The Business Matrix: Thursday 13 September 2012


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The Independent Online

Netplay profits in five-fold surge

The gambling firm Netplay TV posted a five-fold increase in half-year pre-tax profits following a sharp increase in new customers signing up. The group, which offers interactive gaming through television, reported pre-tax profits of £1.6m in the six months to 30 June, compared to £270,000 a year earlier. The company, which operates a 24-Hour Freeview channel, unveiled a maiden interim dividend of 0.15p per is a swathe of dummy text that can be used to indicate how many words fit a particular spacn any dummy page layout.

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Hemel hotel changes hands

The Ramada Hemel Hempstead hotel has been sold by the specialist property adviser Christie to Icon Hotels for just under £3.5m on behalf of its joint administrators. Ramada Hemel Hempstead has 137 rooms and six conference rooms. Icon is controlled by the European property firm ESO Capital.

Swiss power giant ABB on track

Swiss power and technology group ABB said the global economy had developed in line with its expectations as it confirmed all of its financial targets. The firm is set to update investors on plans to improve competitiveness through cost savings.

Bank defends QE programme

The Bank of England has used its quarterly bulletin to vigorously defend its use of quantitative easing (QE) to bolster the UK economy. It said that without the £375bn asset-buying programme "economic growth would have been lower and unemployment higher". The programme also helped bolster asset prices and, in particular, the stock market.

Paragon claims Swiss gold

Paragon Entertainment, which designs tourist attractions, has secured a contract to develop and fit out The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland for the price of £4.8m. The Museum was opened in June 1993 and houses permanent and temporary exhibits that are related to sport and the Olympic movement.

US economy on the march

US wholesale inventories in July rose by the most in five months, in a sign economic growth started the third quarter on stronger footing than expected. Total wholesale inventories climbed 0.7 per cent to $485.2bn (£301bn) the Commerce Department said.

UBC sells Lynx in radio ad deal

UBC Media has reached agreement to sell Lynx Content, its business that creates advertiser-funded content for radio and online markets, for £300,000. The business was sold to its former managing director Steve Leavesley with immediate effect. Lynx Content's turnover was £1m and profits were £121,000 for the year ending on 31 March.

Oman deal helps Modern Water

The fresh water production and quality firm Modern Water increased gross profits more than five-fold in the six months to 30 June to £790,000. The Guildford-based group completed and installed a plant in Al Najdah, Oman in the period, which helped lift revenues from £430,000 to £2m.

Shell snaps up US gas fields

The US energy firm Chesapeake is selling $6.9bn (£4.3bn) in gas fields and pipelines to cut its debt burden and fund this year's operations. The company is selling most of its assets in the Permian Basin in the US to Royal Dutch Shell and the US firm Chevron as well as other infrastructure.

Movers boost mortgage lending

A rise in lending to home movers was the main driver of an increase in house-purchase lending in July, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The number of loans taken out by home movers rose by 8 per cent compared with June and by 4 per cent on July last year. Home movers were advanced 30,500 loans worth £5.1bn in July.