The Business Matrix: Thursday 26 March 2015


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Comparison site hit by failed sale 

Shares in Moneysupermarket fell three per cent after its founder, Simon Nixon, failed to sell a 6.4 per cent chunk in the price comparison site. The sale of the 35 million shares was unveiled after the markets closed on Tuesday. Traders said it was probably abandoned because bankers could not get a price Mr Nixon was happy with.

Morning suits tail off at Moss Bros

Moss Bros admitted it saw a fall in hire sales due to the lack of more contemporary offers, with customers shunning traditional wedding morning suits in favour of lounge suits. But the fall was more than made up for by a seven per cent rise in suit sales, which helped annual profits rise nine per cent to £4.8m on sales of £115m.

Homes sales boom for Bellway

Bellway said its profits jumped 53.1 per cent to £159m in the half year to the end of January as it sold 3,754 homes, 15.7 per cent more that a year ago. The house builder said it raised average selling prices by 3.4 per cent to £219,343 during the period.

Slowdown in Topps Tiles sales

Topps Tiles said it expects its half-yearly sales will be about 6.4 per cent higher than a year ago at £104m. But the floorings retailer said its underlying sales  – in stores open at least 12 months – slowed to 5.2 per cent, from 10.2 per cent in 2014.

Azerbaijan store for Harvey Nicks 

Upmarket store Harvey Nichols has opened a seven-floor store in Azerbaijan offering stylists, personal shoppers, restaurants, a beauty hall and  500 designer fashion brands. The 110,000 sq ft shop in Baku’s Globus Plaza will be its  eighth overseas venture. It has a presence already in Turkey, Hong Kong, and Dubai among others.

Persimmon snaps up old Kodak site

Persimmon Homes has won the bid to buy the first chunk of a £500m residential development site in west London where one-time camera giant Kodak once employed 6,000 people at the height of its powers. The listed housebuilder has exchanged contracts to buy a 20-acre plot called Harrow View West from Land Securities.

Tui predicts healthier profits 

Thomson and First Choice’s owner Tui forecast yesterday that profits would rise 10 to 15 per cent in the current year as winter sales went well. The world’s largest tour operator said winter sales prices were up on average by one per cent while summer bookings are also ahead of last year.

French business morale on the up

French business morale was at its highest for nearly three years in March, adding to signs that the eurozone’s second-largest economy is emerging from stagnation, thanks to lower oil prices and a weaker euro. The composite indicator of morale rose to 96 from 94 in February, its highest since April 2012.

LSE’s largest investor sells out

Borse Dubai, the biggest investor in the London Stock Exchange, is selling its 17 per cent stake in the company  to institutional investors. The £1.5bn sale will leave Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as the UK bourse’s largest shareholder with a 10.3 per cent stake.

41% profits rise  for Card Factory

Card Factory said its annual profits rose 41 per cent to £42.7m, although underlying sales growth slowed to 1.8 per cent from 3.1 per cent a year before. The retailer, which raised £90m in a May float, said it had opened 51 stores during the year to the end of January.