The Business Matrix: Thursday 19 March 2015


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TAG cuts due to Swiss timing

TAG Heuer, LVMH’s largest luxury watch brand, is cutting prices in many markets following the surge in the Swiss franc. Price cuts will range from 7 per cent in the UK to 13 per cent in Hong Kong. The watchmaker, whose interim chief executive has been Jean-Claude Biver since late last year, said it was “seizing the opportunity”.

40% pay rise for BAE boss King

The boss of BAE Systems, Ian King, saw his pay rise 40 per cent last year despite the company continuing to suffer from defence cutbacks. Mr King picked up a £3.5m total package in 2014, up from £2.49m, including a £1.6m bonus. The disclosure came in the company’s annual report, announced during the Budget.

Shaftesbury in debt refinancing

West End landlord Shaftesbury swooped to take advantage of low long-term interest rates yesterday with a £130m debt refinancing weeks before the most uncertain general election in decades. The firm’s chief executive, Brian Bickell, said: “You never know what the world is going to be like in 18 months’ time.”

PwC takes on auditing at HSBC

The troubled banking giant HSBC confirmed yesterday  that PwC will take over from KPMG as its auditor at the  end of this month. The  change was originally announced in 2013 following a competitive tender process. The FTSE 100 lender is currently embroiled in a Swiss tax-avoidance scandal.

Back to basics for Glencore boss

The chief executive of Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg, has again waived his rights to any annual bonus or long-term share, as he has done since the commodities giant floated in 2011. His basic salary remained flat at $1.5m (£1m). Mr Glasenberg owns 8.4 per cent of Glencore and benefits from rising dividends.

UTV profits up slightly to £17.2m

Annual profits at UTV Media trod water in the past year, as rising audiences at Talksport radio were tempered by higher costs of launching the original UTV across Ireland. Profits nudged up from £17m to £17.2m, but the UTV launch is forecast to have doubled in cost from £3m to £6m. Its dividend hit 7.25p.