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The Business Matrix: Thursday 26 May 2011

Tata Steel warns over rising costs

Tata Steel has warned that rising raw material costs could hurt margins for a couple of quarters after it posted a record 89.8bn rupees (£1.2bn) annual net profit, bolstered by a surge in prices and demand in India. The steel maker, which announced 1,500 job cuts at its UK plants lastweek, said tepid demand in Europe was a cause for concern.

TMX sets date for vote on LSE deal

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has issued an interim order that TMX yesterday said allowed it to proceed with a shareholder meeting and vote on its proposed tie-up with the London Stock Exchange. Shareholders in the operator of the Toronto exchange are now due to vote on the merger on 30 June.

Corporate deals boost Hogg

The corporate travel specialist Hogg Robinson has reported a strong recovery in business as the economy strengthened. The firm, which reported a 36 per cent rise in annual profits to £29m, said events such as volcanic ash clouds could actually generate work as it manages contingency plans to offset the disturbance to travel.

Caribbean woes engage CWC

Cable & Wireless Communications has warned it expects further falls in earnings from its Caribbean arm. The telecoms group, which posted a 15 per cent fall in earnings to $229m (£142m) for the past year, said call revenues in the region fell 9 per cent. Growth in areas such as Macau and Panama helped overall profits rise 21 per cent.

Oil firms power Aveva profits

Aveva has reported an 8 per cent rise in full-year profits after strong demand from customers in the oil, gas and power sectors. The IT group, which makes software used to design nuclear power stations, ships and oil facilities, said its annual profits rose to £55m compared with £51m in 2010.

Amazon to recruit 900 in Scotland

Amazon is to open a customer support centre in Edinburgh to provide technical support for its Kindle e-book reader, creating 500 permanent and 400 temporary jobs. The online retailer said the operation, to open in August, will also handle customer inquiries as it expands its product range.

P&O owner sails back on to LSE

Shares in DP World, the third largest ports operator in the world, are to start trading on the London Stock Exchange on 1 June. DP World, controlled by the Gulf emirate Dubai, bought P&O’s port operations in 2006 and has stakes in Southampton and Tilbury container terminals as a result.

Glencore dips on Hong Kong debut

Shares in Glencore fell as much as 3 per cent on their Hong Kong debut yesterday, with Asian investors spooked by concerns over valuations and the outlook for commodities. The shares closed at HK$64.85, below the offer price of HK$66.53. The London-listed Glencore shares later closed down 2.8p at 522.2p.

Gooding to chair Premier Farnell

Val Gooding, the former chief executive of the private health insurance company Bupa, has been named as chairman at the components distributor Premier Farnell. Ms Gooding will succeed Sir Peter Gershon, who is retiring at Premier Farnell’s annual meeting on 14 June after seven years on the board.

Martha Stewart explores sale

Shares in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the eponymous US homemaking maven’s media business, soared nearly a third yesterday on news she could sell out or bring in an outside partner. Stewart is set to return to the firm’s board in August after completing a ban connected to the Imclone insider-trading scandal.