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The Business Matrix: Thursday 24 January 2013


Eurotunnel sales hit record €993m

Eurotunnel has posted record revenues of €993.1m (£835m) for 2012. Sales were up 14 per cent on the previous year, helped by a 2 per cent increase in Eurostar ticket revenues as the Olympics and Royal Jubilee encouraged tourists to travel into the capital on the train. Almost 20 million passengers journeyed through the Channel Tunnel last year.

Trading suffers at Close Brothers

Winterflood Securities yesterday reported "challenging" trading conditions and admitted it has suffered from "low investor activity". Results from parent Close Brothers showed the banking division delivered strong growth, but the securities business was hit by a sharp fall in the number of investors willing to bet on the stock market.

Solar panel sales weaken Siemens

Siemens, the German industrial giant, reported a 12 per cent slump in profits for the fourth quarter of 2012 and warned that the economy was set to remain weak this year. The firm had a €1.2bn (£1bn) profit for the three months to 31 December, which was dragged down by a €150m loss at its solar panels-making business.

Female lawyers earn £50,000 less

The scale of the gender pay gap at Britain's law firms has been laid bare by figures revealing that the average female lawyer is paid a staggering £51,396 a year less than a male. The figures, from legal recruiter Laurence Simons, found men took home an average pay packet worth £162,689 last year, against £111,293 for women.

Amazon proves 3% more entertaining

The part that Amazon played in HMV's downfall was demonstrated by the online firm's gains in entertainment in the 12 weeks to 23 December. Amazon grew its share of the market for videos, games, music and digital music sales by 3.1 per cent to a record 23.4 per cent, said Kantar Worldpanel Entertainment.

RSA rents floors in 'Walkie-Talkie'

Land Securities secured another major tenant for its "Walkie-Talkie" skyscraper yesterday. RSA is taking up four floors of the 160m-tall building at 20 Fenchurch Street in the heart of the City's insurance district, leaving more than half the building let or in solicitors' hands with 18 months of construction to go.

Boss is fired over 'Cheesegrater' fees

The boss of Britain's biggest structural steel firm paid the price for "material" cost overruns on the City's Cheesegrater skyscraper as shares in Severfield-Rowen tumbled. Chief executive Tom Haughey was sacked after the board said a "change to the leadership is required".

Glencore deal with Xstrata moves on

Glencore and Xstrata are close to consummating their £56bn "mega-merger" after China indicated that its regulator had no reason to oppose the deal. It could be weeks before approval is formally given, the officials' guidance suggest the deal will clear its last remaining hurdle.

JPMorgan sorry for $6bn losses

Jamie Dimon has apologised to JPMorgan shareholders for the "London Whale" fiasco which saw the investment bank register trading losses of $6bn. "If you're a shareholder of mine, I apologise deeply," he told the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Fizzing revenues climb for Britvic

Britvic's revenues rose 4.8 per cent to £303.2m in the three months to yesterday. The drinks group, which makes and sells PepsiCo brands in Britain and Ireland, has also set out plans to accelerate distribution of its Fruit Shoot drink across the US.