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The Business Matrix: Thursday 17 October 2013


Delays trigger share price drop

Shares in Ubisoft fell more than 26 per cent after the games developer behind the Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed series revealed that the delay of two titles would substantially hit revenues and push it into the red. The Paris-based studio said new titles Watch Dog and The Crew would both be delayed several months, missing the holiday season.

Profits boost for Bank of America

Bank of America managed third-quarter profits of $2.22bn (£1.38bn), the second-biggest bank in the US announced yesterday, as provisions for credit losses and expenses fell. While this was slightly less than Wall Street had been expecting, it was still an improvement from the $33m loss posted for the same three months last year.

Foreign exchange probe announced

A City watchdog has confirmed it is conducting a formal investigation into “a number of firms” over suspected manipulation of the lightly regulated foreign exchange market. The Financial Conduct Authority said it was working with several regulators. Swiss traders have already confirmed they are also involved.

Barclays tops complaints list

Barclays has retained its title as the UK’s most-complained-about financial firm. It attracted 370,733 complaints in the first half of 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority said, although that was a fall of 11 per cent over the previous six months. Lloyds TSB was second with 253,735. Almost two-thirds of complaints were about mis-sold PPI.

Future’s looking up for publisher

The digital publisher Future said it was on course to deliver a dividend for the first time since 2011, as it announced that results to the end of September will meet expectations. Future, whose titles include Total Film, said there was “encouraging momentum” and ad bookings are up more than 30 per cent.

Tungsten AIM float a success

The City entrepreneur Edi Truell successfully floated one of the largest companies on the AIM for several years yesterday. Tungsten, which runs electronic invoice discounting for companies, raised £160m through a placing at 225p a share. The shares ended the day at 232.75p, valuing the business at £233m.

Kier complete R and K purchase

Administrators for Nottingham-based R and K Landscapes have sold the company’s last remaining division to Kier May Gurney, the infrastructure group. The disposal of the water utility repairs and maintenance arm safeguards 53 out of 62 jobs, FRP Advisory said.

Mobile gamblers boost Netplay

NetPlay, which runs the sites SuperCasino.com and Jackpot247.com, said mobile and tablet computers accounted for 40 per cent of all new depositing casino players and 32 per cent of total net revenues, up from 14 per cent a year ago. Revenues rose 19 per cent to £6.5m.

Vertu posts strong first-half revenues

Vertu Motors, which has 99 sales and aftersales outlets in the UK, said “very strong momentum” in the new car market and a period of stability in used cars helped its revenues improve by a third to £837m in the six months to 31 August.

Heathrow chair joins BBA aviation

City heavyweight Sir Nigel Rudd, the chairman of Heathrow, is to take on the same role at BBA Aviation, the aircraft services firm which is a major contractor at the airport. Sir Nigel is to replace Michael Harper – who retires in May.