The Business Matrix: Thursday 1 November 2012


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Manganese Bronze jobs cut

The administrators to Manganese Bronze announced 156 jobs have been cut at the maker of London's black taxis, mostly at its site in Coventry. Remaining staff will focus on finding a solution to the steering fault it revealed last month.

Tarmac plan to close Midlands HQ

Tarmac is considering closing its century-old headquarters in Wolverhampton with the potential loss of up to 500 jobs as part of its joint venture with French group Lafarge. The plan is to have a single joint-HQ at Lafarge's site in Solihull.

Ryanair planning nine new routes

Budget carrier Ryanair set out plans yesterday for nine new routes flying an extra million passengers from three UK airports in 2013. It claimed the move would support 1,000 new jobs. The expansion covers Manchester, Liverpool and East Midlands airports and destinations including Corfu, Krakow, Lanzarote, Marseille and Menorca.

FirstGroup rolls out buses sell-off

FirstGroup has revealed the latest stage in the sale of bus businesses that bring in £100 million of revenues, flogging a Wigan-based operation to rival Stagecoach for £12 million. About 120 vehicles and 300 staff would transfer to Stagecoach. In March, First sold a 130-vehicle depot in Northumberland, and is in talks to sell other depots.

Gibbons collects American website

Stanley Gibbons yesterday bought an American auction website that sells collectable stamps, postcards, coins and comics in a deal worth $1m (£806,000) as part of its attempt to beef up its online business. Gibbons will pay $600,000 in cash for, which trades as, and issue 20,035 new ordinary shares.

Icap founder gives fresh start to Plus

City grandee Michael Spencer yesterday relaunched London's junior stock market following the takeover of Plus in June by his broking giant Icap for a nominal £1. The Plus market, which lists shares ranging from new technology ventures such as Bioventix to the brewer Shepherd Neame, has been renamed the Icap Securities & Derivatives Exchange.

London funding lures IG Seismic

IG Seismic Services is set to become the latest Russian company to float in London after it announced a $200m (£124m) listing. The company collects and analyses seismic data for oil and gas companies in Russia and the former Soviet republics using various technologies. The float is expected next month.

St James's pulls in well-off punters

Markets may be lifeless and investors nervous, but upmarket clients of St James's Place are still funnelling away money. The wealth manager, which sells products to people with at least £100,000 to invest, said today that new business sales had risen by 8 per cent to £165.6m in the three months to 30 September.

Mittal's dividend cut costs him dear

ArcelorMittal chief executive and 41 per cent shareholder Lakshmi Mittal is set to lose dividends worth about $350m (£217 m) after proposing to slash investor payouts by nearly three-quarters next year. This follows a plunge into the red by the metals group in the third quarter.

Cold snap warms up Next trading 

Next yesterday delivered robust trading in its third quarter and nudged up its profit guidance. The fashion and homewares chain said the recent cold snap helped "stronger sales" in late September and early October as consumers returned to the high street for winter clothing.