The Business Matrix: Thursday 17 July 2014


Record £2.7bn sales for Christie’s

Auction house Christie’s revealed a record £2.7bn of sales in the first half of the year thanks to demand from across the globe for modern and contemporary art. Buyers from Asia, Europe and the United States spending at auctions and online helped to push up revenue by 12 per cent in the past six months.

LSE boosted by new share issues

A booming market for new share issues helped push first quarter income at the London Stock Exchange up by 16 per cent. The shares jumped more than 1 per cent, reassuring chief executive Xavier Rolets’ plans for a $1.6bn rights issue to help fund the $2.7bn takeover of the Frank Russell indices and fund management business.

British Land  bucks the trend

Shoppers are flooding into British Land’s shopping centres around the country as the economic recovery gathers pace, chief executive Chris Grigg said. Customer footfall across its £6.9bn retail portfolio was up 2.5 per cent in the three months to June, outperforming a 0.8 per cent decline across the wider industry.

China struggles to balance economy

The world’s second biggest economy, China, saw growth pick up pace between April and June but figures showed the country relying on the same old suspects to fuel its expansion. While growth accelerated to 7.5 per cent annual pace in the second quarter, leaders in Beijing are still struggling to rebalance the Chinese economy.

Euromoney buys Mining Indaba

Euromoney Institutional Investor spent £45.3m buying the world’s largest annual investment conference for the mining industry as the FTSE 250 business information group expands in emerging markets. The conference, called Mining Indaba, takes place in South Africa in February.

Occupancy boost for Workspace

Business landlord Workspace said rents had been bolstered by demand for new sites in London. The company, whose tenants include card firm Moonpig, has seen occupancy rising above 90 per cent during the last quarter and rental takings up 3.3 per cent to £41.1m over the same period.

M&G’s high note for music students

M&G is putting £36.9m into the redevelopment of the student accommodation block for the Royal College of Music. College Hall, on Goldhawk Road, west London, will become home to 417 students and is being redeveloped and will be managed by Campus Living Villages.

Rio Tinto steps up China shipments 

Mining giant Rio Tinto has ramped up iron ore shipments to China as it takes on local miners struggling with higher costs. Rio’s second-quarter iron ore shipments climbed 23 per cent to 75.7 million tonnes, and the firm is on track to produce 295 million tonnes this year.

Speedy picks the right targets

Equipment rental firm Speedy Hire said its UK & Ireland division, which accounts for 94 per cent of revenues, delivered sales growth of 15.6 per cent in the three months to 30 June, helped by progress in target cities such as Manchester.

New business moves Wincanton 

Logistics firm Wincanton, which has 15,000 workers and 4,000 vehicles, said it performed in line with expectations after new business wins this year included homewares company, Marley Eternit and Halo Foods.