The Business Matrix: Thursday 14 June 2012


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The Independent Online

500 jobs to go at Thomas Cook

Struggling travel company Thomas Cook is closing its Bradford office by March 2013 with hundreds of jobs likely to go. The firm said some of the 537 roles will be relocated to other offices in Birkenshaw, Peterborough and Falkirk. Unions blamed the job losses on former chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

Proximagen bought for £357m

UK drugs developer Proximagen was snapped up by its US partner yesterday in a deal worth up to £356.8m. Upsher-Smith, a 17 per cent shareholder and commercial partner of Proximagen since 2008, is buying the firm to boost its pipeline and research and development capacity.

Sants favoured Rock deal

The retiring chief of the Financial Services Authority supported a takeover of Northern Rock by Lloyds Bank in 2007, but was blocked by the Bank of England and the Government. Hector Sants said: "Things would have been different if the Government and the Bank had taken my recommendation."

American Golf sales rise 25%

American Golf, which has 90 UK stores selling equipment and accessories, has reported a 25 per cent rise in annual sales to £108m after opening seven new sites and growing same-store revenues. The private equity owned firm has named Kevin Styles, the former Habitat chief, as its new boss.

Creston revenues rise 11 per cent

The digital marketing firm Creston, which owns brands including ICM Direct, said annual revenues rose 11 per cent to £75m after it was appointed to Unilever's European and Diageo's western European roster. Other wins included Brother, T-Mobile and Walkers Sensations. Profits were flat at £10m.

Part-time jobs paying £40,000

Hundreds of thousands of part-time workers are in jobs paying at least £40,000, dispelling the belief that senior posts are only available to full-timers, according to a study by Timewise, a jobsite. Its survey showed one in 10 part-timers – 650,000 people – were on a salary of £40,000 or more.

Diamond Jubilee boosts sales

Supermarket sales jumped by 12.5 per cent in the week leading up to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, according to the research firm Nielsen said. Across the whole of May, year-on-year growth was close to recent underlying trends at 3.3 per cent higher.

1.4 million work past pension age

The number of people working beyond state pension age has almost doubled to 1.4 million in the past 20 years, according to official figures. About 39 per cent of these are men, who were more likely to be in high skilled jobs, while women were more likely to be in low skilled work.

Opel closure will cost 3,000 jobs

General Motors' European unit Opel is negotiating a deal with unions to close the Bochum plant in Germany, with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs, in exchange for guaranteeing other German jobs at the car maker through 2016.

Government helps car sector

France's Socialist government is looking at providing further aid to its struggling automobile sector as part of a push to shield its declining industries from job losses. It has also announced a salary cap of £364,000 for heads of public controlled firms.