The Business Matrix: Thursday 28 March 2013


Travel firm's sales buoyant

Tui Travel, the world's largest tour operator, reported strong sales yesterday, with nearly half of its summer holidays sold. Bookings from the UK and Norway are up 9 per cent as consumers look to escape the prolonged winter and economic gloom. Shares in the company, that counts Thomson among its brands, rose 4 per cent to a new high.

Royal Mail sticks to six days a week

Post will continue to drop through letter boxes six days a week despite Royal Mail's impending multi-billion-pound privatisation. Ofcom, the industry regulator, ruled that the universal postal service, which covers six-day deliveries, next-day post and first-class and second-class stamps should stay.

Greenland puts oil licences on ice

Greenland's new minister for natural resources has halted new licences for oil companies to drill in the environmentally sensitive Arctic waters. Jens-Erik Kirkegaard said the 20 licenses issued to date were at a level that are "natural for an area like Greenland" and it was "reluctant" to offer more.

ICAP falls amid 'fragile' markets

Shares in ICAP, the world's biggest interdealer broker, tumbled 7 per cent yesterday after it said that revenues would drop 13 per cent in the year which ends this weekend, and that profits would be at the bottom end of expectations at around £280m amid "fragile" activity.

Weaker demand hits Topps Tiles

Topps Tiles said half-year profits were expected to be £4.3m, against £5.6m a year earlier, as weaker than expected demand is offset by cost reductions. The company, which has 320 stores, said like-for-like revenues fell 0.3 per cent.

Reckitt boss collects £6.3m

Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive of consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser, is set to collect £6.3m in pay and share bonuses for last year. That is much higher than the £736,000 he earned in the four months he was chief executive in 2011. Predecessor Bart Becht once got £92m in a year.

Iberia boss quits after Walsh deal

The chief executive of Iberia resigned yesterday, weeks after the airline's parent company boss Willie Walsh stamped his authority on the Spanish airline to end months of strikes. Rafael Sanchez-Lozano and International Airlines Group said they had decided mutually that he would quit.

BP and Shell team up near Shetland

BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron are to jointly invest £300m on a two-year appraisal to determine whether to further develop its Clair field west of the Shetland Islands. The field, which has produced about 90m barrels of oil since 2005, is scheduled to begin a new phase in 2016.

Europe approves cap on bonuses

Britain suffered a long-expected political defeat yesterday when it failed to stop European Union countries waving through a cap on bankers' bonuses, an EU law that will hit London hardest. Bonuses of twice base salary are allowed, if shareholders agree.

New watchdog for price comparisons

Watchdog OFGEM has taken on oversight of the code of practice used by household energy price comparison websites. Previously managed by Consumer Focus, approved websites must ensure that the prices they quote are fair and unbiased.