The Business Matrix: Thursday 15 December 2011


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The Independent Online


More passengers flock to Gatwick

Gatwick revealed yesterday that passenger numbers for November were up on a year earlier with an extra 12,800 flyers at the the Sussex-based airport, a rise of 0.6 per cent. This represents an 11th consecutive month of passenger growth at the airport. It has axed landing fees during the winter months.

Betfair connects to mobile punters

Punters placed 16.2 million bets with Betfair via mobile phones in the six months to October – a rise of 103 per cent. Revenue from mobile gambling rose 88 per cent to £9.1m. Overall, Betfair's revenue rose 1 per cent to £191m, with profit 43 per cent up at £20.6m, allowing payment of an interim dividend of 3.2p.

Cowdery takes Resolution stake

The tycoon Clive Cowdery has given a vote of confidence to Resolution, the company he co-founded, by splashing out more than £600,000 on 240,000 shares at 252.9p, for his first personal stake. Resolution coped reasonably well in the stock market turmoil and is up 7 per cent this year.

Opec finally agrees targets

Oil prices tumbled by more than $2 a barrel after Opec agreed to oil production targets of 30 million barrels a day next year, close to current levels. The oil cartel sealed its first new output deal in three years in Vienna yesterday in a deal that settles a six-month-old argument in favour of Saudi Arabia.

Monitise enjoys impressive growth

The technology firm Monitise said it expects revenues forthe half year to 31 December to be nearly three times higher than a year ago at £15m. The group, which delivers mobile banking, payments and commerce networks, said its order book to the end of December passed £75m.

A&N sells Teletext to management

A&N Media, the consumer division of Daily Mail & General Trust, has agreed to sell a majority stake in Teletext to its management, who will take day-to-day operating control of the loss-making business. DMGT also said its Hobsons education business has completed the £8m acquisition of Intelliworks.

Deal to expand Kazakh gas field

BG and its partners Chevron, Lukoil and Eni have agreed to sell a 10 per cent stake in the giant Karachaganak gas field in Kazakhstan to the country's government for £650m. Environmental charges and tax claims will also be withdrawn. The deal finally paves the way for the expansion of the key gas field.

Pub pair toast two new businesses

Clive Watson and David Bruce yesterday unveiled The City Pub Company (East) and The City Pub Company (West). They intend to take over and improve struggling pubs, then sell them on. The pair sold their last venture, The Capital Pub Company, to Greene King for £93m just weeks ago.

WPP expands in Far East PR

WPP said its Cohn & Wolfe public relations firm has agreed to buy a majority stake in XPR, one of Singapore's largest independent agencies with offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The investment is part of the ad giant's strategy of expanding in fast-growing markets.

Paddy Power in Canadian punt

Paddy Power is to move into North America for the first time after signing a three-year deal with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation to help it run its online sports betting business from the summer. The bookie lottery operators were a big target audience as regulation rises.