The Business Matrix: Thursday 14 February 2013


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Polo club in receivership

Hurtwood Park Polo Club, owned by The Who's former drummer Kenney Jones, has gone into receivership. The Surrey-based club is likely to be put up for sale by receivers David Rubin & Partners. Asher Miller, from the receivers, said: "The business has suffered from insufficient investment, which has led to the current financial difficulties."

More demand for cold remedies

Reckitt Benckiser saw strong demand for cold and flu remedies and for Durex condoms with profits up 3 per cent rise last year. The consumer goods giant, which also makes Nurofen painkillers and Dettol, beat City expectations as pre-tax profits edged up 2 per cent to £2.4bn after exceptional costs, mainly restructuring, rose to £135m.

Hogg Robinson's sales fall 7%

Corporate travel firm Hogg Robinson said sales fell 7 per cent in the four months to the end of January because companies reined in spending on business trips as the UK and international economy worsened. Overall, the Basingstoke-based group said the travel bookings it received were 2 per cent lower; client spend fell 3 per cent.

Harvey Nash says profits on increase

Recruitment and outsourcing group Harvey Nash pleased the City as it said that it has upgraded its profit forecasts for the year to 31 January. This is the second profit upgrade announced since November. In addition, management at the firm said it intends to recommend an increase in its final dividend to shareholders of 10 per cent.

Developer chosen for Fulham site

Property developer Londonewcastle has been appointed by Royal London Asset Management to draw up a residential-led mixed-use development scheme for its Hurlingham Retail Park site in Fulham, London. The 2.5-acre site could include 300 residential apartments set around retail outlets.

Telecity earnings jump to £130m

The data centre operator Telecity reported a 22 per cent rise in full-year earnings to £130m and gave a robust outlook for the year thanks to strong demand. The group added that revenues rose 18 per cent to £283m in 2012. The firm has increased available customer power by 27 per cent with new sites.

Porvair wins Indian contract

Environmental technology firm Porvair has won a contract with India's Reliance Industries to design and build filtration systems for its planned gasification plant at the Jamnagar. Reliance's Jamnagar site is reckoned to be the largest oil refining complex in the world.

Tullow has good news for Kenya

Tullow Oil released a set of Kenyan well test results which it said could lead to the country's first commercial production. Tullow, which has been under pressure to deliver good news, said Twiga South-1 well results showed "the first potentially commercial flow rates achieved in Kenya."

Speedy Hire builds on revenue

The tool and equipment provider Speedy Hire said revenues in the UK and Ireland rose 2 per cent in its third quarter, resulting in a year-to-date improvement of 2.2 per cent. International revenues were up 37 per cent on a year ago.

Vodafone bids for Deutschland

Vodafone is considering a bid for Germany's Kabel Deutschland, a deal that would bolster the UK-based mobile company's business in Europe, Germany's Manager magazine reported. Vodafone and Kabel Deutschland declined to comment.