left Portsmouth with a BAE crew and Brazilian Navy observers on board. They will spend two weeks testing the ship.

Severfield rights issues raises £48m

The structural steel producer Severfield-Rowen has raised £48m in a deeply discounted rights issue which was supported by investors holding 93 per cent of its shares. The proceeds will be used to reduce debt at the West Yorkshire-based firm.

Cenkos banks £7m as profits soar

The broker Cenkos posted a seventh successive year of profits after helping companies to raise £700m from stock listings last year. Its earnings rose by 37 per cent to £7m on the back of revenues of £43m, helped by IPOs such as Rangers Football Club and Bridge Energy.

UK car sales beat March forecasts

Car sales beat expectations in March, with new vehicle registrations almost 6 per cent higher than the same time a year ago. March is an important month for the car industry with the release of new plates. The Uk car industry recorded 394,806 registrations.

First Five Guys diner hits London

Five Guys, the US burger chain that counts Barack Obama among its fans, is to open its first UK branch this summer in Covent Garden, central London. The chain is being brought to the UK by Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse, who has formed a joint venture with the US parent company.

Itsu finds £14m to open 20 branches

Itsu, the sushi chain set up by Pret-a-Manger's founders, has secured £14m to open 20 more outlets, creating 350 jobs. The London-based chain remains famous for its Piccadilly outlet being the site where the Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko ate before he was admitted to hospital with radiation posioning.

Morrisons wades into Tesco row

Morrisons has become the latest grocer to consider reporting Tesco to the advertising watchdog over its Price Promise price comparison claims and coupons. Morrisons claimed that in many cases Tesco listed Morrisons prices as being "not available", noting that it could be because the Bradford-based rival does not yet sell food online.

Big Easter getaway lifts easyJet losses

Britons seeking last-minute Easter sunshine are set to help easyJet almost halve its first-half losses. However, the recent snow also meant the budget airline cancelled more flights than usual, holding back its capacity growth. Its pre-tax loss for the six months to April will be between £60m and £65m, down from a £112m loss a year ago.

Halifax predicts modest price rises

House prices are set for modest growth this year after a 0.2 per cent rise in prices in March, according to Halifax's latest index. The latest rise – albeit smaller than February's 0.5 per cent – means prices are up 1.2 per cent over the first quarter. However, the bank warned that weak wages growth was likely to curb demand this year.

Qataris pay £1.3bn for Printemps

The French department stores chain Printemps is to be taken over by a Qatari consortium, Disa, for £1.3bn after a bid by its Parisian rival Galeries Lafayette failed. Disa is believed to include state funds which, in recent years, have snapped up European assets from luxury hotels to Harrods and Paris Saint- Germain Football Club.